Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Firaq Gorakhpuri's famous Urdu couplet: Is daur mein zindagi...

Firaq Gorakhpuri
Raghupati Sahay 'Firaq' Gorakhpuri, who was born in 1896, is considered one of the giants of Urdu poetry in the 20th century.

Firaq's father was also a noted poet and poetry was in his genes. Here is one of his couplets:

is daur meN zindagi bashar kii
biimaar ki raat ho gaii hai                   [*bashar=human being]

اس دور میں زندگی بشر کی
بیمار کی رات ہو گیء ہے  


A simple but outstanding couplet. For a sick person, the night is painful and seems everlasting. Comparing this to suffering human beings in the current age, and putting it so simplistically is just what Firaq is famous for.

One must remember that Firaq wrote the couplets in the era between the first and the second world war, when humanity was sick of the battles and massacres. India was in the grip of imperialistic powers and freedom was still far.

Firaq passed away in 1982 in Allahabad. Another great poet of the same era, Josh Malihabadi, who had migrated to Pakistan, after partition, had died the same year, across the border, thus ending this era of Urdu shayri.

Today Firaq is remembered for his imagery, use of Hindustani words, bringing Hindu culture in Urdu poetry, though its shades were present in Urdu earlier also. Firaq is also known for his 'rubais'.

Read some of the selected couplets and ghazals of Firaq AT THIS LINK.