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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

munir niazi - abdul hafeez

An innovator throughout

Ek Musalsal (hc)

By Munir Niazi

Publisher: Multi Media Affairs

Price: Rs 100. Pg: 64

By Abdul Hafeez

The poet needs no introduction. The book under view is his latest collection of poetry despite the fact that he had published all his poems a few years back. With the publication of 'Ek Musalsal', Munir Niazi has once again proved that he is still a force to reckon with and even at the age of 76, has a lot to deliver.

Munir's poetry is replete with unique human experiences. No one can deny that he is a poet with a difference. He does not believe in any specific school of thought or philosophy, rather his poetry always gives a new philosophy to the reader. The most important thing is that he never tries to philosophise his views but compels the reader to explore the philosophy in his writings.

The book comprises Munir Niazi's magnificent ghazals and free verses. Munir has used his favourite symbols, 'phool, suraj, chand, sitaray' quite skillfully. He depicts socio-political and socio-cultural phenomenon in his own way.

There are many factors which differentiate Munir Niazi from other poets. His experiences are only his experiences. Another feature of Munir Niazi's poetry is that it cannot be perceived within the framework of any particular school of criticism. Great literature always gives rise to new dimensions of criticism and Munir's poetry does just that.

Azhar Ghauri in his preface to the book, has described Munir Niazi as the Buddha of Urdu literature, as he is always engaged in meditation. An apt observation, as one can explore layers of mysticism in Munir's poetry. This also makes the reader reach the conclusion that Munir Niazi's poetry is multi-dimensional and opens new chapters of human experiences. Mystery, fear and astonishment are the hallmark of Niazi's poetry. He has quite successfully maintained his unique trait in 'Ek Musalsal'. He depicts everything in a novel way. Spectre of bitter and sweet realities always haunts his mind. He depicts nature in an excellent manner but then all of a sudden, he terrifies the reader apprising him that whatever there is around him, is all haunted. Look at his short poem 'Mahiya'.

"Ghaat par hawa chal
rahi hai
kikaron key phool
mehak rahen hain
akaili sham asaib ki
tarah lag rahi hai."

He again portrays fear in his another short poem

"Shahar key Makan Apney dar sey jurrey
hoay hain
Ik dooje key saath"

Munir Naizi as usual demonstrates his artistic skills in his ghazals.

Romanticism is an attribute of Munir Niazi but he seems to be different than others on this count as well. His romanticism does not end in despair and frustration, rather he generates rays of optimism. Just when he appears to be depressed and dejected, he rekindles the flame of hope. He is used to discovering new images in his poetry. His power of imagination stuns the reader when he says:

"Khayal jis ka tha
mujhey, khayal mein mila mujhey
Sawal ka jawab bhi
sawal mein mila mujhey."

Some critics are of the view that Munir Niazi is an egoist. In addition to this, one finds layers of narcissism in his poetry. This is absolutely true. Munir Niazi's poetry has always exhibited these special traits, which cannot be described as a negative, as these ingredients of his poetry distinguish him from his contemporaries. After all, he is a great innovator and because of this, he has acquired a unique position in the history of Urdu poetry.

A section of critics are of the opinion that Munir Niazi despite being a distinguished poet, is always oblivious of objective realities. They allege that he deliberately ignores the misery experienced by human beings due to the prevalent system of exploitation. Is it correct to establish the opinion that Munir Niazi's poetry is entirely subjective? The answer is 'no'. Layers of objectivity can be found in his poetry. It is illogical to say that the experience of an individual is not linked to the objective conditions he is surrounded by. However, every poet has his own style. Whether he expresses himself candidly or puts forwards his views between the lines is his prerogative.

Munir Niazi is not at all a self centred poet and the fact is that a true poet always believes in human values. Just look at his poem 'Bura waqt hai ham pay':

"Din chatial maidan,
shamain hain sunsaan,
shab be ronaq khwab, ik
tareek nishan,
dil key sab arman,
pheekey aur be jaan,
ghar hain be-pehchan, khali aur weeran,
chup hain aur anjaan, hakim aur darban"

Who can proclaim that Munir Niazi's poetry is devoid of objective realities and the poet lays emphasis only on subjectivity?

"Ek Musalsal" by all accounts is the continuation of Munir Niazi's novel poetic work and unique style. He has yet again created a stir in the literary circles who were eagerly awaiting his new book. And as expected, he has not disappointed his fans. 'Ek Musalsal' is another feather in his cap.


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