Sunday, October 4, 2009



( Photographs  Avtar Mota  )

“Here in this room we had a meeting .Makhdoom came in with many progressive writers of Kashmir and outlined the purpose and issues involved in establishing and strengthening the progressive writers movement . He was fiery , radical and always anti establishment in his words . He was restless and would change postures as he sat or talked. His fingers involuntarily moved towards his hair. He had Sheer Chaay ( Salted tea Taken by Kashmiris )prepared by my Aunt and asked for TELVORU ( Locally baked bread ). Down to earth . Simple but fiery and restless .”

This is how Mr Mujoo , my friend’s uncle described Makhdoom Mohi Ud Din’s visit to his house in Rainawari Srinagar. Makhdoom instantly fell in love with Kashmir and its beauty and got touched by the prevailing poverty . Makhdoom , the fiery poet of Hyderbad wrote
Hayat Le ke Chalo , Qaynaat Le ke Chalo
Chalo to Saare Zamaane ko Sath Le ke Chalo

( Carry the life alongwith you,
Carry the entire universe along with you,
Should you move ,
Learn to carry everybody with you .)

During college days we had formed a cultural council known as BAZME ADAB headed by the noted Kashmiri poet Prof Ghulam  Nabi Firaq . Some times late Prof Hajini or late Hari Krishen Koul noted Kashmiri short story writer would also drop in . Other members of this council were Iqbal Fahim, Nazir Fida , Altaf Hussain , Rafiq Raaz and many others who i don't remember at this moment .  The discussions in Bazme Adab  usually centred  around Makhdoom , Faiz and Majaz .we lost track of each other after our college days as all moved in different fields and directions.

“He was a Naxalite ” one amongst us would say.

“He was profound in thought and had a unique style
another would say .

“ He had no appreciation for beauty. He was a dry man ”another would add.

In spite of disagreement with his political belief , Makhdoom had created interest in
every thinker in the country with his revolutionary songs. To Urdu language he did what
Nazrul Islam had earlier done to Bengali. Both enriched the language with their fiery
diction and style. As a matter of fact Makhdoom went ahead when he wrote

Ye Jung Hai Junge Aazaadi
Aazadi Ke Parcham Tale .

( This is the war of independence ,
Independence of the Myriad souls,
Under the Flag of freedom. )

He rose in revolt against the NIZAM and later became the leading light of the TELENGANA movement .
Having read his poetry ,I brush aside the arguments put forth by many that Makhdoom was not a lover of beauty or was not touched by it. I may disagree with his political thought but I have yet to find the deep romantic sensibilities in any other poem as Makhdoom put forth in his poem Charagar  ( Healer ).

(Chara gar )

Ek chambeli ke mandvey   talay
Mai-Qadey se zara duur us mod par
Do Badan Pyaar ki Aag mein jal gaye…….

Pyaar harf-e-wafa
Pyaar un ka khudaa
Pyaar un ki chitaa

Do Badan..

Ouss mein bheegte, chaandni mein nahaate huey
Jaise do taaza ro taaza dam phool pichhley pahar
Thandi thandi subak ro chaman ki hawaa
Sarfe Maatam huyee.
Kaali kaali laton se lipat garm rukhsaar par
Ek Pal ke liye ruk Gayee……….

Hum ne Dekhaa unhein
Din mein aur raat mein
Noor-o-zulmaat mein
Masjidon ke minaaron ne dekha unhein
Mandiron ke kiwaadon ne dekha unhein
Mai Qadey ki dararon ne dekha unhein

Az Azal taa Abad
Ye bataa chara -gar
Teri  zambeel mein
Nuskha-e-keemiyaa-e-mohabbat bhi hai?????
Kuch Ilaaj-o- Madaawaa-e-ulfat bhi hai?????

Ek chambeli ke mandvey talay
Mai-Qadey se zara duur us mod par

Do Badan

Chara gar!..................

( Makhdoom Mohi Ud Din )


Under the Jasmine  adorned support,
A little away from  the tavern,
 on that turn of the Path ,
Two Bodies  lost in the flames of  love .

Love ! A word of faithfulness .
Love !Their god at the moment .
Love ! let it be their Pyre .
Two Bodies .

 Bathing in Moonlight ,
Drenched  in the  dew ,
Like two new flowers at morning time ,
The Cool gentle breeze of  the garden
stumbled in grief,
Meandering itself through the black  tresses ,
hung around  for a moment on the warm cheeks .

We saw them
In the daybreak and in the hours of darkness,
In rapture and in anguish
The mosque's minarets saw them
The temple doors saw them ,
And the splintered ramparts of the tavern saw them,

From the creation to the end of this world  ,
O Healer ! Let me know ,
Does your Box  of remedies  
Contain something like the concoction of love?
Has it  any cure  for the love-sick?

Under the Jasmine  adorned support,
A little away from  the tavern,
On that turn of the Path ,
Two bodies,

( Translation from original Urdu by Avtar  Mota )

This poem was picturised in a movie CHA CHA CHA with Iqbal Qureshi rendering it to an immortal film song . Noted film Direcotor Muzaffer Ali used his another poem Aap Ki Yaad Aati Rahi Raat Bhar (Throughout the night your memory kept visiting me ) and converted the lines to a beautiful film song . Such poetry only emerges once the poet has a passionate engagement with humanity and love for joys and sorrows of life. Kudos to a group from Hyderbad consisting of Jayanthi Alam , Lakshmi DeviRaj , Mohd Zia Ud Din Ahmed and Mazhar Mehdi for forming ALAM KHUNDMIRI FOUNDATION and organizing centenary celebrations of this great son of the soil from Andhra . Individuals should similarly step in when governments fail to honour heroes . Makhdoom too died unsung. Enjoy a small poem Apna Shehr ( Our City ) by Makhdoom Mohi Ud din along with 5 fresh views of Paddy harvesting in Kashmir . The views were captured at Khrew just below the Jwala Ji Temle on 02.10.2009. This poem in blank verse is an All time relevant master piece .

Apna Shehr

Ye Shehr Apnaa Ajab Shehr hai ,
Ke raaton ko Sarak pe Chaliye Tau,
Sargoshiyaan si Kartaa hai.
Bulaa ke Zakhm Dikhaata hai ,
Raaze dil Ki Tarah .
Dareeche Bundh ,
Galii Chupp,
Nidhaal Deewarein ,
Gharon Mein Mayattein Thehri Huyee Hain Barson Se
Kiraaye Par _____ !
( Makhdoom Mohi Ud din )

Our City
This our Strange city ,
Whispers to me at night ,
When I walk on its Roads ,
Yells me to see her bleeding wounds ,
So as to Open the secrets of its Heart,
With its windows shut ,
Silent Alleys ,
Lifeless and tired walls ,
Houses with Locked doors ,
God !why have thee put corpses
in these rented houses for all these years .
( Translation from original urdu by a k mota )

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