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SAHIR LUDHIANVI – A Romantic Magician of Words

SAHIR LUDHIANVI – A Romantic Magician of Words

Dr. Naresh Raj

Sahir Ludhianvi, (8 March 1921 – 25 October 1980)  I hold was not merely a romantic poet but true to his pen name he was a magician of words. He employed romanticism in a subtle manner to bring out the agony of the distressed vividly. The only son of a Jagirdar, he could have lived in affluence and luxury but his father a typical feudal lord, did not believe that women too were human beings and deserved respect like any other man. Thus Abdul Hyee (Sahir’s real name) had to choose, as a child, between his rich father and the poor but self- respecting mother. Even an ordinary child would choose his mother given the difficult choice. Sahir had a poet's sensibility. He adored his mother also made every sacrifice, like selling her jewelry to educate her son. Thus early in life Sahir was brought face to face with the realities of life and was able to feel, at first hand, the troubles and turmoil’s of the struggling humanity. He saw fellow- sufferers among the afflicted. Like them he sincerely hoped and believed that the value of sorrows which the life of common people, in poor, enslaved lndia could be converted into an earthly paradise. All around him he saw darkness, despondency and misery, he wrote;

"Na koi Jagah, na Manzil, na roshani, na suragh
Bhatak rahi hai Khalaon main Zindgi meri,
Inhi Khalaon main reh Jaunga Kahbi Kho Kar
Main janta hun mei ham nafas magar yoon hi
 Kabhi Kabhi mere dil main khyal aata hai'
(I see no light, no destination,  all my life goes round and round, in emptiness, one day to be swallowed by endless time, And yet there are moments when I hope and yearn.)
As a student of Government College, Ludhiana in 1943 he fell in love with a HINDU Girl and was expelled from the College. As he humorously put it many years later, when he was honoured by his old college:-
“Go yan kee nahin
 Yan ke nikale huay to hain"
(I don’t belong here. Yet having been expelled from here, I still can claim a relationship)
Like Adam expelled from the garden of Eden the memory and the hurt remained with the poet throughout his life.  In one of his poems he petulantly complained to his beloved:
'Tujhko Khabar Nahin magar
ek sada loh ka Barbad kar diya tere do din ke pyar ne"
(You might not be aware yet a simple soul has been ruined by your love of two days")
 But love was not only problem in his life. He had to earn for himself and his loving and beloved mother. Poverty has blasted mannerless hearts and Sahir expresses the fact in his beautiful manner:-  
"Main aur tumse tarke-mohabat ke aazoo
Diwana kar diya hai ghame rozgar ne"
"ls it convincible that I should think of forgetting you, But the sorrows of the world have driven me mad'.
He edited the famous Urdu Magazines 'ADAB-l-LATlF" and "Shakar". After the partition of the country he migrated to Lahore he edited the famous urdu bimonthly "Savera" One of the editorials criticizing the Government so infuriated the authorities that warrants for his arrest were issued. He fled to lndia, reaching Delhi were he stayed for a year. Then he moved to Bombay where the film world was waiting to be conquered by him. His mother who had been left in Pakistan was brought to lndia by his friend Parkash Pandit. Licentiousness of his sad as well as violently opposed to the established order.
He could feel the privations and humiliation a suffered by countless millions through out the world. The bitterness of his mind flowed in painful yet exquisite songs. That is why his first collection of poems bore the title "TALKHAIAN" (Bitter moods).
His poem like "TAJ MAHAL’ MADAM’' and "CHAKLEY (BROTHELS) will make the self-satisfied sit and ponder whether we are all not responsible for most of suffering in the world. The question will continue to ring in the ears of those who have a heart to feel for the unhappy and the unfortunate. One day their conscience may urge them to a tone for the sins committed by them and their forefathers. A day might dawn when the privileged and the advantage will seriously try to bring about social justice, Then and then only will Sahir's dream of a world of brotherhood and fellow feeling materialize. He hoped for an age:
Daulat ke liye jab aurat ki kismet na becha jayegi
Chahat ko na kuchla jayega,
Ghairat ko na becha jayega
Apni kali kartooton par jab ye dunia Sharmayagi
woH subah kabi to ayagi,
("When women will not be sold for a handful of silver coins.
  Nor love sacrificed at the altar of Mammon
Nor self respect be made a commodity,
 And the masters of the world will tremble over their sins
Such a morning will come, surely one day)
Sahir wanted to see faces of young and children glowing with bubbling joy. He did not recognize distinctions of caste, creed and religions. He dreamt of a world free from exploitation, aggression and arrogance. His poems like "Jagir and Chikley' 'bear ample witness to his feelings. He was disconsolate on seeing human beings enslaved in the name of race and the innocent being exploited by the self-acclaimed patriots. ln his composition "JASHNE GHALIB" he lambasts the so called lovers of pottery in ' the following manner:-
'Yeh jashan, Yeh hangame, dilchasp khitone hain Kuchh logon ki koshish kai kuchh log bahe  jayen.
"The commemoration of poet is nothing but source of entertainment Arranged  by the cunning to distract the bored."
 Sahir's humanity is not confined to the nation's borders only. He suffers with the Africans, the Hispanics as well as with the Vietnamese opposed to the high handedness of the mighty. He believed in the freedom of all, big and small.
 On the Republic day, he asks the rulers of the country.
"Ayo ke aaj ghaur kare iss sawaal pr
 Dekhna tha hamne hasin khwab kya huya,
Daulat badhi to mulk main aflas kyon badha,
 Kushhaliye awam ke asbab kya huye,
Har kucha sholasar hai,
har shahar katalgah
Yak-jah tiye hayaat kai aadab kya huye
(Let us sit and think calmly about the fate of our dream,
why is it that the country progresses,
 yet the poor gain not a bit?
What about the facilities for the common folk?
For I find out streets burning and cities flow with human blood
ls this the fraternity and civilisation we so much boast of?)
 Sahir was aware of the sins of masters of the  world and with pen he too was fighting in the fron t ranks of those who stood for human dignity. As long as the spark of freedom glows in the human breast Sahir will live in peoples memories.

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