Monday, June 14, 2010

Khuda Hafiz Abdullah Kamaal: Mumbai's egoist Urdu poet is no more

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It's a regret that will stay for life. I couldn't meet one of my favourite poets, Abdullah Kamaal, who passed away recently. I must curse my laziness for delaying my trip to Mumbai.

ajab thaa uskaa hunar, pai-qafas rakhna parinde ko
aur uske saamne shaakh-e-sharar pe aashyaaN rakhnaa

Though he lived in Mumbai, Kamal kept himself confined to literary circles. He had nothing but contempt for self-projection and publicity tactis though this is also a reason that he didn't get the due recognition outside Urdu world.

Abdullah Kamal was born in Muzaffarpur on April 17, 1948. He made Mumbai his home in 1966. Life was not a bed for roses for Kamal but he was the first of the generation of modernist [post-progressive] poets, who made their mark in Mumbai.

ye chaaNd taare merii nigaahoN kaa husn haiN
varnaa merii zamiiN pe koii aasmaaN nahiiN

toD aaya to huuN har rishta tere shahar se
tasma-paa yaadoN kii zanjiir kahaaN le jaauN

na koii Khwaab na Khwaahish, na Gam na Khushii
voh be-hisii hai ki har shaKhs raaigaaN hai yahaaN

His second collection Be-Aasmaan was published in 1991. He had suffered two heart attacks. Lately he avoided participating in events for obvious reasons and stayed mostly in his house in Mumbra suburb near Mumbai.
Read Abdullah Kamaal's ghazals in Urdu, English (Roman) and Hindi (Devanagari) scripts at Best Ghazals.