Monday, January 23, 2012

Delhi's egoist poetic voice falls silent: Urdu poet Shuja Khawar passes away

Shujaa' Khawar
Shuja Khawar, who was probably the most distinct poetic voice in Urdu to have come up from Delhi in the post-independence era, bid final adieu to his admirers and poetry lovers.

ek uskaa saraapa hai ki bas meN nahiiN aataa
kyaa haalat ho gayii, mere andaaz-e-bayaaN kii

It's not pure emotion but Shujauddin Sajid was worthy of being called the poet laureate of Delhi. This is not an exaggeration. Nusrat Zaheer in his editorial page column wrote an obituary titled 'Miyaan, Dilli Khamosh Ho gayi...', the words spoken to him by Farooq Argali at the graveyard.

Truly, it's a huge loss for the Dehli's culture as well as poetry.

raat usne dasht-e-jaaN ko gulistaaN kar diya
hamne bhii har usuul ko qurbaan kar diyaa

But the reality was that Shuja never compromised on his principles:

thoRaa sa badal jaaye to bas taaj ho aur taKht
is dil ka magar kyaa kareN, sunta nahiiN kambaKht

Shuja reciting his couplets in early years.
The 'Qalandar' poet cared little about name or fame. It is not that he wasn't aware of tricks of the trade.

haalat use dil kii na dikhaai, na bayaaN kii
Khair usne na kii baat, to hamne bhii kahaaN kii

hue mahruumiyoN ke jab ham aadii
to us zaalim ne chilman hi haTaa dii

poNhchaa huzur-e-shaah, har ek rang ka faqiir
poNhchaa nahiiN jo, thaa vahii 'poNhchaa huaa' faqiir

Shuja Khar (Third from right)

After years of illness and solitude, he was once again getting back to the centre stage of Urdu poetry.

Despite the fact that I loved his poetry, I couldn't post his works except one ghazal. Now I intend to put up his ghazals selected couplets soon at my poetry site Best Ghazals.