Sunday, May 6, 2012

Poetic Geniuses - 4

Read Poetic geniuses - 1   Read Poetic geniuses - 2   Read Poetic geniuses - 3

When the television debut of Aamir Khan - Satyamev Jayate - opened today with these lines, I knew what I am going to write next here. I knew I am going to talk about Dushyant Kumar today. Before I begin, here are the lines quoted by Aamir Khan:

सिर्फ हंगामा खड़ा करना मेरा मकसद नहीं
मेरी कोशिश है कि ये सूरत बदलनी चाहिए।

मेरे सीने में नहीं तो तेरे सीने में सही
हो कहीं भी आग लेकिन आग जलनी चाहिए।

My first encounter with Dushyant Kumar (दुष्यन्त कुमार) was during my first year of graduation. The Student Federation of India (SFI), the left-wing student organization, was running a poster gallery on the Lucknow University campus. Although I had little idea about their political philosophy but I was so impressed with their slogans that I became their life-member then and there. I still remember those posters with lines of Dushyant Kumar: 

भूख है तो सब्र कर रोटी नहीं तो क्या हुआ 
आजकल दिल्ली में है ज़ेर-ए-बहस ये मुदद्आ| 

गिड़गिड़ाने का यहां कोई असर होता नही 
पेट भरकर गालियां दो, आह भरकर बददुआ| 

and also, 

रहनुमाओं की अदाओं पे फ़िदा है दुनिया
इस बहकती हुई दुनिया को सँभालो यारो

कैसे आकाश में सूराख़ हो नहीं सकता
एक पत्थर तो तबीयत से उछालो यारो

Years later, I realized that what I was introduced to that day will come back some day to stay with me for life. In my post-graduation days of 2003, when Hindi literature was nowhere on internet, the good old book-guide uncle at Indian Book Depot, Aminabad suggested me a book called - Saaye Mein Dhoop ( साये में धूप). For very long, this was the only available volume of Dushyant Kumar. I started liking this poet all over again. He was perfect for the age I was passing through, for he had a perfect rebel in him -

मत कहो, आकाश में कुहरा घना है
यह किसी की व्यक्तिगत आलोचना है 

रक्त वर्षों से नसों में खौलता है
आप कहते हैं क्षणिक उत्तेजना है

and at the same, a perfect romantic too -

चांदनी छत पे चल रही होगी 
अब अकेली टहल रही होगी 

जिन हवाओं ने तुझ को दुलराया 
उन में मेरी ग़ज़ल रही होगी 

Few years later, when internet was all pervasive and I had enough time and know-how, I started reading about Dushyant Kumar. It came as a shocker to me that he died at an early age of 42 (September 1, 1933 to December 30, 1975). He was the greatest signature of Hindi ghazal till today, with only Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala' coming close. The rebellion spirit in his poetry is no less than what Faiz Ahmed Faiz brought to Urdu poetry. This is why he is the most quoted poet in any 'energized' gathering even today.

Recently, I ran a 10-day long a-picture-a-day series with Dushyant Kumar's couplets as a tribute to him. The series can be found here. However, my most favorite poem of his still remains the one, which I had quoted on a hand-made card to my nephew on his first birthday.

जा तेरे स्वप्न बड़े हों।
भावना की गोद से उतर कर
जल्द पृथ्वी पर चलना सीखें।
चाँद तारों सी अप्राप्य ऊचाँइयों के लिये
रूठना मचलना सीखें।
हर दीये की रोशनी देखकर ललचायें
उँगली जलायें।
अपने पाँव पर खड़े हों।
जा तेरे स्वप्न बड़े हों।


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