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Monday, August 13, 2007

Five immortals couplets of a forgotten Urdu poet

These are amongst the most oft-quoted Urdu couplets:

muddaii laakh buraa chaahe to kyaa hotaa hai
vahii hotaa hai jo manzuur-e-Khudaa hotaa hai

surkhruu hotaa hai insaaN ThokareN khaane ke baad
rang laatii hai hinaa patthar pe pis jaane ke baad

voh phuul sar chaRhaa jo chaman se nikal gayaa
izzat use milii jo vatan se nikal gayaa

haqiiqat chhup nahiiN saktii banaavaT ke usuuloN se
ki Khushbuu aa nahiiN saktii kabhii kaaGhaz ke phuuloN se

miTaa de apnii hastii ko gar kuchh martabaa chaahe
ki daana Khaak meN mil kar gul-o-gulzaar hotaa hai

These are all couplets of Mast Kalkattvi. This poet from Calcutta (Kolkata) was a contemporary of Josh Malihabadi and Firaq Gorakhpuri. His popularity knew no bounds in those days. True to his pen name Mast Kalkattavi, lived a bohemian life.

He was born Syed Ghulam Mohammad and had adopted the takhallus 'Mast'. He was born in 1896 and passed away in 1942. Considering that he was such a popular poet, it is surprising that hardly any serious work done on his literary legacy. I couldn't find a single result in Google for his name.

Read all these couplets in Urdu, Hindi [devanagri] and Roman English scripts at Best Ghazals.