Daag, the Poet

Describing the life of Nawab Mirza Khan Daag

Book: Tamseel-e-Daag
Author: Ashraf Adil
Publisher: Meezan Publishers, Srinagar
Price: 250
Year: 2012
Reviewer:  Suhail Akhoon

           Last Saturday night I switched on my radio and tuned it to Radio Kashmir, an Urdu radio drama titled as Tamseel-e-Daag was announced to be commencing from that night. I had listened to many noted ghazal singers including Mehdi Hassan, Noor Jahan, Ghulam Ali and Abida Parveen who had sung ghazals of Daag Dehlvi. I have also heard that Allama Iqbal was his disciple. Curious to know about this great personality, I took along the radio to my room and listened to the first episode of Tamseel-e-Daag keenly. Next day I came to know that this drama has also been published and titled Tamseel-e-Daag. I purchased a copy and started reading the book. Ashraf Adil, the writer of this book has done a wonderful work by presenting the life of Daag Dehlvi through a fascinating Urdu drama. In his book he has presented the life of Daag Dehlvi from his birth to death. This book takes into the life of Daag deeply and makes us feel the depth of the knowledge and love that Daag Dehlvi was possessing. Here is an excerpt from the book.
“Nawab Mirza Khan Daag better known as Daag Dehlvi was born in 1831 in Chandni Chowk Delhi. His father Nawab Shams-ul-Din Khan was sentenced to death when he was all but 6 years of age and that is why his stepfather, Mirza Muhammed Fakhroo, brought him up. Mirza Muhammad was related to Mogul ruler Bahadur Shah Zafar. Following his death 1865, Daag left Delhi for Rampur where he went into government service and spent a comfortable life. But Daag was soon fed up of monotony and wanted to experiment. This period of Daag’s life was both creative as well as torturous. It was during these years that Daag composed most of his heart-wrenching poems. The period of desperation and discomfort ended in 1891 when Daag got an invitation from Nizam to come to Hyderabad. There he won honor and prestige and lived a life of luxury. Hyderabad was a cradle to many poets of that period following the decline of Muguls in Delhi. This book has also presented the love life of Daag with Munni Bhai Hijaab, who was a poetess and Tawaif (dancer). Daag’s work comprises four volumes consisting of 16,000 couplets. Some of his highly quotable couplets are as:
Main hosh mein tha tou phir uss pe mar gaya kaise
Yeh zehar mere lahoo mein utter gaya kaise
Tu hai harjai to apnaa bhi yehi taur sahi
tu nahin aur sahi, aur nahin, aur sahi
Though I am not having a strong hold on Urdu language, but was always keen to know this beautiful language and about the personalities who contributed to this language. Now after reading this book I feel lucky to know a great Urdu poet whose disciples include the poet of the East Allama Iqbal, Jigar Moradabadi, Seemab Akbarabadi and Ahasan Marharavi, and who contributed to this language throughout his life. In present era and especially in Kashmir, where Urdu is the official language, this language is lacking its sheen and our state’s present generation is bidding adieu to this language. This can prove very destructive for our culture, as Urdu language is soul of our culture. We must be thankful to People like Ashraf Adil who devote their precious time to uphold this polite and mesmerizing language.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 5 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 5 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 6 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST

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