Ahmed Faraz - A Symbol of Romance
By Yousaf Alamgirian
Ahmed Faraz, who left this mortal world on Monday the 25th August, 2008 was born in Nowshera in 1931. Ahmad Faraz initially had a passion to join Pakistan Air Force which he couldn’t, but through out his life he flew higher and higher due to his god gifted poetic skills. He was a man full of feelings. He started expressing his feelings in the shape of poetry while studying in 10th class. He got an opportunity to meet literary people in his early age as his father; Agha Burq was also a well known poet. He received masters’ degrees in Persian and Urdu literature from the University of Peshawar.
Faraz started his career as a scriptwriter with Radio Pakistan. He had been an academician and was director general of the Academy of Letters. He had been a proud recipient of Adamjee Award, Sitara-e-Imtiaz of Government of Pakistan, Dr Iqbal Award from the Academy of Letters, Honorary Life Fellowship of the Academy of Letters, an Honorary Doctorate in Literature from the University of Karachi.
Faraz occupied a unique place among the bouquet of poets of the modern era, with his remarkable style of writing. Faraz was truly one of the major poets of the modern-day Urdu poetry. His poetry was both traditional and broadminded. Ahmed Faraz was a modern poet who gave a new trend to the Urdu poetry. His poetry had been translated into many languages of the world.Collections of his poetry are quite popular and some of them had won major literary awards.
Ahmed Faraz was fully capable of the art to convert emotions of love into thought and word to create romantic poetry. Obligated with mixed signals of love within one’s heart and trying to make it complete and finding the steps necessary to understand the duality of the two is a difficult process. When this happens though, there is beauty to be heard from romantic poetry. Faraz and his poetry both knew the fact that one’s emotions can become tangible and pierce the heart of another, bringing two souls together that otherwise may have never been joined in each other’s love. Hence poetry such as Faraz’s can play pivotal role in bringing the hearts closer and closer.
His first collection of poems, "Tanha Tanha" was published in 1958 while he was a student and became well known among poets and critics. In 1966, his second book, "Dard Ashoob" made him well known to those who were working for a progressive socio-economic system. He also wrote plays for Radio Pakistan and PTV. These were published in 1972 under the title "Mere Khawab Reza Reza".
He received many national and international awards. He won the ‘Adamjee Award’ in 1966. His third collection of poems, "Nayaft", (Unattainable) was declared the best book of the year in 1970. He received the ‘Dhanak Award ‘ for the most popular national poet in 1972. Also in Pakistan, he won the ‘Abasin Award for literature’, the ‘J.N. Tata Award for Peace and Human Rights’, and the ‘Naqoosh Award for Literature’ (1992-1993). The international awards he achieved include the ‘Firaq Award‘ (India, 1982) and the ‘International Urdu Award’ (Canada, 1991).
His works include ten volumes of poems and a collection of plays in addition to articles and interviews published both nationally and internationally. Other collections of his works include Janaan Janaan (1976), Be Awaz Gali Koochoon Mein (1982), Nabeena Shehr Mein Aaina (1984), Sab Awazeen Meri Hain (1985), Pas Andaz Mosam (1989), Bodluk (a play in verse, 1994), and Peman. His works were published in four volumes by the University of Acain, U.A.E in 1987 with the title of Assasa.
Ahmed Faraz's services to Urdu language have no parallel, making him a legend and a symbol for being an upright fearless character that would stand up to even the most ruthless totalitarians. Faraz had been sadistic poet par excellence whose poetry was marked by sweetness and lyricism with a quality of grace, a tremulous sensitivity, and an ineffable beauty about human relationships that has timeless appeal. The creator of some of the most popular verses, both political and literary, Faraz had always been an activist for democracy and rule of law and was even jailed by certain rulers.
Faraz was considered a symbol of romance in Urdu Poetry. He at many a times admitted that “Mera mijaz shuru se hi Aashiqana tha”. And by the grace of Allah almighty he always stood by his words.
