Faiz’s poetry witnessing revival in India: daughter (With Images)

March 24th, 2009 - 3:11 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) One of the most popular contemporary Urdu poets from Pakistan Faiz Ahmed Faiz, known for his sonnets of peace, love, secularism and human suffering, has become a Bollywood peace mascot again. His poetry is being used for a track in the movie “Sikandar” which is expected to hit the theatres in April.The opening verses of his famous ‘nazm’ (poetry), “Gulon Mein Rang Bhare”, has been used for a track in “Sikandar”, starring Parzaan Dastur and R. Madhavan.

The movie is being directed by Piyush Jha. The ‘nazm’ has been adapted into a song by journalist-lyricist Neelesh Misra.

“His poetry makes sense in these troubled times. The sub-continent is witnessing a huge revival of Faiz’s poetry, especially among the younger generation. Everybody in Pakistan and India knows Faiz,” said the poet’s daughter Salima Hashmi, an art lecturer and human rights activist. She was speaking to the media here Monday evening.

“Gulon Mein Rang Bhare, baad-e-naubahar chale… (spring is back again, the flowers are colourful and the clouds are clearing)” are among Faiz’s most powerful lines.

The movie “came out of the blue”, said Hashmi, who lives in her father’s Model Town home in Lahore, Pakistan.

“When things get tough, certain people become important. Since last year, more importance is being paid to Faiz and his voice of humanism. Hate can mean the end of human race and his poetry is like an act of self-preservation,” she said.

Actress Nandita Das has also approached Hashmi for another poem, “Dawn of Freedom”, which Faiz wrote on Aug 14, 1947. It will be recited by Naseeruddin Shah.

“My father’s verses have been used in movies as early as ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in 1940 (a movie that could not be completed by Jaddan Bai, mother of actress Nargis). Javed Akhtar has also used his ‘nazm’ and Muzaffar Ali’s movie ‘Anjuman’ has also culled from his poetry,” Hashmi said.

Composer and actress Noor Jehan immortalised one of his lines: “aaj ki raat to saz-e-dil par dard na cher” (this night donot bring out the sufferings) in the hit movie “Jugnu”, while Mohammed Rafi lent his voice to extracts from one of his sonnets, “Donon Jahan teri mohabbat main haar ke” (in your love I lost the two worlds).

The poet, who started the Progressive Writers’ Movement in Punjab in 1936, is credited with several evocative sonnets, literary essays and prose like the Naqsh-e-Faryadi (1941), Zindan Nama (which he wrote from jail in 1956), Mizan (a collection of literary articles in 1956) and Nuksha Hai Wafa (a collection of essays and comments on Pakistani culture in Urdu and English in 1984).

A die-hard Communist and a secularist, Faiz was the first Asian poet to be awarded the Lenin Peace Prize and was nominated for a Nobel prize.

The most powerful period in Faiz’s life as a poet was the time he spent in prison. “Despite being behind bars, he saw a whiff of spring in the air. This was a recurring theme in many of his poems. The spirit of hope was deeply embedded. But he also felt the pain of his people in the subcontinent,” Hashmi said.

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