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Sunday, 5 January 2014

'ख़ुमार' बाराबंकवी

The late 19th century and early part of 20th century was the time when new political forces were gaining grounds (Socialism, Communalism, Nationalism), the new social movements were shaping up (Feminism, Race equality etc.) and new scientific developments were providing insights into hitherto unknown world (Quantum, Genetics etc.). The imperialism was crumbling; the old powers (Europe) were declining and new powers (US, USSR) were on ascendency and almost in every society middle class was growing. This was the time when modernism swept the world of art and culture. The modernist were non conformist and questioned the established ideals and believes. They opined that new rules and thinking should be formed in order to deal with the new age and old ideals were anachronistic and doesn't fit in this age of new thinking. The field of Art and literature saw many new forms of depiction and expression evolving because of the effect of modernism.
The Literature of Indian Subcontinent including Urdu literature couldn't remain untouched of this worldwide movement . A Progressive writer's movement ( तरक्की पसंद तहरीक ) started in the subcontinent. These new wave authors and poets started experimenting with the new forms of expression and started changing the set rules for e.g. poetry in any form till now had to have a set pattern of construct and should rhyme. The new age poets didn't want to confine themselves with such rules.

Because of this, 'Ghazal' the most popular form of poetic expression got impacted. Till now ghazal had been more or less considered to be a conversation with the beloved. Though Ghalib and Iqbaal changed the paradigm by giving it a philosophical perspective but still even they mostly remained in the confines of the rules. They used similes like Mai (Wine), Saki (Bartendress), Maikada (Tavern) etc. While reading them you have to be perceptive enough to find out whether they were addressing the God or talking to beloved. The progressive writers believed that the literature in any form should be have social relevance and be used in the cause of human upliftment. So Classical Ghazal which is an expression of love , jealousy, unrequited love became a socially irrelevant for of this progressive movement. It was labeled as 'Khanghi Choti ki Shayari' (the couplets of comb and tresses).

Urdu Classical Ghazal when it was most endangered got its biggest savior in form of the legendary 'Jigar' Moradabaadi. 'Jigar' was rock star of his time. His rendition of ghazals in tarranuum ( like slow singing) made the listeners go ecstatic. Here is a link to a rare video of 'Jigar' reciting his ghazal in tarranuum.

'Khumaar' Barabankwi belongs to the same school of classical ghazal poets. He kept the tradition of 'Jigar' and 'Hasrat' alive in our present age. 'Khumaar' sahab was born in 1919 in Barawankwi which is a small town in Uttar Pradesh in India. His real name was Muhammad Haider Khan. He kept a pen name (takkhalus) of 'Khumaar' which means an intoxication which is waning out. His poetry collection is called 'Aatish-e-Tar'. He wrote lyrics of couple of Hindi movie. He died in 1999

 I have never heard a better rendition of ghazal in recent time than his. Attaching a video of his recital.


इक पल में इक सदी का मज़ा हम से पूछिए 
दो दिन की ज़िंदगी का मज़ा हम से पूछिए 
की भूले हैं रफ्ता रफ्ता उन्हें मुदत्तों  में हम 
किस्तों में ख़ुदकुशी का मज़ा हम से पूछिए 
आगाज़-ए -आशिक़ी का मज़ा आप जानिये 
अंज़ाम-ए-आशिक़ी का मज़ा हम से पूछिए 
जलते दीयों में जलते घरों जैसी जौ  कहाँ 
सरकार रौशनी का मज़ा हम से पूछिए 
वो जान ही गए की हमें उनसे प्यार है 
आँखों की मुखबिरी का मज़ा हम से पूछिए 
की हसने का शौक़ हमको ही था आप की तरह 
हासिये मगर हसी का मज़ा हम से पूछिए 
हम तौबा कर के मर गए कब्र-ए -अज़ल 'खुमार'
तौहीन-ए-मैकशी का मज़ा हम से पूछिए 
'ख़ुमार' बाराबंकवी 

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