Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi: Mein tou darya houn, samandar mein uttar jaoun ga

Posted on July 11, 2006
Filed Under People, Poetry, Urdu
12 Comments
Total Views: 20067

Share

Adil Najam

Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi died today.

I learnt of his demise from Sabahat Zakariya’s blog Silsala-e-Mah-o-Saal, which also reminded me of that very apt verse from Qasmi sahib:

KouN kehta hai kay mout aa-ayee tou marr jaouN ga
Mein tou darya houN, samandar meiN uttar jaouN ga

[Who says that I woudl die on the arrival of death
I am a river, I will just merge into the ocean]

According to The News, Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi, 89, was “the last of the literary giants.” He was born as Ahmed Shah in Anga, a place near Khushab in 1916. In 1937 he became editor of Phool: Taleem-e-Niswan, after independence he joined Radio Pakistan in Peshawar, and in 1963 he became the editor of Funoon. He was also a key leader of the taraqi-pasand (progressive) writers movement and of the majlis-e-taraqi-e-adab. Although he was a central figure he progressive movement and although his poetry is a living testament to his commitment, he did come for some criticism for being seen as close to Gen. Zia-ul-Haq during the early years of that Martial Law.

One of his memorable poems was pathar (stone), which can be heard on RealPlayer in his own voice here (the first lines reads: ‘Do not make a sculpture out of sand, my dear artist; wait for just a moment and I was get you the stone you need…’):

ret se but na banaa ai mere achchhe fan_kaar
ek lamhe ko Thahar mai.n tujhe patthar laa duu.N

mai.n tere saamane ambaar lagaa duu.N lekin
kaun se rang kaa patthar tere kaam aayegaa
surKh patthar jise dil kahatii hai bedil duniyaa
yaa vo pattharaa_ii hu_ii aa.Nkh kaa niilaa patthar
jis me.n sadiyo.n ke tahayyur ke pa.De ho.n Dore

kyaa tujhe ruuh ke patthar kii zaruurat hogii
jis pe haq baat bhii patthar kii tarah giratii hai
ik vo patthar hai jise kahate hai.n tahaziib-e-safed
us ke mar_mar me.n siyah Khuun jhalak jaataa hai
ik insaaf kaa patthar bhii to hotaa hai magar
haath me.n teshaa-e-zar ho to vo haath aataa hai

jitane mayaar hai.n is daur ke sab patthar hai.n
sher bhii raqs bhii tasviir-o-ginaa bhii patthar
mere ilhaam teraa zahan-e-rasaa bhii patthar
is zamaane me.n har fan kaa nishaa.N patthar hai
haath patthar hai.n tere merii zubaa.N patthar hai
ret se but na banaa ai mere achchhe fan_kaar

A sampling of his progressive instincts and an apt obituary are to be found in this ghazal (you can listen to it in his voice, on RealPlayer, here):

Andheri raat ko yeh moujza daikhaiN gay humm
Charagh agar na jalla, appna dil jalaiNgay humm

Agar hai mout mein kuch lutf, tou bass itna hai
Kay iss kay baad khuda ka suragh pAaiN gay h
um

We shall demonstate this miracle to the darkend night
when we can not light the lamp, we shall burn our hearts

If there is any pleasure in death, it is but this
after that (death) we shall discover the essence of god

12 Comments on “Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi: Mein tou darya houn, samandar mein uttar jaoun ga”

  1. Azam says:
    July 11th, 2006 3:31 am

    This is a major loss of Urdu literature. He was prolific and in some ways under appreciated in teh shaddow of Faiz and then of Faraz

  2. sabizak says:
    July 11th, 2006 10:00 am

    errr…..i sort of disagree with the translation of ‘Khuda ka suraagh paaen ge’ as ‘discover the essence of God’

  3. July 11th, 2006 10:03 am

    You are probably right. I had quickly put in the first thought that had come to mind just to transliterate the verse.

    suragh paana, I guess, woudl be more like ”finding a clue’ … or something else?

  4. July 11th, 2006 11:06 am

    I read “Mein to darya hoon, samander mein uttar jaoon gaa” just before leaving for a walk by the lake. I watched the water from Limmat river gracefully descend into the lake (Zurich) for over an hour. The appropriateness of those words on this day could not have been better. For a while all the activity in the world appeared meaningless – when life comes to an end, bus “naam rahey gaa Allah kaa”. Qasmi Sahib will be sorely missed.

  5. iFaqeer says:
    July 11th, 2006 1:52 pm
  6. Aijaz Baloch says:
    July 11th, 2006 6:13 pm

    It was this past Saturday that I was recalling his Jang column titled “kaNware ka nikah mansookh ho gaya” a post Zia commentary on sectarian intolerance.

  7. fara says:
    July 12th, 2006 3:10 pm

    khuda keray k mairee arzay pak pay utray
    woh fasal-e-gul jisay andashay zawal na ho

    yahan jo bhi phool khilay woh khila rahay barson
    yahan khazan ko guzarnay ki bhi majal na ho

    khuda karay k maiary ik bhi humwatan kay lia
    hayat jurm na banay zindagi wabal na ho

    a great loss of urdu litearture,alraedy we have very few true literay person and out of those fews,mostly have moved back to their eternal abode…

  8. July 16th, 2006 7:39 pm

    [...] Most of the obituaries on the Blogosphere have quoted this immortal couplet of Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi, [...]

  9. Neel says:
    July 24th, 2006 12:52 am

    Jab tera hukm mila tark muhabbat ker di
    Dil magar uss pe woh dharka k qayamat ker di

    Tuuh say kis tarha main izhaar-e-tamanna kerta
    Lafz soojha to maani nay baghawat ker di

    Main to samjha thaa k laut aatay hain jaanay waalay
    Tu nay jaa ker to judaai mairi qismat ker di

    Mujh ko dushman k iraadon pe bhi piyaar aata hai
    Teri ulfat nay muhabbat mairi aadat ker di

    (Nadeem)

  10. shafiq says:
    February 12th, 2007 8:12 pm

    ahmad nadeem was was a jewel of soon valley

  11. MALIK SHARIQ HASSAN AWAN says:
    April 23rd, 2008 12:00 am

    AHMED NADEEM QASMI was a great poet of PAKISTAN.He was a pride of SOON VALLEY.

  12. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    July 11th, 2008 7:22 am

    @Neel,

    kia kamal ki shaya’ri thi Qasmi marhoom ki,
    aur, khasusan, yeh ghazal to ‘ ghazab ‘ ki hey,
    aik aik shair, misrah, qafia aur radhif mein hamahangi,
    unki ‘khasiat’ thi.
    Unko gaeiy howay aaj 2 saal hogaey, laikin, har shai’r utna
    his ta’azah hay, jitna chaman mein hor roz aik ta’aza phool.

    Qasmi Saheb ki nazr hay:

    Sha’ir jo kehta hay, yaqeenan, wo sunta bhi hay,
    Ham jo suntay hein faqat, sehar mein gom hotay hein
    Rafay Kashmiri

Have Your Say (Bol, magar piyar say)