barbaad tamannaa pe ataab aur zyaadaa
haanmeri mohabbat kaa javaab aur zyaadaa
roye na abhi ahal-e-nazar haal pe mere
honaa hai abhi mujh ko Kharaab aur zyada
aavaara-va-majanun hi pe maukoof nahin kuchh
milane hain abhi mujh ko khitaab aur zyaada
uthenge abhi aur bhi tufaan mere dil se
dekhunga abhi ishq ke khvaab aur zyaada
tapake ga lahu aur mere dida-e-tar se
dhadakegaa dil-e-khanaa-kharab aur zyaada
ai mutrib-e-bebaak koi aur bhi naghma
ai saaqi-e-fayyaz sharaab aur zyaada.
He is Keats of Urdu poetry.
He was a darling of Urdu poetry lovers of his age.
Ismat Chughtai recounts,” Girls college mein ladkiyan usse shaadi ke liye qura nikaalti theen”[it was a pastime among hostel girls to draw lots, to decide which girl will marry him].
He belonged to the era of progressive and revolutionary poets, leading the Progressive Writers’ Movement of Aligarh with Sahir, Josh and Ali Sardar Jafri.
“Jalaal-e-aatish o barq-e-sahaab paida kar,
ajal bhi kaanp uthe tu woh shabaab paida kar
Tu inquilab ki aamad ka intezar na kar,
jo ho sake to inquilab paida kar”
He was hopelessly romantic:
Khub pehchan lo asrar hun main
jins-e-ulfat ka talabgar hun main
ishq hi ishq hai duniya meri
fitana-e-aql se bezar hun main
chedati hai jise mizarab-e-alam
saz-e-fitarat ka wohi tar hun main
aib jo hafiz-o-khayyam mein tha
han kuch is ka bhi gunahgar hun main
zindagi kya hai gunah-e-adam
zindagi hai to gunahgar hun main
meri baton mein masihai hai
log kahate hain ki bimar hun main
ek lapakata hua shola hun main
ek chalati hui talavar hun main
And on his unsuccessful love:
Na ayaa’n hui un se, na bayaa’n hui hum se,
Bus suljhi hui aankhon mein, uljhi rahi muhabbat..
Yeh merey ishq ki majbooriyan ma’az Allah,
Tumhara raaz tumhi sey chhupa raha houn mein.
Heartbroken not just in love, but of the prevailing social conditions in those days, he took refuge in heavy drinking,
“Bahut mushkil hai duniya ka sanvarnaa,
Teri zulfon ke pech-o-kham nahin hain.”
Friend and contemporary poet Josh Malihabadi advise him to control his drinking: Majaz ghadi rakh kar piya karo’
A maverick Majaz laughed:,”Josh sahab main ghada rakh kar peeta hoon.”
Another friend, Jigar Moradabadi begged him to quit drinking like he did. Majaz’s response was:“Tum ne to ek baar chhori hai, main to kaee baar chhorr chuka huun.” (You left it just once, I have left it several times).
He died in Lucknow due to heavy drinking at the age of 44.
Josh remarked on his death: ” Majaz took 75%of his poetry to grave because of early death, otherwise he may have surpassed everyone else.”
“Ab iskey baad subah hai aur subah-e-nau Majaz,
Hum Per hai khatam Sham-e-Gariban-e-Lucknow.”
My favorite couplets of Majaz:
Is mahfil-e-kaif-o-masti me, is anjuman-e-irfaani me
Sab jaam-bakaf baithe hi rahe, hum pee bhi gaye chahlka bhi gaye.
(This gathering of fun and frolic, the erudites all around
All merely sat with the goblets, but I drank to the full).
Sab ka madawa kar daala apna madawa kar na sake
Sab ke gireban see daale apna hi girebaan bhool gaye.