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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Manzil unhein milee jo shareek-e-safar na the

Eminent Pakistani poet Mohsin Bhopali passed away in Karachi recently. One of his couplets is nearly zarb-ul-misl and oft-quoted.

nairangii-e-siaasat-e-dauraaN to dekhiye
manzil unheN milii jo shariik-e-safar na the

نیرنگی سیاست دوراں تو دیکھیےء
منزل انہیں ملی جو شریک سفر نہ تھے

(nairangi=trick, magic, wonder)

baat kahne kii hameshaa bhuule
laakh angusht pe dhaaga bandhaa

بات کہنے کی ہمیشہ بھولے

لاکھ انگشت پہ دھاگہ باندھا
A disciple of Saba Mathravi and Seemab Akbarabadi, Mohsin was a poet who experimented with several genres including Haiku and Nazmany. He was born in Hoshangabad in 1932 and had spent his early days in Bhopal.

Chandrabhan 'Khayaal', who hails from Hoshangabad, once told me that he knew of no other Urdu poet from Hoshangabad except Mohsin. After migrating to Pakistan, he settled in Larkana. Couplets of a ghazal:

Kyaa zaruuri hai ab yeh bataana meraa/TuuTtii shaaKh par thaa Thikaana meraa

Gham nahiiN ab milii haiN jo tanhaiiyaaN/anjuman anjuman thaa fasaana meraa

ek zamaanaa kabhii thaa ham-navaa meraa/tumne dekhaa kahaaN voh zamaana meraa

be-zamiini ka miltaa hai taa'na mujhe/jurm Thehraa hai bastii basaanaa meraa

arz-e-Bhopal se thaa taa'lluq thaa kabhi/ab to sab kuchh hai Larkaana meraa

Recently Munir Niazi and Azhar Saeed Khan, both Urdu poets of Pakistan also died. However, the poor quality of obituaries in English papers in Pakistan, have amazed me. No couplets were quoted and after the 'intro, the poet was referred to as Bhopali, which is not deemed correct for poets whose takhallus is succeeded by reference to his place of birth. I could not find Azhar Saeed Khan's obituary. In contrast, Hindi and English papers in India published well-written obits of both, Mohsi, Munir and Azhar Saeed Khan.