Thursday, May 24, 2007

Behzad Lakhnavi: A Great Urdu poet of Yore

Behzad Lakhnavi is one of my favourite poets. I fell in love with his poetry after watching Merchant Ivory's film 'In Custody' [titled Muhafiz in Urdu], when I was in my early teens.

Apart from Faiz Ahmad Faiz' poetry, the film also had Behzad's ghazals used as lyrics. It was a beautiful movie set in Bhopal. Shashi Kapoor had played the role of Urdu poet Noor Shahjehanabadi.

Shabana Azmi played the role of his younger wife. Om Puri was the protagonist, a Hindi speaking man, who is a fan of the famed Urdu poet.

hameN kis tarah bhuul paayegii duniyaa
ki DhuunDhe se hamsaa na paayegii duniyaa

qayaamat kii duniyaa meN hai dil-farebii
qayaamat meN bhii yaad aayegii duniyaa

What is the purpose of life? It intrigues all of us. So much effort man makes on this earth but isn't it all futile in a way. The poets and writers leave behind their works and wonder what will happen to them?

Will their writings help the future generations in understanding the world better. Poets and authors derive satisfaction from the fact that words written by them would guide and inspire the coming generations and immortalise the writer.

Read the ghazal in Urdu, Hindi and Roman scripts here Click

I especially like this ghazal, which I have earlier posted on this blog.

Aye jazba-e-dil gar main chahuuN har chiiz muqaabil aa jaye
Manzil ke liye do gaam chaluun aur saamne manzil aa jaye

Read it here Click

Another ghazal of Behzad Lakhnawi is as follows:

diivaanaa banaanaa hai to diivaanaa banaa de
varnaa kahiiN taqdiir tamaashaa na banaa de

aye dekhne vaaloN mujhe haNs haNs ke na dekho
tum ko bhii mohabbat kahiiN mujh saa na banaa de

maiN DhuuNDh rahaa huuN merii vo shamaa kahaaN hai
jo bazm kii har chiiz ko parwaanaa banaa de

Essentially a poet of love, Bahzad is also remembered for his 'naats' [poetry praising Prophet Muhammad]. I have heard from elders that his naats were daily broadcast on radio, early in the morning, in the decades of 60s and 70s.

As his name suggests, he hailed from Lucknow. He, however, later migrated to Pakistan, after partition, and he died there. Yet another ghazal has the following couplets:

mujhe kar ataa sirf baar-e-mohabbat
maiN bandaa huuN parvardigaar-e-mohabbat

maiN ek but* ko Khud hii Khudaa kah rahaa huuN
ajab chiiz hai aitbaar-e-muhabbat

[but=idol, बुत]