On Josh Malihabadi’s 30th death anniversary, doing the rounds is this recently uploaded interview of the Urdu poet, amongst a rich archive uploaded on YouTube by Radio Pakistan.
Josh migrated to Pakistan only in 1958. About the loss of Lucknow, he says it was like losing the world. He says in this interview about a visit to Lucknow, where he asked a taxi driver, how is it going with all these Sikhs and Punjabis who have come to Lucknow. The taxi driver replies, we have taught them (Lakhnavi) etiquette!
For many of us in India he was Amitabh Bachhan and Dilip Kumar combined in one, although he did no action. His action consisted of something else altogether. He could play any character in the world, sometimes animals too. His impersonations of Dilip Kumar were sometimes better than the thespian’s own act. He could speak well, emote well, mimic brilliantly, parody, caricature, satirize and imitate almost anything and anybody. He could do all of this without appearing crude in the slightest way. His understated demeanour, his timing and his ability to retain a straight face through the most ridiculous of situations was more than a gift, through it he brought class to whatever he did. He has often been described as a comedian but if he was a comedian then he redefined the art of comedy and created a genre which could be performed only by himself. He was a one man entertainment industry and unlike film starts from this side of the border he needed nothing other than himself. He was his own writer, performer, director, presenter. Here was a fusion of an artist and his material that is rarely seen in the performance arenas in the subcontinent. Continue reading A Tribute to Moin Akhtar (1950-2011)
Asrar-ul-Haq Majaaz was born in Radauli on the 19 October in 1911 or 1910 and died at 44 on 5 December 1955. After his initial education at Agra and Lucknow he came to Aligarh and completed his graduation in 1936. This was the year when Ali Sardar Jafri was expelled from AMU for indulging in political activities and also the year when the Progressive Writers Association (PWA), formed a little earlier in London, held its first conference under the chairmanship of Munshi Prem Chand at Lucknow, the city that Majaaz called his home. Continue reading Asrar-ul-Haq MAJAAZ -1911-2011