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The Poetry of Dilawar Figar

Posted on May 30, 2008
Filed Under >Shahran Asim, ATP Mushaira, Humor, Poetry, Urdu
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Shahran Asim

As part of my effort to introduce humorous poets of Pakistan on this blog (here and here) I am bringing a post on Dilawar Figar today.

My personal recollections of Dilawar Figar was in 1996 when he was invited along with other noted personalities in a Roo-Baroo program. He recited his very interesting poetry which is a combination of Marsiya and Sehra and I believe that was really a masterpiece. I have still not been able to find something on it and this is the reason why I have not been able to finish the blog. But anyway, here is the blog on him.

Dilawar Figar (b. 1928 – d. 1998) was a noted humorist, poet and scholar of the Indian subcontinent.

He is known as Shehansha-e-Zarafat and Akbar-e-Sani for his satirical and rich humor writings. Dilawar Figar, without any doubt was one of the most illustrious poets of our generation. He first came into prominence with his ‘hair-e-Azam’, which received great acclaim in Delhi. This poem as mentioned in the preface, first helped Dilawar secure a place in the genre of poetry in which we find him today

Dilawar Figar was born on July 1928 in an illuminated family of Badaun, UP India.

He got his early education from his town, and later joined Agra University where he got M.A. (Urdu). He also did M.A. (English) and M.A. (Economics). He associated with academia and teachings. After partition of India, he migrated to Pakistan and settled in Karachi where he joined Abdullah Haroon College and taught Urdu. He also worked for KDA and remained Assistant Director Town Planning. He died on January 1998 in Karachi.

Both critical and full of humor, his brand of poetry is a rare commodity. Well versed with the economic and social trends of our country he has used humor in his poems to express criticism in matters of specific and general interest. He was such a natural in the field that his poems encompassed not only the political and social elements but he also managed to find a humorous side in almost every aspect of life. From ‘Shereen – Farhad’ to searching for love on the computer, his subjects both general and specific, old and contemporary, Dilawar’s brand of poetry appeals to both young and old.

It also goes to his credit that Dilawar has been consistent in tastefully selecting and arranging his words to project his opinions in a most effective and humorous manner. Through this book- ‘Kulyaat- E -Dilawar Figar’, Dilawar has left behind a legacy that will continue to enliven our lives and through its universal appeal might just help resurrect Urdu poetry in the younger generation.

Figar started writing in 1942 at the age of fourteen. And soon got the company of noted masters, viz. Maulvi Jam Nawai Badayuni, Maulana Jami Badayuni. His literary work contains Ghazal, humor, and translation.

* Haadisay (collections of Ghazals)
* Sitam Zarifiañ (collections of humor poetry)
* Shamat-e-Aamaal (collections of humor poetry)
* Adaab Arz (collections of humor poetry)
* Assar-e-Nau (collections of humor)
* Unglian Figar Apni (collections of humor poetry)
* Matla Arz Hai (collections of humor poetry)
* Century (collections of humor poetry)
* Khuda Jhoot Na Bulwa’ay (collections of humor poetry)
* Chiragh-e-Khandañ (collections of humor poetry)
* Aaina-e-Raghib (125 rubaiyaat of Raghib Muradabadi)
* Khushbu Ka Safar (translation of selected English and American poetry)
* Khoob tar Kahan (translation of ‘Why Not the Best’ – biography of Jimmy Carter)
* Aabshar-e-Noor (poetic explanation of Sura Fatiha)
* Sila-e-Shaheed Kia hai (poetic biography of recipients of Nishan-e-Haider martyrs)
* Fi Sabeel Lillah (collections of humor poetry)
* Kaha Suna Maaf Karna (collections of humor poetry)

Links:

(1) AUDIO: Dilawar Figar’s Poetry Collection at UrduLife.com
(2) Rauf Pareekh’s Dawn article on Dilawar Figar
(3) A Video Link of Dilawar Figar Poetry

9 Comments on “The Poetry of Dilawar Figar”

  1. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    May 24th, 2008 2:58 pm

    @Sharan Asim,

    Brilliant thread on a brilliant poet of tanz-o-Mizah
    I remember him very much in many many mushairahs
    in Karachi mid 60s early 70, that was the time when we
    had the cream of the cream poets of Karachi in all the
    Mushairah often presided by Josh, others were
    Ahsaan Danish,
    Rais Amrohavi,
    Jaon Elia,
    Al-e-Raza,
    Hashim Raza
    Shan-ul-Haq Haqqi,
    Mehshar Badayuni
    Behzaad Lukhnawi
    Sirajuddin Zaffer
    Hafiz Hoshairpuri
    Hafiz Jalandhri (when ever he was in Karachi)
    Jamil-uddin Aali
    Saleem Ahmed (also famous Dramatist)
    Qamar Jalalwi
    Khumar Barabankwi
    Tabish Dehlevi
    Dilawar Figar
    Firaq Gorakhpuri ( !)
    Tasleem Fazili
    and others,
    what a nostalgia !!

  2. Mustafa says:
    May 31st, 2008 10:55 am

    This is awesome! Even though unfortunately I had to leave my country at a very young age, in search of better opportunities, I can relate to these poets and this kind of poetry….

    I hope we can find ways to preserve this part of our culture and support these poets… not sure if such artists are able to make ends meet in the current economic conditions….

  3. Manzoor says:
    May 31st, 2008 12:10 pm

    Good, it reminds me Figar’s Mosiqi say Illaj,which he wrote in 90s, when Pir Kaki Tar, claimed to heal ailments through music. I think it was one of his best poems, alongwith Shair Azam and another poem on the Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan’s famous Hookah.

  4. Daktar says:
    May 31st, 2008 6:26 pm

    Dilawar Figar was the first of a series of amazing humorous poets that Pakistan has produced.

    Sometimes I wonder why we keep producing such good humorous poets despite all the sadness in society. Maybe it is because of that sadness that we are able to produce them?

  5. shahran asim says:
    May 31st, 2008 8:03 pm

    @ Manzoor :

    Here is the link for the famous Mauseeqi seh Illaj poem

    http://www.bhatkallys.com/audio/Dilawar/Mousiqi_Say_Ilaj.rm

    Enjoy !

  6. Owais Mughal says:
    May 31st, 2008 8:47 pm

    Shahran
    Thanks for finding the audio link to his poem ‘mauseeqi se ilaaj’. Great poem.

  7. Manzoor says:
    June 1st, 2008 5:17 am

    Shahran
    Thanks for the link.

  8. Aslam says:
    June 1st, 2008 9:13 pm

    must say I have always liked Dilawar Figar’s style of reading poetry even more than his poetry :-)

  9. Ali Dada says:
    January 12th, 2011 7:52 am

    I don’t what is it about him but whenever I see him, I think about gulab jamun – maybe it is his double chin…tenderized in sheera.

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