Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Last Legend: Famous Urdu poet Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi passes away

I tuned in to the BBC urdu service yesterday morning and heard the news 'legendary Urdu poet Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi is no more'.

kaun kahtaa hai ki maut aaii to mar jaauuNgaa
maiN to daryaa huuN samandar meN utar jaauuNga


You can listen this ghazal in Qasmi's own voice HERE

He was the last of the legends of Urdu literature who were born in the first quarter of the last century. I don't think any such era in any other language would have seen such a galaxy of poets and authors who were so popular with masses.

Literature was no longer confined to a certain class then. Majaz, Faiz, Jazbi, Makhdum, Akhtarul Iman, Sardar Jafri, Kaifi, Majrooh, Jaanisaar and scores of others had appeared on the scene in the 30s. Poets like Josh, Firaq and Jigar were a toast of the nation.

The classical masters like Seemab, Yagana Changezi, Safi Lucknowi, Hasrat Mohani, Jamil Mazhari and Asghar were all at their creative best. And Allama Iqbal's poetry echoed everywhere.

Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi (1916-2006) was almost 90 and had a creative life of seven decades. Intezaar Husain rightly said, 'He was the last of the great personalities that emerged during Progressive Writers' Movement and now there is no one in the Urdu world anywhere near his stature'.

'Ehtaraam, ehtaraam, ehtaraam...Ahmed Nadim Qasmi bazm meN tashriif laa rahe hain' that was how Fikr Taunsvi had once described his personality.

maiN kab se gosh-bar-aavaaz huuN pukaaro bhii
zamiiN pe sitaare kabhii utaaro bhii

meri Ghayyuur umangoN shabaab faani hai
Ghuruur-e-ishq ka deriina khel haaro bhii
bhatak rahaa hai dhundhalkoN meN karvaan-e-khayaal
bas ab Khudaa ke liye kakuleN saNvaroo bhii

Read Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi's ghazal in THREE SCRIPTS AT BESTGHAZALS