Tag Archives: Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Remembering Ibn-e-Insha, Poet and Satirist: Jamal Kidwai

Guest Post by JAMAL KIDWAI

Ibn-e-Insha (15 June 1927 – 11 January 1978) would have turned 93 today. We celebrate his birthday by curating some of his best poetry, sung by leading vocalists from India and Pakistan.

Born in Jalandhar, Punjab, on 15 June 1927, he was named Sher Mohammad Khan by his parents. Ibn-e-Insha was his pen- name; loosely translated it means Ibn, son of Insha, referring to a famous 18th century classical poet, Inshallah Khan Insha.

Insha also means, simply, writing, or expression.

Continue reading Remembering Ibn-e-Insha, Poet and Satirist: Jamal Kidwai

Talking Faiz: ‘In This Hour of Madness’

( Note : To be published in the Annual Number of ‘Mainstream’)

In this conversation academician, writer and social activist Zaheer Ali talks about his latest book ‘Romancing With Revolution : Life and Works of Faiz Ahmed Faiz’ (Aakar Books, Delhi, 2019) and why Faiz is ‘ extremely relevant in today’s India’

This is the hour of madness, this too the hour of chain and noose You may hold the cage in your control, but you don’t command The bright season when a flower blooms in the garden. So, what if we didn’t see it? For others after us will see The garden’s brightness, will hear the nightingale sing

(This Hour of Chain and Noose (Faiz, Tauq o dar ka Mausam, 1951)

Continue reading Talking Faiz: ‘In This Hour of Madness’

चुनाव दिल्ली का:बाज़ी मात नहीं!

अब यह बात नई नहीं रह गई है. लेकिन है इतनी निराली भारतीय चुनावी राजनीति में कि दुहराने में हर्ज नहीं. दिल्ली के आम जन ने अपना पक्ष चुन लिया है. उसके बारे में खुलकर बोलने में उसे झिझक भी नहीं. आम आदमी पार्टी या झाडू छाप .अब वह किसी छलावे और भुलावे में आने को तैयार नहीं. उसे राजनीति में असभ्यता बुरी लगी है.

उसे यह बात नागवार गुज़री है, जैसा मेट्रो स्टेशन ले जाते ऑटो वाले ने कहा, “दूसरे देश से बुला लिया 26 जनवरी को और केजरीवाल को न्योता नहीं दिया! फिर कहा कि अगर निमंत्रण चाहिए तो हमारी पार्टी में आओ.”

वह बहुत पढ़ा-लिखा नहीं, लेकिन इतना उसे पता है कि आज तक भारतीय संसदीय राजनीति में यह बदतमीजी नहीं की गई.

आपका हो तो 13 दिन का भी होकर भूतपूर्व प्रधानमंत्री हो जाता और दूसरा 49 दिन के बाद भी भूतपूर्व मुख्यमंत्री के लायक शिष्टाचार का हक़दार नहीं! Continue reading चुनाव दिल्ली का:बाज़ी मात नहीं!

Qalam chhin gayi to kya ghum hai/Snatch my pen away, I remain defiant (Faiz Ahmed Faiz)

Post jointly authored by ADITYA NIGAM AND NIVEDITA MENON


This image celebrating the power of dissent and creativity over forces of tyranny, circulated widely after the murderous attack on the French satirical journal Charlie Hebdo and the shooting of cartoonists Charbonnier, Wolinski, ‘Tignous’ and Cabut, among others. The cartoonists of the ‘equal opportunity offender’ journal were called out by name and coldly slaughtered in the name of Islam.

It seems appropriate now to remember Faiz’s words on censorship and the violent closing of minds:

Mataa-e- lauh-o-qalam chhin gayi to kya ghum hai 

Ke khun-e-dil men dubo li hain ungliyan maine

Zuban pe muhar lagi hai to kya,

ke rakh di hai har ek halqa-e-zanjeer mein, zubaan maine.

Snatch away my ink and pen, I remain defiant,

For I have dipped my fingers in the blood of my heart.

Chain shut my lips, I don’t give a damn,

For in every link of the chain I have placed a tongue ready to speak.

