Monday, November 30, 2015



Khudaa karay ke salaamat Rahein Yeh Haath apnay,
Ataa huvein hain jo zulfein Sanvaaraney ke liye ..
Zameen se Naqsh Mitaaney ko Zulm o Nafarat ka ,
Falak se chaand sitaarey Utaaraney ke liye..

Tumhaara Haathh Badaa hai Jo dosti Ke liye 
Meray Liye hai vo ek Yaar e GhamGusaar Ka Haathh..
Voh Haathh Shaakh e Gul e Gulshan e Tamanaa hai 
Mehak rahaa hai meray Haathh mein Bahaar Ka Haathh..

Tum Aao Gulshan e lahore se chaman Bardosh 
Hum Aayein Subah e Banaras ki Roshini Le Kar 
Himalaya ki Havaaon Ki Taazigi Le kar 
Aur Uss ke baad Yeh poochhein Ki Kaun DUSHMAN Hai ?

( Ali Sardar jafri )
Sardar hardly needs any Introduction. Today, on his 102nd Birth anniversary , I am reminded of many things that are connected with his towering Personality .His Journey from Balrampur to Lucknow to Aligarh to Delhi and finally to Mumbai ( 1942 ) during the days of British Raj , His unflinching faith in man , love for his country and homeland Awadh, his long association with Freedom movement of the country , his communist connections , imprisonments and finally his association with progressive writers like Sahir, Dr Mulkh Raj Anand , Rajinder Singh Bedi , Krishen Chander , Faiz Ahmed faiz , Syed Sajjad Zaheer and so many other reputed writers and artists of the subcontinent .

I am also reminded of his opposition to Two Nation theory and his firm conviction on staying back in India when his relatives left for Pakistan in 1947. My mind is flooded with thoughts about his association with Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda or Paul Robson ( American concert singer , actor, athlete, scholar and a passionate advocate for the civil rights movement ). Sardar wrote a beautiful poem on Paul Robson .

His Books , Poems , Essays , Television Documentaries especially the one on Urdu Poets of the country are in my mind today.
Today , i am again reminded of his poems Haathon Ka Taraana ( A song of hands ),Asia Jaag Uthaa , Awadh Ki Khaak e Haseen , Pather Ki Deewar ,Neend ( Written in Central jail Nasik ),Bhooki Maa Bhooka bachaa ,Mera safar , Qatl e Aftaab , Subah e Fardaa , Tashkand ki Shaam , Guftagu , Paul Robson , Khwaab e Pareeshaan , Aabla paa ,Daulat e Duniya ka Hisaab , Ved e Muqaduss ( Sacred vedas ), Chandaalika and Shahar e Yaaraan ( A city of friends.. written after Bhopal gas Tragedy ).

I feel privileged to have heard him recite “Subah e fardaa” or “Tommorow’s Dawn” in person .

Who can ignore his association with World progressive writers especially Turkish Poet Nazim Hikmet ( 1902-1963 )

once more , My mind travels towards the world of his poetry . Bouquets of poems bubbling with humanism. A humanism that is sensitive towards the Poverty and exploitation in Asia and Africa , presenting a broader and humanitarian perspective of issues.

Through his poems , Sardar became a tall spokesperson  of the poor and marginalized. He wrote zealously to promote peace and friendship between India and Pakistan all along his life in a language that is direct and powerful. His poems are like paintings on a bigger canvas. These are like a Dialogue with bigger audiences or Humanity at large .
Sardar’s poems have been translated into many languages of the world. He is also recipient of Soviet Land Nehru Award and the coveted Jnanpith Award apart from being conferred Padam Shri by Government of India.
I remember Atal Bihari Vajpayee saying about sardar jafri
“ One may disagree with his political beliefs but none can overlook the vision that this man has for the Humanity "

Vajpayee made the historic peace trip to Pakistan where he presented SARHAD the first-ever album of anti-war poems of Ali Sardar Jafri (sung by Seema Anil Sehgal) to his Pakistani counterpart. This was indeed the greatest tribute to the poetic vision of Sardar.
What does Mrs Sultana Jafri (His Wife ) say about Sardar?

I quote from the BOOK …. “ALI SARDAR JAFRI: THE YOUTHFUL BOATMAN OF JOY” by Squadron Leader Anil Sehgal And published by Bharatiya Jnanpith .

“ Sardar and I met for the first time in Lucknow university in 1939. I was doing my MA in political science and sardar was studying English literature .In 1944 I joined AIR Lahore and Kartar Singh Duggal was my colleague over there . Later he married my sister Ayesha and became our close relative.
Sardar had many friends but he was very close to Krishen Chander . There was a perfect rapport between the two..I have spent 52 years with Sardar and his circle included Faiz , I K Gujral,Rajinder Singh Bedi , Mulkh Raj Anand , Kaifi , Dilip Kumar , ramanand sagar , Jaan Nissar Akhtar, Sahir, Majrooh , K A Abbas ,Ismat Chugtai , Qurratulain Hyder and Many more .His two unmarried sisters stayed with us . sardar looked after them most affectionately. Today grown up children dread the thought of living with their parents leave alone taking care of them. Sardar hardly owned anything . Both of us never bought material things even if we had money. It was a state of mind and a conviction .many a time children asked us why we did not have a car .We lived in rented accommodation for many years and kept on shifting from one house to another . Finally Sardar raised some loans from friends and bought a small flat for Rs52000/- in 1967. Sardar smoked endlessly but in 1968 he suffered from angina and stopped smoking altogether . He did not give up his drinks .
On january 30, 1948 sardar and I rode the local bus and went to the office of registrar of marriages . Sardar the bridegroom had three rupees in his pocket .Krishen chander K A Abbas and Ismat Chugtai were witness to our civil marriage .Later Ismat celeberated the occasion and took us out for ice cream.After the marriage we lived in Andheri commune . Kaifi and shaukat were already living there .Sardar was an incorrigible optimist . Inspired by Rumi’s lines Hamcho sabza Baarha Roeeda Aayam ( like the green of the earth , we never stop growing ), he summed up the story of his life in his poem MERA SAFAR .”

I end up this small tribute with some lines from his Poem MERA SAFAR…

Aur neeli fazaa ki makhmal par
Hansti hui heerey ki yeh kani
Yeh meri jannat, meri zameen
Iss ki subhein, iss ki shaamein
Bey jaaney huey, bey samjhay huey
Ek musht ghubaar-e-insaan par
Shabnam ki tarah ro jaayangi
Har cheez bhula di jaayegi
Yaadon key haseen buut khaaney sey

Phir koi nahin yeh puchhega
SARDAR kahaan hai mehfil mein
lekin mein yahaan phir aaoonga
Bachchon key dahan sey boloonga
Chirriyon ki zubaan sey gaaonga
Aur saraa zamaana dekhegaa
Har qissa mera afsaana hai
Har aashiq hai sardaar yahaan
Har maashooqa sultanaa hai

( Autar Mota )

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CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
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