Breakfast Conversation over Faiz Ahmed Faiz's Verses
In the celestial assembly of stars, Faiz Ahmed Faiz shines bright. The pull of his verses is so strong that they are sung with equal passion even today in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. The narrow boundaries blur and even the nationalists in strict sense seem to deviate in Faiz's orbit. The breakfast conversation on Faiz Ahmed Faiz by renowned Scientist, Social Activist, Documentary Film Maker Gauhar Raza at Cafe De Art Restaurant, Connaught Place, New Delhi on 7th January, was a perfect way to indulge on a wet chilly Saturday morning.
The first impression of Cafe de Art is of an art gallery as its wall adorns many paintings, portraits, sketches, canvas. It has a delightful ambience and a food menu to compliment it. The keema samosas, tuna sandwiches and amazing range of dessert are worth trying. A wonderful place of food and art amalgamation.Raza Sahab's rich baritone had all the attention of the audience since start. He spoke highly of Faiz Sahab who despite being an Urdu poet has an equal following among Hindi, Punjabi speaking people. Though a poet so rich in his wealth of verses, he was a bad orator owing to his heavy Punjabi accent. A Communist in life and death, remains popular among all groups and looked upon poetry largely as a medium of change. Even the fundamentalists had a softer approach towards him largely attributed to his magnificent poetry.There appears to be little or no distinction in his love and revolutionary poetry. He was so committed to the idea of freedom that he followed it zealously throughout his life even compromising his family life. He was jailed many times during his lifetime. His poem Hum Dekhenge stands out owing to its rich structure and the message it conveys.
Lazim hai ki hum bhi dekhenge
Wo din ki jiska Wada hai
Jo Lauh-e-azal mein likha hai
Jab Zulm-o-sitam ke koh-e-Garan
Rooi ki tarah ur jaenge
Hum mehkoomon ke paaon tale
Ye Dharti Dhar Dhar dharkegi
Aur ahl-e-hakam ke star oopar
Jab bijli kar kar karkegi
And we oppressed ,Beneath our feet will have
This earth shiver, shake and beat
And heads of rulers will be struck
With crackling lightening and thunder roars
Faiz Sahab has to be looked upon as a subversive poet who adapted new values using old traditional imageries flawlessly. He pins hopes despite being distraught by prevalent unfair practices. He was a wonderful craftsmen bringing about the real beauty of Urdu poetry.
Another powerful poem speaks of the elegance in his verses.
Bol, ke lab Azaad hai tere Speak for your lips are free
Bol, zabaan ab tak Teri hai Speak, your voice is still yours
Tera sutwan jism hai Tera Your upright body is yours
Bol ke jaan ab tak Teri hai Speak, your life is still yours
His expressions were so powerful that tyrants were afraid and didn't allow Iqbal Bano, the famous Pakistani singer to sing Inqalab Zindabad. They looked it in light of being anti nationalistic. Mind invariably goes to the dark period when his poetry had the power of terrifying staunch fascists.Though he was member of Progressive Writers Association who were atheists but Faiz Sahab uses words like Dua, khuda with equal ease, like
Aiye Haath Uthayeen hum bhi Let us raise our hands in prayer
Hum, jinhe Rasme dua yaad nahi We who remember not the tradition of prayer
Hum, jinhe soze Mohabbat ke Siva We who expect the pain of love
Koi but, koi khuda yaad nahi Remember not any idol,any god
The audience listened in rapt attention and even applauded inviting more couplets to be recited. Another beautiful love couplet by Faiz is,
Na Gul Khile hain, na unse mile hain, na mai pe hai
Ajeeb rang mein ab ke bahaar guzri hai
Chaman pe gharat-e-gulchin se Jane Kya
Qafas se aaj Saba beqarar guzri hai
The sheer beauty of Urdu language is in abundance in his poetry. In Faiz Saheb's verses all of us can experience 'Hum ahl-e-Safa mardood-e-haram , Masnad pe bithaye Jayenge aur bus naam rahega allah ka.......