occasionally | Ashok Vajpayee: Ghalib created the theme of his poetry from Ghar, Aag, Tamashe, Gamhesti, Naummidi, Tamana, Biyaban and Uriani. The manner in which Digambartha, i.e. Uriani, is treated here is quite different from the concept of Western nudity.
I cannot unduly complain that I did not get the company of many writers, for I got plenty, though the happy reason for it was that so much of the public life I lived was to make such company compulsory. E.
I have been in constant conversation with writers of many generations, and perhaps some of them have joined my discussions unwillingly many times. However, this association enriched me a lot, no doubt, not only on a literary level, but also on a human level. If such a company had not been found, then perhaps life would have been half-hearted and miserable, almost meaningless. That is why I have a deep appreciation for this long-standing association.
But on the other hand, it’s also true that I wasn’t able to have regular contact with many of my peers as I felt it was necessary and I do. Naresh Saxena himself is a very social person, so we often talk to him on the phone. Vinod Kumar Shukla’s nature is to talk less and listen mostly. He rarely writes letters. So we meet him, but not together. He doesn’t even want to bother on the phone because in his practical life, apart from literature, only “disinterest” is important.
Rituraj stayed a bit away from my public activism and there was never any special communication with him. His ideological loyalty is also probably strict, to himself and to me. Here two magazines Katadesh and Antika published special issues on my two peers Vinod Kumar Shukla and Rituraj respectively. In this excuse there was an opportunity to write and think about both of them.
There is also an element of reminiscence in Vinod ji’s writing. Part of it is as follows:
“… Vinod ji is a poet with an indomitable attachment to the world of home-neighborhood in his poems and prose at every level: a poet-home who wants to see his home even from Mars. Here the universe is only included in their home-neighborhood: they want to include river-mountain-nature-universe, etc. in their home-neighbourhood: they are only able to see and understand by being involved. There is some kind of integration between his poetry and humanity. They don’t just say that “the mind lives/lives before it becomes a leaf somewhere in this world full of here and there and beticans/sojourn in the earth at this time”. They are simultaneous inhabitants of their neighborhood and the country, like all of us, but in poetry it has not been set up like this before.’
While writing about Rituraj’s poetry, I said:
“…the proof of the truth in the poem is the locality set in it. Many times, in many Hindi poems, it seems that instead of a solid locale, some general locale is being dealt with. In contrast, there is no place for Rituraj here. In one poem he says, “There is a home in leaving room / but there is no place.” His poetry, similarly, is a home, not a place. But this place is not identified only by geography or region – the human presence is essential to it. Geography or nature is not the concern of Rituraj, who is humanly dispassionate. In other words, geography is also a zone of humanity here.
The third world apart from the two worlds
Several universities, all private, in relation and dialogue between Iran and India, had the audacity to say something about the third world created by writing two worlds of Ghalib’s Urdu poetry, Urdu and Persian. For them, India was a concrete-material-inevitable realm, and Persia a land of fantasy. His images, many philosophical and literary ideas, symbols and narratives came from the Persian language, but they were molded into forms of his deep Indian nature.
I have previously quoted many of his ashras in which the first line is wholly or mainly in Farsi and the second in Urdu. Four-fifths of his total works are written in Farsi. It is also said that his real ambition was to be recognized as a great poet in the Persian language and he did not attach much importance to Urdu poetry. But on the other hand, it is true that he also believed in the power of Urdu over Persian. Check out one of his lions:
He who says, he Recht: Because be Rashk-e-Farsi
After reading Gustah-e-Ghalib once, he heard that
His famous sher is also:
Jame-har-zara, hai sarshare tamanna me
Whose heart am I, that I have been attached to two worlds
Call it Ghalib’s self-confidence or a kind of hubris that he has a keen sense of his near-impossibility. He called himself “Chief Andali Be-Gulshane-Naafrida Hun” and even went on to say that,
Neither Satish’s desire nor concern for sewing
If it is not accepted in my Asr, it is not right
was also added
Realize the magic of baldness
Ghalib’s words that bring tears to my eyes
The vivid architecture of despair that Ghalib created in his poetry, which is his most valuable contribution to the Indian poetic tradition, was born out of acute restlessness and deep self-criticism. Its unique design is the three Ashras:
like a candle that someone blows out
And I am among the burnt, I am a stain of hatred
I am neither Gul-e-Nagma nor Pardah-e-Saz
I am the voice of my defeat
That’s it, Ghalib, there is fire in Assyria too.
Moo-e-atash deedh, hai hulk: to Miri Zanjeer
Ghalib created the theme of his poetry from Ghar, Aag, Tamashe, Gamhesti, Naummidi, Tamana, Biyaban and Uriani. The manner in which Digambartha, i.e. Uriani, is treated here is quite different from the concept of Western nudity. He has a lion:
“Assad” is an elaborate cover-up
If you cover, then cover your eyes, we are pictures.
Can we call Ghalib’s poetry, in a way, Shikre Uriyaan?
(The author is a senior writer.)
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Categories: India, Thoughts, Special