Anecdotes of Urdu poets IV

I do not really know if the title is appropriate for these series of posts, given that most of them are about one man only but then, Majaz is the one with the greatest number of anecdotes in his brilliant but short life. So here are some more about him.

This one is the best about him and was first told to me by Kidwai sahab, and then I found it in Ahmed Jamal Pasha’s collection of anecdotes. However to relish it, one needs more than passing acquaintance with Urdu poetry. I will explain afterwards.

Kisi mushairah mein Majaz apni ghazal padh rahe the. Mehfil pure rang mein thi aur samain khamoshi ke saath kalam sun rahe the ke itne mein kisi khatoon ki godh mein unka sheer-khwar bachcha zor zor se rone laga.
Majaz ne aapni ghazal ka sher adhura chorhte huye, hairan hokar pucha – “Bhaee! Yeh Naqsh fairiyadi hain kis ki shokhi tehreer ka!” 

Those who know will quietly chuckle over the apt use of one of Urdu poetry’s most famous couplets, dexterously employed by Majaz in a situation the writer could have never imagined. But then this was a mark of his genius. Now for the uninitiated,   Naqsh fairiyadi hain kis ki shokhi tehreer ka is the first misra of the opening ghazal of Ghalibs’s diwan. Even Faiz used the first two words as the title of a collection of his poems.

This one is another proof of his “hazir jawaab” or the gift of repartee.

Majaz aur Firaq ke darmiyan badhi sanjidah guftagu ho rahi thi ke achanak Firaq ne Majaz ko cherhne ke liya kaha.
“Majaz! Tumne kabab bechne kab se band kar diye?”
Majaz ne jawab diya – “Jab se apne gosht bechna chorh diya”

Majaz aur Firaq ke darmiyan badhi sanjidah guftagu ho rahi thi ke achanak Firaq ne Majaz ko cherhne ke liya kaha – “Majaz! Tumne kabab bechne kab se band kar diye?”  Majaz ne jawab diya – “Jab se apne gosht bechna chorh diya.”

And here is poor Salam Machlishahri being worsted again.

Nashe mein jab Majaz aur Salam mein sher-o-shairi par baat hoti to dono ek doosre par apni azmat ka sikka jamane ke liye sabit karte the ke – “Main tumse badha shair hoon”.
Aise hi mauqe par ek baar Salaam ne un se angrezi mein kaha – “Majaz is dead but Salam is still living and kicking.”
Majaz ne iska tarjuma karte huye kaha – “Majaz to mar gaya hain, lekin Salam ab tak zinda hain aur do-lattian jhadh raha hain.”

Poor Salam did’nt have much luck. See the following one, in which Majaz is not there (and then I had to sneak in an anecdote or two about other poets).

Aligarh University ke all-India mushaire mein Salam Machlishahri nazm padh rahe the ke ek ladke ne daad di. Salam sahab naraz ho gaye aur kaha – “Yeh kaun ladka hain jisne nazm khatam hone se pehle hi daad di hain? Yeh ladka adab-e-mushairah se waqif nahin. Nazm ek mukammal unit hoti hai. Jab nazm khatam ho jaye to, to daad di jaati hai.”
Nazm khatm hone par ladkon ne daad ka toofan barpa kar diya. Daad ka silsila jaari hi tha Salam sahab bole – “Aisa hi ek aur nazm mulaeza farmaye.”
Abhi nazm shuru hi ki thi ke wohi ladka bola – “Salam sahab jab aap khud adab-e-mushairah se nawaqif hain. Abhi daad ka silsila jaari hai aur aapne doosri nazm shuru kar di.”

And to return to Majaz needling Salam.

Lakhnau mein ek numaish mein Majaz apne gehre dost Salam Machlishahri ke saath tahal rahe the. Numaish ke muntazameen ki taraf se loudspeaker par khoye hue bachchon ki shanakht ke elaanaat barabar jaari ho rahe the. Majaz ko kuch der baad shararat sooji aur Salam sahab ko ek jagah baitha kar jaldi se numaish ke daftar pahunche.
Aur thodi der baad loudspeaker se elaan ho raha tha – “Ek bachcha jis ka naam Salam hain aur soorat se Machlishahri maalum hota hain jin sahab ko mile daftar pahuncha den.”

 And on this note, I will close this post.

Advertisements

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by utkarsh on August 18, 2012 at 12:32

    umda, i am a fan of majaz and i have borrowed a lot of anecdotes from your blog. I welcome you on my page http://www.facebook.com/majazlakhnawi. Pls bless us with your gracious presence on the page. Utkarsh

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: