Obit for a ‘dead’ poet

His 51 poems say it all. But his politics doesn’t.

Syeda Afshana
Srinagar, Publish Date: Aug 18 2018 11:39PM | Updated Date: Aug 18 2018 11:39PM
Obit for a ‘dead’ poetFile Photo

He wrote-

‘I am able to see myself

from the eyes of others,

I am neither silent, 

nor am I singing!’

Swayam ko doosru ki drushti say

Main dekh paata hoon,

Na main chup hoon,

Na main gaataa hoon….

His 51 poems say it all.

But his politics doesn’t.

 

I recall seeing him speak,

on small television screen.

Tilting his head,

taking serene pauses,

evenly closing his eyes

while communing his words

in deep voice.

 

I liked his manner,

his oratory power of standpoints.

Chaste Hindi words, 

profound and rhapsodic,

blend with placid articulation.

 

Maestros Lata and Jagjit

bestowed their magic to his words.

Albums Antarnaad and Samvedna

retained the sublimity

plus simplicity of his verses.

 

Gulzar gave his unruffled voice

to the sensitive politician’s

poetic predicament. 

 

I as a collegiate 

thought of him

as “JanSangh” in Kashmiri,

while his politics wasn’t that scary

and saffron color wasn’t this grim.

 

Today, his brand of Hindutva 

appears gentler, reasonably inclusive.

In disparity to invasive

lynching and love-jihad.

 

Yes, he leveled the ground

for bouldering down Babri Masjid.

He juggled with words

as Kar Sevaks cheered to his allusions

a day before despicable demolition.

His speaking worked!

 

But he spoke nothing 

when Gujarat pogrom happened.

Truther in him was mute,

he did nothing to stop it.

The poet in him was

suspended in disbelief.

Or else was it

 ‘Na main chup hoon,

Na main gaataa hoon….’

Interplaying voices and silences?

 

I wonder what happens

when perceptive minds

freeze in frivolity of

self-serving attitudes?

Stop singing,

stifling the inner voice?

 

Is that how poets die

on their own?

Or others slay them?

Forever.

 

At moments of crises,

his concerns and convictions,

sensitivity and determination,

everything became subjective.

He saw himself as a powerless poet….

‘Kya khoya kya paya jag mein 

Milte aur bichadte pag mein 

Mujhe kisi se nahi shikayat 

Yadhyapi chala gaya pag pag mein…’

 

Yet, politician

lives on, perpetually.

With his failures and feats.

So will Atal Bihari Vajpayee—

the man who boarded 

the bus of friendship 

to experience the warring heat 

of Tiger Hills.

The man who was lonely

in his stately struggles,

as Taj Mahal proved  miserably vain.

Still,

he held no grudges against anyone,

Mujhe kisi se nahi shikayat…… 

 

History had hope in him.

Poetry had faith in him.

But most crucially

politics had plans for him!

 

The statesman and poet in him

was consumed by politics.

In our day, that’s why

his Insaaniyat is insidious,

his Jamhooriyat joked

and his Kashmiriyat gone kaput.

Latest News

  1. IPL 2019: Kashmiri Manzoor Pandav among 11 players released by Kings XI Punjab
  2. IPL 2019: Kashmiri Manzoor Pandav among 11 players released by Kings XI Punjab
  1. Disburse compensation to affected fruit growers immediately: Div Com to DCs
  2. Disburse compensation to affected fruit growers immediately: Div Com to DCs
  1. Jammu and Kashmir govt amends GP fund rules
  2. Jammu and Kashmir govt amends GP fund rules
  1. How a Muslim trust is redefining charity, making it meaningful
  2. How a Muslim trust is redefining charity, making it meaningful
  1. Geelani visits native village in Sopore after eight years, reiterates demand for self-determination
  2. Geelani visits native village in Sopore after eight years, reiterates demand for self-determination
  1. Militant involved in weapons loot at PDP MLA's residence arrested: Kashmir Police
  2. Militant involved in weapons loot at PDP MLA's residence arrested: Kashmir Police
  1. Saudi admits journalist Khashoggi dismembered in consulate
  2. Saudi admits journalist Khashoggi dismembered in consulate
  1. China says foreign concerns over Muslim rights unwarranted
  2. China says foreign concerns over Muslim rights unwarranted
  1. Monkeys kill woman in Agra
  2. Monkeys kill woman in Agra
  1. Naxalism will end in next three-five years: Rajnath
  2. Naxalism will end in next three-five years: Rajnath
  1. Afghan officials: Taliban kill 30 policemen in west province
  2. Afghan officials: Taliban kill 30 policemen in west province
  1. Government forces launch searches in Rajouri areas
  2. Government forces launch searches in Rajouri areas
  1. Geelani leaves for north Kashmir to visit his bereaved daughter
  2. Geelani leaves for north Kashmir to visit his bereaved daughter
  1. Pulwama men arrested in Poonch were militant associates: Police
  2. Pulwama men arrested in Poonch were militant associates: Police
  1. Omar Abdullah hits out at Indian media, says Shahid Afridi clearly supported freedom for Kashmir
  2. Omar Abdullah hits out at Indian media, says Shahid Afridi clearly supported freedom for Kashmir
  1. BJP leader Chander Mohan Gupta elected Jammu Mayor
  2. BJP leader Chander Mohan Gupta elected Jammu Mayor
  1. Kathua victim's family drops lawyer Deepika Rajawat
  2. Kathua victim's family drops lawyer Deepika Rajawat
  1. Officer among five injured in oxygen cylinder blast at Baglihar power project in Ramban
  2. Officer among five injured in oxygen cylinder blast at Baglihar power project in Ramban
  1. Jama’at chief-led delegation meets Geelani to condole demise of his son-in-law
  2. Jama’at chief-led delegation meets Geelani to condole demise of his son-in-law
  1. Watch: Narrow escape for police team as landslides hit Zojila Pass on Kargil highway
  2. Watch: Narrow escape for police team as landslides hit Zojila Pass on Kargil highway
  1. Indian, Pakistani origin authors make cut for South Asian lit prize
  2. Indian, Pakistani origin authors make cut for South Asian lit prize
  1. Shutdown in Awantipora over power crisis
  2. Shutdown in Awantipora over power crisis
  1. Weather likely to improve in Jammu and Kashmir from today
  2. Weather likely to improve in Jammu and Kashmir from today
  1. California wildfires toll climbs to 58, over 130 missing
  2. California wildfires toll climbs to 58, over 130 missing
x
This site uses cookies to deliver our services and to show you relevant news and ads. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Service.That's Fine