ATP Faiz Mela: Pakistaniat Kay Naam

Posted on February 13, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, About ATP, ATP Mushaira, People, Poetry, Urdu
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Adil Najam

Today is Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s birthday.

It is always amazing that no matter what the issue, Faiz always has something to say that is not only relevant but revalationary (often it is also revolutionary).

Something that helps us express what we really feel but are unable to articulate. Something that helps us explain what we could not understand. Something that forces us to confront what we would much rather ignore. Something that rises above our fears and speaks to our hopes.

What, then, can one say about Faiz and Pakistaniat that Faiz Sahib has not said himself:

Nisar mein teri galiyoun pay aye watan kay jahaN
Chali hai rasm kay koee na sar uTha kay chalay
Jo koee chahnay waala tawaaf ko niklay
Nazar jhuka kay chalay, jism o jaaN bacha kay chalay

As always, I can offer no better tribute to Faiz Sahib than his very own words. So, here is my very own Faiz Mela for you. A selection of poetry from Faiz that has and continues to inspire me. Poetry that assumes new meaning every time I hear it. Poetry that speaks directly to the state of my existence, to the nuances of my aspirations, and to the core of my convictions.
First, these three poems, presented here in Faiz’s own voice, each of which is as much a credo for this blog as hum daikhain gay:

Nisar mein teri galiyoun pay…
[audio: 06.mp3]

Aaj baazar mein pa-bajoulaN chalo…
[audio: 14.mp3]

[audio: 05.mp3]

A fourth poem that I would have added to this list is Intisaab. It has been most beautifully sung by Nayarra Noor, and I recently stumbled on this wonderful video based on part of that poem (I wish it had used the entire poem):

Intesaab — Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Along with Nayarra Noor, Tina Sani is someone who sings Faiz with a heartfelt passion and understanding; both, of course, are at their best when singing Faiz nazms composed by Arshad Mahmood. There are many Tina Sani renditions that are worth celebrating, but here is a relatively new one – on the poem mairay dil mairay musafir – which like everything above seems to speak personally to me (and to so many others). For those of us who are living in diyar-i-ghair, this is a particularly pertinent poem which is sung particularly well:

Of course, no Faiz Mela can conclude without Iqbal Bano singing Hum Daikhain Gay. Long-time readers of this blog know that ATP and its notion of Pakistaniat (also here) is inspired by Faiz and by this particular tarana of Pakistaniat. Our very first post was based on my own amatuerish effort to visualize that vision, and probably no one except Jinnah has been quoted more often at ATP than Faiz Ahmad Faiz. I have posted it a number of times since then. Let me please do so again. This time, not as much for my visualization as for Iqbal Bano’s wonderful rendition.

Yes, Lazim Hai Kay Hum Bhi Daikhain Gay:

Pakistan: Adil Najam’s Pakistan

25 responses to “ATP Faiz Mela: Pakistaniat Kay Naam”

  1. izaz haque says:

    The Nayyara Noor video was very moving. In the euphoria surrounding the recent economic boom, the lot of the common man is often ignored. However, these scenes still abound in todays Pakistan. Personally, having recently visited there, I cannot imagine how the average family manages to pull along given high prices and abundance of ostentatious spending.

  2. Moeen Bhatti says:

    Adil: Thanks for reminding this day!

  3. RAI.T.U.KHAN says:

    One of the great name in the urdu poetry.may ALLAH bless him.

  4. iFaqeer says:

    Wonderful tribute.! Faiz was most probably the greatest South Asian (not just Pakistan) poet since Iqbal.

    However, I would like to take a little bit of exception to the following statement:

    “It is always amazing that no matter what the issue, Faiz always has something to say that is not only relevant but revalationary (often it is also revolutionary).”

    That is what all great poetry, nay literature, is supposed to do. In this day and age, when we insist on understanding each piece of literature–even even religious texts–as if they have only exactly one clinical meaning that can only be understood in exactly one way, it startles us to discover otherwise. And I dare say this has a lot to do with the influence of the global culture we are a part of. And it is sad. For we lose a very important wellspring of culture and intellectual grounding and intellectual growth (even as people of faith, not just as intellectual beings) when we ignore and refuse to absorb the universal (“afaaqi”) and transcendent lessons and thoughts to be found in our own history and culture. Faiz was not just a progressive thinker that we need to listen to–and he was most definitely that–butu s the late Jehangir Hamdani here in the Bay Area Faiz was a link in a chain that identifies the poetic peak of our intellectual culture. A chain that runs back from Faiz who was born before Iqbal passed on, who was born before Ghalib passed on, who was born before …and so on back to Mir, Sauda, and Wali. [I might have got a link or two mixed up. If our bright, modern and post modern minds managed to reconnect to that part of our heritage, instead of leaning western poets and literature (and even Rumi and Khayyam reingested after making it through a Western digestive process), we might make progress as a community.

    Sorry about the rant.

  5. Maleeha says:

    Thank you so much for posting this collection. I really cant get enough of his work, and its good to be among friends who can relate. Thanks again!

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