kisi ne mulk, kisi ne mushaaira loota

Posted on February 10, 2010
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Humor, Poetry, Urdu
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Owais Mughal

aa gayee! chaa gayee ! (came, saw and conquered). I recently came across poet Khalid Irfan‘s latest book titled ‘No Problem’ and thought of Julius Ceaser’s veni, vidi, vici phrase. There are very few books that I have finished in one sitting and No Problem comes very close to it. I read it 75% in first sitting and then I had to go somewhere, otherwise it was too captivating to put down. Khalid Irfan is a Pakistani Origin poet living in New York. Many people say that he is considered as the successor of Dilawar Figar when it comes to humorous Urdu poetry. While that may be true, I think he has carried on his own individual style too.

His poetry not only makes you smile but it also stings you, pokes you and makes you stop and think the deeper meanings. Khalid‘s poetry is also very thoughtful and describes the plight of ‘desi’ families who come to the west and struggle to balance between their past values and the ones which belong to their new adopted home. Khalid, despite living outside Pakistan, keeps a keen eye on happenings there. Small but interesting news items like a ‘donkey wandering into a Islamabad building’ or a ‘robbery at a Karachi mushaaera‘ captures his imagination and he has said beautiful poems on them.

I read through the preface of the book and some where in there Khalid calls himself a serious poet and not a humorous one. In his own words he says that he never writes poetry to make people smile. He simply writes poetry the way it naturally comes to him. His style and choice of words do make people smile, and that too very contagiously.

Following is another of my favorite works by him. Look at how beautfilly he has used the name of ‘Mianwali‘ city as a double edged sword here.

Since Eid-ul-Azha was just here, I wanted to share his following verses on ‘hilal-e-eid’.

Following are two more of his works which I think will speak for themselves. I will let you enjoy them. First one is a satire on a large number of national holidays and second is a commentary on Y2K.

As I wrote above, his poetry not only makes you smile but it also stings you, pokes you and makes you stop and think the deeper meanings. When I was reading his book, I reached following ‘sher’ and I was shocked for many seconds. I had to put down the book and think about this ‘sher’. I think it is a bit provocative but those who have seen the violent scenes in Karachi’s turbulent 90s can easily relate to it. The sher goes like this:

hai kisi tifl-e-mohajir ki tarah sehma hoa
Khalid-e-Irfan ki shadi ka chohaara dekhna

After reading this ‘sher’ I checked the date on it. Khalid wrote it first in 1994. One really needs to have lived through those years and those times in Southern Pakistan and this ‘sher’ comes very close to home.

A short video link to his recitation on PTV is given below

And, finally, here is kalam-i-shayer-bazabaan-i-shayer:

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Khalid Irfan’s website here

16 Comments on “kisi ne mulk, kisi ne mushaaira loota

  1. Qausain Ali says:
    December 12th, 2008 9:36 am

    Wah! kiaa baat hay.
    lot lia mushaira Khalid Irfan nay.

  2. Anwar says:
    December 12th, 2008 10:08 am

    Enjoyed.. thanks.

  3. DuFFeR says:
    December 12th, 2008 10:19 am

    wow wonderful post :D :D :D

  4. Riaz Haq says:
    December 12th, 2008 11:10 am

    For light-hearted poetry, let me suggest Popular Meeruthi from India:

    yad anay lagey chacha ghalib
    ya ilahi yeh majraa kiya hai
    taarta HuuN her aik ladki ko
    warna ankhon kaa faida kiya hai
    Popular Meeruthi

    Video at:

  5. February 27th, 2009 12:15 pm

    Really Enjoyed your article Mr Owais Mughal

  6. ahsan says:
    January 2nd, 2010 9:31 am

    ur poetru really god keep it up

  7. mm says:
    February 10th, 2010 11:02 am

    Where can I get a copy of Khalid’s book? (I am in New York).

  8. Nihari says:
    February 10th, 2010 2:29 pm

    heard him livee last year in Virgina…he was pretty good. still remember one shair

    Beer ho kisi bhi brand ki
    chicken tikka mujhay halal chahiyay

  9. Sajjad Junaidi says:
    February 10th, 2010 5:11 pm

    Nihari, that sheer goes like this
    Dawat tumhari qabool hameiN, bus itna khayal rakhna
    Beer kisi bhi brand ki ho, chicken fried halal rakhna

  10. Sajjad Junaidi says:
    February 10th, 2010 5:30 pm

    Correction. Above sheer is bit different than what I wrote. Why not check it out on his website. Owais has provided the link to his website.
    Thanks Owais for providing us Pakistani Australians much needed entertainment after the trashing we received in all formats of cricket in the hands of Aussies. At work they don’t let go any opportunity to bring it up. Specially the Afridi incident.

  11. takhalus says:
    February 10th, 2010 6:05 pm

    what with poetry why no mention of the death of Ajmal Khattak?

  12. Jabbar says:
    February 10th, 2010 10:49 pm

    Nice work. Nothing earth-shattering, but interesting.

  13. Owais Mughal says:
    February 11th, 2010 1:30 am

    A video link and a link to Khalid Irfan’s website added to the post – towards the end.

    courtesy of Shahran Asim.

  14. Hira Mir says:
    February 11th, 2010 6:43 am

    Loota?? Let me rephrase that!! Still looting. U.S. is the largest donor to Pakistan! It gives Pakistan hefty amounts of grants but there is no check and balance system that the nation can know if those grants are utlised properly.

  15. February 11th, 2010 6:48 am

    OMG!!! I love this lolz. Such a true saying about Pakistan!! On this heading let me say that indeed our country is robbed at times due to the lack of transparency. There days enormous amount of money is being poured into the war on terror but god knows where those grants are going because one thing I know that there is no development being witnessed by the afectees.

  16. coolest gadgets says:
    October 1st, 2010 3:16 am

    Khalid Irfan’s poetry is seriously a readworthy one, he criticize all the factors in fun way which is incredible .. bless you and thanks for sharing such kool stuff :)

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