Friday, April 15, 2011

Majaz's soul-searing lines: "jaise muflis ki jawani, jaise bewa ka shabab'

Majaz is perhaps a very under-rated lyrical writer among the progressive and lefty Urdu poets of the time like Sahir, Kaifi, Majrooh, and even Faiz. Look at these lines: 'mahal ke aad se nikla woh peela mehtab/jaise mullah ka amama, jaise baniye ki kitab/jaise muflis ki jawani, jaise bewa ka shabab/ai gham-e-dil kya karoon, ai wehshat-e-dil kya karoon'. These lines contain a deeply felt despair, anguish, anger. And he tunrs it all into a powerful image, which is what good poetry is. Compared to these lines, Sahir's familiar 'yeh takhton, yeh taajon ki duniya/ yeh insaan ke dushman riwaajon ki duniya/..jalaa do jalaao yeh duniya' (from Pyaasa) is rhetorical more than anything else though it carries its own power. The other composition, 'jinhe naaz hai hind pe woh kahaan hai' (also from Pyaasa) is slightly better. But these lines pale before that of Majaz.
People feel that it is unfair to compare poets and poems because each one is different, each has its own strength and beauty. It is a fair point. But as you go over poems and poets, some of them shine a little more than others, and you are insitincitvely drawn to one more than the other, and you want to understand why it is so. In poetry sentiment and sincere are important, but for them to be expressed skill and a certain genius as well. Some times, some poets in some poems achieve success more than other poets in other poems. Majaz's poem has ben rendered by Talat Mehmood in his inimitable velvety, wavy voice. It almost takes away the anger of the lines and infuses it with charm and beauty!

1 comment:

writr said...

"shahar ki raat aur main nakara phiroon, jagmagati, jaagti sadkon pe aawara phiroon, gair ki basti hain, kab tak dar ba dar mara phiroon..".i have seen no more perfect expression of alienation - no more modern or urban a sentiment among modern urdu poets.

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