His poems, like those of Faiz and Sahir Ludhianvi, were equally popular with common readers and scholars. Full of sorrow and pain, most of them have social and political diction. He firmly believed in the philosophy of the progressive movement.
The passion filled poetry of Ahmed Faraz familiarizes human thoughts and emotions intimately with a different world, expressing love in a truthful way. Romantic Faraz and his poetry build an allusion of the world distorted into the shape of human emotions.
One of his famous Ghazal is given below.
Suna hai laug ussay aankh bhar ke dekhtey hain,
So uss k shehr main kuch din theher k dekhtey hain
Suna hai rabt hai uss ko kharaab haalo'n se,
So apney aap ko barbaad ker ke dekhtey hain
Suna hai dard ki gaahak hai chashm-e-naaz uski,
So hum bhi uss ki gali se guzar k dekhtey hain..
Suna hai usko bhi hai sher-o-shaiyrii se shughaf,
So hum bhi mau'jzay apney hunar ke dekhtey hain
Suna hai bolay to baaton se phool jhartey hain,
Ye baat hai to chalo baat ker ke dekhtey hain
Suna hai raat ussey chaand takta rehta hai,
Sitaarey baam-e-falak se utar ke dekhtey hain..
Suna hai din ko usay titliaa'n sataati hain,
Suna hai raat ko jugnoo theher ke dekhtey hain
Suna hai hashr hain uss ki ghazal si aankhain,
Suna hai uss ko hiran dasht bhar ke dekhtey hain.
Siyaah chashm to dekhay hain per na aisay bhi,
K uss ko surma farosh aah bhar ke dekhtey hain
Suna hai uss ke labo'n se gulaab jaltey hain,
So hum bahaar pe ilzaam dhar ke dekhtey hain
Suna hai aaina tamsaal hai jabee'n uski,
Jo saada dil hain ussay ban sanwar ke dekhtey hain
Suna hai jab se hamaail hain uss ki gardan main,
Mizaaj aur hi la'al-o-gohar ke dekhtey hain.
Suna hai chashm-e-tasawwar se dasht-e-imkaa'n mein,
Palang zaaviye uss ki kamar ke dekhtey hain
Suna hai uss k badan ki taraash aysii hai,
Ke phool apni qaba'ain kutar ke dekhtey hain
Wo sar-o-qad hai magar be-gul-e-muraad nahi,
Ke us shajar pe shagoofey samar ke dekhtey hain.
Nazar uthey to ye samjho k deen-o-dil to gaye,
So rehrawaan-e-tamanna bhi dar ke dekhtey hain..
Rukay to gardishain uss ka tawaaf kerti hain,
Chaley to uss ko zamaaney theher ke dekhtey hain
Kahaniyaa'n hi sahi,sab mubaalghey hi sahi,
Agar woh khawaab hai,ta'abeer ker ke dekhtey hain
Kisay naseeb ke be-pairhan ussay dekhey,
Kabhi kabhaar,dar-o-deewaar ghar ke dekhtey hain.
Ab uske shehr mein tehrain k kooch ker jaayin,
Faraaz! aao sitaarey safar ke dekhtey hain....!
Faraz’s poetry paved the way for emergence of new feelings of love, distress, dejection and a hope at the same time. Romantic Faraz and his poetry marked the way for allowances for free thinking to flourish in an age where reserved and conventional social and political thinking prevails. Romantic poetry of Faraz seems like entering into one’s soul with its massive force.
Although Faraz is no more in this world, still he would be remembered for his great literary contributions. Faraz was one and only and has left behind a big vacuum in the field of Urdu poetry. His fans belonging from all age groups will miss him a lot. May Allah bless his departed soul, Ameen.
Yousaf Alamgirian is a freelance columnist and an author of a literary sketches based book “Khush Bashian”. He is based in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
- Asian Tribune -