A strong command over poetry

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Amjad Parvez

Dedicated to his parents, Safi Hassan’s fifth poetry book Jinhain Paanion Ki Talaash Thi has been published by Misaal Publishers from Faisalabad with a beautiful title cover and using fine quality paper.

The book comprises 265 poems and ghazals in Urdu language. Having crossed seven decades of his life, Safi Hassan is equally proficient in both formats of poetry. This reviewer agrees with Dr Khursheed Rizvi that the difference lay in the contents of his nazms and ghazals; in nazm, Hassan looks at the world and the alterations it offers with each era passing and in ghazal he looks at the internal turmoil of human being. Still he is content with the course of his life, which the Almighty has set for him. It can be noticed in his poem “Main Ab Bhi Khush Hun” – Page 276. If his dreams and cries were listened to, he was happy and now when his evenings witness retreat in his thoughts, he is still content.

After reading Safi’s poetry one impression is created that he has made his readers aware of his command on both his language/expression and contents. A satire to his nation is seen in his couplet ‘Yei Iftikhar Meri Qaum Ka Hei Jin Kei Safi/Zameen Pei Kum Hain Hawa Main Mehel Zayada Hain’ – Page 150 (It is the pride of our nation that it makes more castles in the air rather than being realistic). When it was observed that Safi looked more at internal ups and downs in a human being, it was said due to his couplets such as ‘Aaj Kaya Baat Kei Woh Pehli Si Chahat Sei Mila/Shayed Is Baar Gham-e-Sood-o-Ziyan Kutch Kum Hei’ – Page 161) (It is amazing that my beloved met me with the same warmth as before. Perhaps the extent of his losses and gains are less now).

Safi has spent a long time residing abroad. His stay in UK has been instrumental in broadening his horizons. His canvass therefore spreads beyond local problems to the international arena. His Ghazal on Page 209 is a lament on the cultural degradation, east copying west, perhaps. He says ‘Sab Nachte Hain Ab Uryanion Ki Lei Par/Tehzeeb Kho Gai Hei, Taqreeb Kei Safar Main’ (Everybody dances to the beat of nudity under disguise of holding functions). Perhaps he has seen some of the marriage functions in Pakistan that over-emulate the West.

Safi has been kind to his old friends like Akbar Hyderabadi and says a Ghazal for him, the Matla’a of which is ‘Aane Waalon Sei Agar Bazm Sajji Rehti Hei/Jaane Waalon Ki Magar Phir Bhi Kami Rehti Hei’ – Page 320 (If the gatherings are ornamented by the invitees, still the absence of those not present there is felt badly). Akbar Hyderabadi was a popular senior poet of UK, now no more.

Being a metallurgical engineer, Safi deals with scientific issues in artistic manner. In the poem ‘Nuqta Aur Purkaar’ (Dot and Compass), he says both the dot and compass are not in conflict with each other. Since when a circle has separated from the center, he argues. Fire and water, sunshine and shade have lived together since the creation of life on the earth. Since when all the trees grown on the same soil and water and flowers and buds in love with each other were enemies! War, he concludes is due to weakness of minds ending up in the destruction of thinking and beliefs.The eras of love that created all the particles and conquered all of us, if broken, then the blind fire and storms can destroy all the happy scenes. So the thoughts and thinking’s Tsunami is beyond its orbit. All the suns, moons and stars are lost in its feet. If it offers justice, there is light everywhere and the world is in peace. This poem is an excellent depiction of Safi’s philosophy and expression.

Nusrat Siddiqui, the publisher of the book, states that Hassan’s treatment is his own. His poetry is a mirror of his year over year practice of writing quality poetry. His ghazal is balanced with a unique approach. His diction is attached with the poetics of the past but with his sensitivity and emotions, he makes it fresh. Hassan says “Main Nei Jo Orha Hua Hei Parehen Mitti Ka Hei/Main Tau Mitti Ka Nahi Mera Badan Mitti Ka Hei” – Page 356. Another beautiful couplet from the same ghazal is “Ankh Main Saaton Samunder, Zehen Main Sochon Ki Aag/Phir Bhi Khandan Hun Keh Yei Diwanapan Mitti Ka Hei”.

Jinhain Paanion Ki Talaash Thi
By Dr Safi Hassan
Misaal Publishers, Faisalabad;
Pp 530; Rs 700

Amjad Parvez , “A strong command over poetry,” in Daily Times, July 15, 2015. Accessed on July 16, 2015, at: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/entertainment/15-Jul-2015/a-strong-command-over-poetry

The item above written by Amjad Parvez and published in Daily Times on July 15, 2015, is catalogued here in full by Faiz-e-Zabaan for non-profit educational purpose only. Faiz-e-Zabaan neither claims the ownership nor the authorship of this item. The link to the original source accessed on July 16, 2015, is available here. Faiz-e-Zabaan is not responsible for the content of the external websites.

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