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Monday, October 31, 2005

faiz on faiz

faiz on faiz

Before going on to a consideration of other poems, it would be appropriate to insert here Faiz's brief and characteristic comments on himself.

I hate to talk about myself. This is so because it is the habit of all bores.

This is so because the period between 1920 and 1930 constituted a state of carelessness, prosperity and exuberance, in which along with important national and political movements, in prose and poetry, there was an element of light heartedness, along with serious thinking and observation. Poetry was dominated by Hasrat Mohani, then Josh, Hafiz Jallendhari and Akhtar Shirani.

The early poems of Naqshe Faryadi such as Khuda Wo Waqt Na Lae Ke Sogwar Ho Tum, Merijan Ab Bhi Apna Husn Wapas Pher De Muj Ko, Tare Nagme Kahin Chandani Ke Daman Mein and some others were composed in this kind of prevailing atmosphere. In this atmosphere there was also the wonder of the beginning of love but we had just a glimpse of this period, when we reached the end of love's companionship.


In 1934 we left college and in 1935 got employment in M.A.O. College, Amritsar. It is from here that a new mental and emotional phase begins for me and for several of my contemporaries. In this period we met the late Sahibzada Mahmuduz Zafar and his wife Rashida Jehan, and the Progressive Writers Movement began, and continued with the labour movements. It seemed that several schools had opened in the garden. In this school the first lesson we learnt was that to think of separating oneself from the world is, in the first place, useless. This is so because the experiences around us necessarily affected us. The self of a human being, despite all its loves, troubles, joys and pains, is a tiny, limited and humble thing. The measure of the vastness of life is the whole universe. Thus the agony of love and the agony of time are two aspects of one experience. The beginning of this new feeling is the first poem of the second phase. Its title is: Don't ask me, my beloved, for the previous kind of love After this came the stage of 'espousing the misery of the whole world'. Then, after spending some time in the Army, journalism, and trade-unionism I (we) were in prison for four years. The two subsequent books Daste-Saba and Zindan Nama are records of jail life'. Prison life, like love, is itself a fundamental experience which opens up a new vista of thoughts and insight. The first thing is that, like the dawn of love, all the sensations are again aroused and the mistiness of the early morning and evening, the blue of the sky, the gentleness of the breeze return with the same sense of wonder. And the second thing that happens is that the time and distances of the outside world are negated; the sense of distance and nearness is obliterated in such a way that a single moment weighs on the mind like the day of judgement and sometime the occurrences of a century seem to be like the happenings of yesterday. The third thing is that in the vastness of separation, one gets more time for reading and thinking and for decorating the bride of creativity.

(Faiz did not like to talk about himself and left this account incomplete).


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