The Poet, His Poems and His Tales

Faiz Ahmed Faiz: His Life, His Poems: The Way It Was Once by Ali Madeeh Hashmi/ Shoaib Hashmi; pp 256; Rs 499; Harper Collins Publishers India, 2012

After a decade without a day job, and associating with Dastangoi for over six years, I can safely say that I am a career storyteller. And one of the things I have learned is that resumes don’t make a person, stories do. Often these stories are not our own stories, but stories we’ve heard amongst loved ones, extended families, friends, work places, milieu; stories we’ve grown up with, stories distilled deep enough to become an integral part of our existence. We may not often identify with our resume but with our stories, always – acquaintanceship strikes, the moment our stories resonate. Continue reading The Poet, His Poems and His Tales

लखनऊ और फैज़: अतुल तिवारी

Guest posy by ATUL TIWARI

(प्रगतिशील लेखन के आंदोलन से जुडे हुए प्रसिद्ध पटकथा लेखक
अतुल तिवारी ने यह लेख लाहौर में आयोजित फैज़ शताबदी समारोह में प्रस्तुत किया था और फिर दिल्ली में थिंक इंडिया मैगज़ीन के फैज़ नम्बर की रिलीज के समय होने वाले कार्यक्रम में भी उन्होंने यह लेख प्रस्तुत किया । काफिला के लिए लेखक की अनुमति से प्रकाशितThe English translation is given below the Urdu original. – SH)


ये जलसा हमारी अदब की तारीख़ में एक यादगार वाक़या है।  हमारे सम्मेलनों,अंजुमनों में – अब तक, आम तौर पर – ज़ुबान और उसकी अशात अत से बहस की जाती रही है। यहाँ तक कि उर्दू और हिंदी का इब्तेदाई लिटरेचर – जो मौजूद है – उसका मंशा ख़यालात और जज़्बात पर असर डालना नहीं, बल्कि बाज़ ज़ुबान की तामीर था।…लेकिन ज़ुबान ज़रिया है मंजिल नहीं ।

…अदब की बहुत सी तारीफें की गयीं हैं।  लेकिन मेरे ख़याल से इसकी बेहतरीन तारीफ़ “तनक़ीद-ए-हयात” है – चाहे वो मकालों की शक्ल में हो। या अफसानों की। या शेर की। इससे हमारी हयात का तब्सिरा कहना चाहिए। Continue reading लखनऊ और फैज़: अतुल तिवारी

An Actor’s Journey from Text to Performance

The revival of Dastangoi completed six years this month

Whenever I begin preparing for a new performance words sit heavy in front of me as boulders. Alien, unknown boulders.  I look up and I see them littered till wherever my eyes can see. I do not know these words. I did not create them. I do not know their context. I do not know what all they hide within. But I have to deal with them.

This is one of the fundamental struggles of an actor. To grapple with the text he intends to perform. Every time I encounter a new text for performance this line from Noon Meem Rashed’s iconic poem “Zindagi Se Darte Ho” comes to haunt me:  Continue reading An Actor’s Journey from Text to Performance

The Poet of Romance and Revolution

Pablo Neruda with Faiz Ahmed 'Faiz'

If you met him on the street you would never imagine that he was a poet, and not your run of the mill poet, but  among the most important poets of the 20th century, not only in Urdu, not only in  the subcontinent but in the entire world of the 20th century. I have always wondered how could someone who invariably dressed in rather unimpressively stitched, unromantic terry-cot Safari suits, someone who could at best pass off as a joint secretary in the ministry of shipping or something similar, be such a wizard with words and not only with words but with content and with form?

Continue reading The Poet of Romance and Revolution

Celebrating Faiz

2011 marks the birth anniversary of one of Southasia’s greatest poets, Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Centenary celebrations are planned in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh throughout this year. The Southasian magazine Himal has brought out in its January 2011 issue a set of six articles on Faiz. A note accompanying the issue reads:

Over the course of human history, intellectuals and artists have helped broaden the scope of citizenship and the nebulous contours of citizen rights. Southasia is no exception. Despite its colonial past and internal fault-lines, it can boast of extraordinary individuals who have stood up against tyranny and reaffirmed the innate strength of the human spirit. Continue reading Celebrating Faiz