Open up your mind and your potential reaches infinity…


Ali Sardar Jafri was a (November 29, 1913 – August 1, 2000) was an Urduwriter, poet, critic and film lyricist from India.
“Ali Sardar Jafri was born in an aristocratic family in Balrampur, Uttar Pradesh, where he spent his formative years.
His early influences were Josh Malihabadi, lyricist Jigar Muradabadi and Firaq Gorakhpuri. In 1933, he joined Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and soon got exposed to Communist ideology, subsequently he was expelled from the University in 1936, for ‘political reasons’. Eventually he graduated from Zakir Husain College (Delhi College), Delhi University in 1938, though his post graduation studies at Lucknow University ended prematurely following his arrest during 1940-41 for writing anti-War poems, and taking part in Congress led political activities as Secretary of the university’s Students’.
Ali Sardar Jafri married Sultana in January 1948.
Ali Sardar Jafri published his first collection of short stories titled, Manzil (Destination) in 1938, which started his literary career, and his first collection of poems, Parvaz (Flight) came out in 1944. In 1936, he presided over the first conference of Progressive Writers’ Movement in Lucknow, a stature he maintain for the rest of his life. In 1939, he became co-editor of Naya Adab, a literary journal devoted to the Progressive Writers’ Movement, and the journal continued till 1949.
Ali Sardar Jafri was involved in several social, political and literary movements. On 20 January 1949, he was arrested at Bhiwandi, for holding of a (now banned) Progressive Urdu writers’ conference, despite warnings from Morarji Desai, the Chief Minister of Bombay State; three months later, he was rearrested.
His important works as a lyricist include Dharti Ke Lal (1946) and Pardesi (1957) .
He is only the third Urdu poet to receive the Jnanpith Award (1997) (after Firaq Gorakhpuri (1969) and Qurratulain Hyder (1989) ). He has also been conferred Padma Shri in 1967, Gold medal from the Pakistan Government for Iqbal studies (1978); Uttar Pradesh Urdu Academy Award for poetry, Makhdoom Award, Faiz Ahmad Faiz Award,Iqbal Samman of the Madhya Pradesh government and the Sant Dyaneshwar Award of the Maharashtra government.
The Aligarh Muslim University had conferred a D.Litt. on him in 1986, fifty years after he was expelled from the University. His writings have been translated into many Indian and foreign languages.” (Courtesy:Wickipedia)

Some of the excerpts from his poems:

Ai watan khake watan woh bhi tujhe de denge
Bach raha hai jo lahoo abke fasaddat ke baad
(O my country, my beloved land we shall be most willing to sacrifice
Whatever blood is left in us after the bloodbath of riots)
– Awadh ki khak-i-Haseen

Ghareeb Sita ke ghar pe kab tak rahegi Ravan ki hukmrani
Draupadi ka libas uske badan se kab tak chhina karega
Shakuntala kab tak andhi taqdeer ke bhanwar mein phansi rahegi
Yeh Lakhnau ki shiguftagi maqbaron mein kab tak dabi rahegi
(How long will Ravan rule over the home of poor Sita
How long will Draupadi be deprived of her garment
How long will Shakuntala be enmeshed in the abyss of fate
How long will the freshness of Lucknow remain buried under the imposing tombs?)
– Awadh ki Khak-i-Haseen

Tu mujhay itnay pyaar say mat daikh
Teri palkoN kay naram saayay maiN
Dhoop bhi chaNdni si lagti hai
Aur mujhay kitni door jaanaa hai
Rait hai garm,PaoN kay chaalay
YooN dehktay haiN,jaisay aNgaaray
Pyaar ki yeh nazar rehay na rehay
Kaun dasht-e-wafa maiN jalta hai
Teray dil ko khabar rahay na rahay
Tu mujhay itnay pyaar say mat daikh

However, my FAVOURITE remains:
phir aik din aisa aayega
aaNkho key diye bujh jaayeNgey
haathoN key kaNwal kumhlaayeNge
aur barg-e-zabaaN sey nataq-wa-sadaa
ki har titlee uRh jaayegi
ik kaaley samandar ki tah meiN
kaliyoN ki tarah sey khilti hui
phooloN ki tarah sey haNsti hui
saari shakleiN kho jaayeNgi
kHooN ki gardish, dil ki dhaRhkan
sab raaginyaaN so jaayeNgi
aur neeli fazaa ki makHmal par
haNsti hui heerey ki yeH kani
yeH meri jannat, meri zameiN
iss ki subhaiN,iss ki shaameiN
bey jaaney huey, bey samjhey huey
ik musht gHubaar-e-insaaN par
shabnam ki tarah ro jaayeNgi
har cheez bhula di jaayegi
yaadoN key haseeN but kHaaney sey
har cheez uTha di jaayegi
phir koi nahiN yeH puchhega
SARDAR kahaaN hai mahfil meiN
lekin meiN yahaaN phir aaooNga
bachchoN key dahan sey bolooNga
chiRhyoN ki zabaaN sey gaaoNga
jab beej haNseiNgey dharti meiN
aur konpleiN apni ungli sey
miTTi ki tahoN ko chheRheiNgi
meiN patti patti, kali kali
apni aaNkheiN phir kholooNga
sar sabz hatheli par ley kar
shabnam key qatrey tolooNga
meiN raNg-e-hena, aahaNg-e-gHazal
andaaz-e-sukHan ban jaaooNga
rukHsaar-e-aroos-e-nau ki tarah
har aaNchal sey chhan jaaoNga
jaaRhoN ki hawaaeiN daaman meiN
jab fasal-e-kHazaaN ko laayeNgi
rahroo key jawaaN qadmoN key taley
sookhey huey pattoN sey merey
hansney ki sadaayeiN aayeNgi
dharti ki sunhari sab nadiyaaN
aakash ki neeli sab jheeleiN
hasti sey meri bhar jaayeNgi
aur saraa zamaanaH dekhegaa
har qissaH mera afsaanaH hai
har aashiq hai sardaar yahaaN
har maashooqaH sultanaaH hai
maiN aik gurezaaN lamha hooN
ayyam key afsooN kHaaney meiN
maiN aik taRhapta qatraH hooN
masroof-e-safar jo rahta hai
maazi ki suraahi key dil sey
mustaqbil key paimaney meiN
maiN sotaa hooN aur jaagta hooN
aur jaag key phir so jaata hooN
sadyioN ka puranaa khel hooN maiN
maiN mar key amar ho jaata hooN.
Remarkable optimism…
It made my Sunday worth while.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6DHc7AJuu4&feature=related

(PS.Thank you Shahid Akhter Bhai for remindinding me through your fb wall of this great Indian poet.It used to be a treat to hear him live during the Alami Urdu Mushaira in Delhi.)

Ilmana Fasih
5 December 2010

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