Books

The Future of the Past

Book:    Maazi Ka Aindah (Urdu)
Pages:    151
Price:    Rs 100
Author:    Kausar Mazhari
Publisher:    Mazhar Publication, New Delhi
The sweetness of Urdu poetry doesn't need any introduction in terms of its influence to the common people. No doubt, the different genres of poetry have revolutions in the society. That 'effectiveness' of the poetry nowadays is almost vanished. No doubt still people say stories, write songs and Ghazals, but that effectiveness, which can create revolutions, has been lost. If anyone will try to find the cause, probably a person like me would think, that poetry is not keeping pace with the changing times. This is the age of electronic media, but that is not right, because the poetic genre and the media of communication are totally two different things. Poetry also can be portrayed through the electronic media. But the thing is that we do not have that 'effectiveness' in today's poetry, which can provoke the masses for good or bad reasons. Here the quality works.
Yeh zulm-o-jabr ki Aandhi yeh Khamoshi ka Hesar
Kisi bhi shakhsh ke munh mein yehan zaban hai kya

(The wave of brutality and the circle of silence,
Is there anyone who has tongue in his mouth?)
If you look at this couplet you can find that it has the 'effectiveness', that is, the power, the ability to provoke the society to bring big changes (revolution) in the society. Unfortunately we do not have many examples of this kind of poetry.
The above couplet I found while I was turning the pages of a book of Urdu poetry named “Maazi Ka Aindah (The future of the past)” the name was so different and philosophical; it forced me to read it. The time we are in, at present, this is also a valuable future of the past, very similar to the 'Time' philosophy very similar to the “Time” philosophy of the famous poet T.S. Eliot, who, in his poem “Wasteland” powerfully voiced the disillusionment of modern generation.
I turned the pages further and one by one found many couplets that contain Sea in the cup. Though we can notice different let-outs of Kausar Mazhari's poetry as love and hate, time and period and so on, what I believe is that his main poetic approach is one of sadness. I would like to present here two couplets of his Ghazals, wherein the under current of sadness is strongly felt.
Bada-e-Gham se hai sarshar mera batin bhi
Aur usi gham se ujala hai ye bahar saara

(My inside is al flush with the wine of sadness
And all out side is blazed with the glow of the same.)
When we talk about sadness, it reminds the big names of Urdu poetry. Faani Badayuni; the person who has lefthis footprint behind and Mr Mazhari is one of his followers.
Yeh gham hi madawa-e-gham hai mera
Mujhe gham se bahar nikalo nahi

(This pain is the healer itself
Do not pull me out of this pain)
I believe now it is clear with the above examples how Mr Mazhari has mastery to present the thoughts full of sadness through sweet Urdu couplets.
Jawab us ki Nazar mein yehi munasib tha
Zaban kaat li us ne meri, Sawaal ke baad

(This was the right answer that suited him,
He cut my tongue, as I asked a question.)
Such couplets have the ability to provoke readers to raise the voice against the brutality and nastiness in the society. I read this book completely and was curious to know more about the author of these powerful lines.
Who is this person? Is he from 18th or 19th century? It is not true because I know him as a contemporary poet and critic. This book instilled in me the confidence that Urdu poetry still exists. With the same éclat, and with the same sweetness, which is, It's identity. There are some poets like Mr Kausar Mazhari who have the same zeal to serve Urdu poetry like the people before had it in the history of Urdu poetry like Haali, Iqbaal, Faiz, Nun Meem Rashid etc.
After reading this book I got the curiosity to know more about the author. There was no surprise when I came to know that Mr. Mazhari is an author of several books in several Genres. He has authored several other books like a novel Ankh JO sochti Hai, An Urdu translation of Khalil Jibran's Novel, The Broken Wings, Juraat-e-Afkaar, (A collection of literary essays.) Jadeed Nazm Haali Se Meera Ji Tak etc. The author is a lecturer in the Department of Urdu, Jamia Millia Islamia, There is a brief introduction of the book by Dr Maula Bakhsh, Head Dept. of Urdu, Dayal Singh College Delhi University. His remarks on Mr. Mazhari's poetry are worth noticing. He writes: “Mr Mazhari'spoetry is a small fire among another pile of his works of criticism (the work he is famous for) in other words his poetic talent is not so much focused because of his other literary businesses.” (p. 24). The Book “Maazi ka Aindah” is worth reading and highly recommended.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 March 2010 on page no. 27

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