‘Urdu Ghazal is a true mirror of our society,’ says Indian poet

Wasif Farooqi
Wasif Farooqi

Wasif Farooqi

The Indian Consulate General of India organized an Annual Mushaira in Jeddah and Riyadh.

For years this has become a profound literary tradition in Jeddah for Indians living in Saudi Arabia.

All in all, 13 Indian poets from every nook and corner of India participated in this year’s grand Mushaira, which was held Thursday.

The poets regaled the audience with their love-laced poetry. The poetry of these poets reflected many social and political problems of Indian people because poetry and literature are the true mirror of a society.

Saudi Gazette spoke with Wasif Farooqi, a prominent poet and the master of the annual Mushaira.

“The literary environment of our home compelled me to compose poetry. My father Nazim Husain Farooqi and elder brother Dr. Hashim Farooqi were Urdu poets. Their presence lasted a great impact on my mind and heart. I was born on Oct. 28, 1950 in a landlord family. My father was a famous hakim (doctor of traditional medicine.) He was also skilled calligrapher, Qari (who recites the Holy Qur’an skillfully) and a famous poet. I was 10-month old when he passed away,” said Farooqi, who is also a writer and has a number of literary works to his credit.

“I inherited poetic tradition from my father so I actually don’t know the exact time when the first verse was composed by me, but I know it very well that as a student of Aligarh Muslim University I had an opportunity to be a hooter among the student audience of the Aligarh University’s famous Muhairas. Even successful and famous poets hardly are able to face this hooting. Biswan, Sitapur’s literary environment too had given me a chance to enter the realm of poetry. Famous poet Khursheed Afsar Biswani guided me in the field of poetry. The three-decade stay of Bahraich district carved out my literary identity. I owe much to this city for my fame as a poet. I have a long list of my kind elders and friends whom I have lost whose care made me whatever I am now,” said Farooqi, who hails from Gopa Mau, UP, India.

The poet, who is an engineer by profession, acknowledges his sister for who he is today.

“When I grew up as a child I found my mother absorbed and busy in taking care of her blind mother and my elderly paternal aunt. My elder sister looked after me. She is the one who paved the way for my education. I owe her for being a successful engineer and poet,” he said.

Apart from an elder sister, Asifa Farooqi, Farooqi had three brothers of which only one survives. He is also a father to three sons and a daughter. “My wife has contributed in my literary career with her utmost care of my needs.”

Farooqi’s latest collection of poetry “Resham” was released by veteran Indian poet Gulzar Dehlawi (who chaired the Annual Mushaira 2014) and Indian Consul General BS Mubarak.

“I was not ambitious, so, whatever I got from the treasure of life I remained content and satisfied with it. I know my literary limits too. But I would like to thank famous master of the urooz (poetic meter) Pandit Hanuman Prasad Sharma Ajiz to review by poetry collection. I am grateful to famous literary famous personalities and poets Bekal Utsahi, Professor Malikzadah Manzoor Ahmad, Dr. Bashir Badr, Anwar Jalapuri and others for positive reviews of my first poetry collection “Resham,” said the passionate poet.

“Ghazal has great depth and potential to contain and express one’s emotions, feelings and thoughts. Like most other Urdu poets I am inclined to the Ghazal’s beauty. In India we have different topics that are covered in Ghazal.

But in Pakistan there are different problems in comparison with India and these too are reflected in this genre. Pakistan’s Urdu Ghazal is in better shape. Ghazal has ability and quality as a great and delicate genre,” Farooqi said.

According to him, India has surpassed Pakistan in the field of investigative literary criticism and research. In India Urdu novel and short stories have progressed much. Indian critics have so much influence that every poet and writer seeks their help for recognition. Without their recommendation and help none can receive any Gyanpeeth or Sahitya Academy Award.


'Indian Ghazal poets excel in the field of poetry'
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