Beyond Imagination

Ghayur’s New Poetic Collection Manifests a Mature Creative

BOOK REVIEW

PROFESSOR MUHAMMAD ASLAM

SANG-O-SAMAN (JEWEL & JASMINE) a new poetic collection of Late Sayed Ghulam Rasool Ghayur—edited by his son, Mr Sayed Showket Ghayur and published posthumously by G R Ghayur Memorial Foundation—is yet another addition to Urdu poetry that manifests Ghayur’s mature mind having a tremendous command over language. There are some fifty-four poems spread over 111 pages of a well designed and quality printed book. On opening the book, one gets an instant feeling that these poems must have been written in the latter parts of his life when he had developed a skilled hand in portraying his creative gems. And, Ghayur seems to be aware of it when he says (on page 74): apne takhayulaat se uncha gayahun main/khun se mere likhi huyee tahreer ki qasm (I have gone beyond imagination; I swear by my writings written in blood). Coleridge, a great English Romantic poet, gives a lot of importance to Imagination which, according to him, is not “simply a faculty of rearranging materials fed to it by the senses and the memory”; as a matter of fact,  it “is a shaping and ordering power, a “modifying” power which colours objects of sense with the mind’s own light”. In a letter to William Southey, Coleridge describes the poetic imagination in these lines:

Ah! from the Soul itself must issue forth
A  Light, a Glory, and a luminous Cloud
 Enveloping the Earth!
And from the Soul itself must there be sent
A sweet & potent voice, of it’s own Birth,
Of all sweet Sounds the Life & Element!
SANG-O-SAMAN (JEWEL & JASMINE) is a product of Ghayur’s very active and vigilant mind that generates a new reality by shaping or fusing parts into the whole. His mental alertness is visible when he says (on page 153): guzre huye lamhaat ko vapas mujhe dilado/ya seene se maazi ke nishanaat mita do (Give me back those bygone moments, or erase from my heart any signs of the past). An Urdu poet said the same in these words: yaad-e maazi a’zaab hai yarab/chheenle mujhse hafiza mera. SANG-O-SAMAN (JEWEL & JASMINE) is not impressionistic in nature. The poet appears to be a keen observer of his surroundings. He allows his mind to “penetrate beneath the transitory surface of the materials world” and, thus, is successful in creating a new world out of a “seamless bond between perception, memory, association, feeling, intellect and a sense of language as being in some way autonomous” (J S Hill, retrieved). Ghayur is reverberating Mirza Ghalib in har lamha har ik saaniha aasan hai mujh ko/main karb-o-bala ka jo ham aagosh huwa hun (Every moment, every agony is now easy for me as I have embraced affliction and agony) (p. 93). Mirza Ghalib had said:  RANJ SE KHUGAR HUA INSAN TO MIT JATA HAI RANJ/MUSHKILEIN MUJH PAR PARI ITNI KE ASAN HO GAIN. For Ghayur, life is full of sorrow and sufferings: hum rahte hain ik goshaye gulzaar main ayse/daman main baharein hain kandhun par kafan hain (We live in a corner of the garden as if spring is before us but shrouds are on our shoulders) (p. 101).
 Ghayur has lost himself in the crowd. Who is he?  In SANG-O-SAMAN Ghayur draws a vivid picture in these words (p. 79): main kal ka hinna dast hun ab zeenat-e zindan/kya koyi bharosa hai muhabat ke jehan par (Till yesterday I had henna on hands but now decorate the cage. Can one trust the world of love?). Amid chaos and confusion, Ghayur seeks connectivity and continuity: zara ahista chero saaz tuta hun bikhra hun/mira afsana hai be rabt isko kuch tasalsul do (Play the tune slowly, I’m broken, shattered. My story has no linkages, give it some continuity) (p. 78). The broken tunes refers to the devastation that Kashmir has experienced for ages, especially in the recent past when thousands of young people died and every where people saw devastation engulfing them: pathreli thi hava to gire bin khile hi phool/sakta sa hogaya har ik marguzar ko (The wind blew so hard that blossoms fell off before sprouting. Every meadow seems to be motionless). At another place (p. 156) Ghayur writes: yeh sabz rang nazrun ko lagta hai surkh surkh/kis ne yeh qatl kar diya mere dayar ko (This green colour looks red to eyes. Who has devastated this land of mine?). The last poem in the collection is a reflection on the sorrow state of affairs that Kashmir has been in. The poet mourns the plight of his land by bringing out some vivid pictures of the devastation that the garden has suffered. In a poem (p. 102), Ghayur talks about the deprivation that Kashmiris have been experiencing; they own the land yet they cannot have it. He laments the leadership and says that those who claimed to be custodians in the name of God have turned out to be killers. Wherever he has gone, he has seen utter destruction (p. 70).  He longs for peace and tranquility: rahm aye mujh pe mire parvardigar ko/mil jaye kuch sakun dile beqarar ko (May God have mercy on me! My disturbed mind may get some peace!) (p. 155).
 Lyrics are very personal in nature and emotional in tone. Ghayur is very much present in all his poems. He writes (p. 156): hizn-o-malal ko hain liye sarv-o-yasman/daman main main ne bhar liya zakhmi bahar ko (Cypress and Jasmine are loaded with pain and affliction. I have embraced the wounded spring).  He wails for the loss of human values in the subcontinent. In a poem (p. 140) Ghayur writes:
 paband ho gaya hun salasal ka be xata
 ayee hai yeh xabar abhi hokum-e-ameer se
 I’ve got bound by chains for none of my faults. This news has just come under the orders of the
 leader.
 barzax main kya guzarti hai kaise kahe koyee
 insaniyat farar hai bar saghir se
 Who can say what one suffers from after death! Humanity has gone away from the subcontinent!
 SANG-O-SAMAN (JEWEL & JASMINE) is a thematically rich collection of lyrics which shows that Ghayur had in his latter part of life become a master of words. Reading this collection with his earlier anthology, razm gah-e-hayat (Battlefield of Life) one cannot but applaud the poet for his creative and imaginative power. His son, Mr Showket Ghayur, is doing a commendable work in brining this son of the soil out in the public domain, a good tribute on the poet’s seventh anniversary. Ghayur is no more but his works will continue to give him an eternal life: SO LONG AS MEN CAN BREATHE OR EYES CAN SEE,/SO LONG LIVES THIS AND THIS GIVES LIFE TO THEE (Shakespeare).

Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST




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