November 9 is the auspicious day when we “remember and read” Iqbal. I am a little late. Nevertheless, every day is “Iqbal day” unless the collective stench of our bad deeds isn’t replaced by the fragrance of our good actions.
Personally, I find the dreamer of shaheens, hard to read and harder to comprehend. Sometimes I skim through the pages of his works and sometimes I read between the lines.
I surf. I stop. I pause. I practice. In any case, I can never cease stanning for him because Iqbal hits – right, left, and centre. Iqbal smacks -between and beyond. But who is Iqbal? While many contemporary writers from his native land completely disagree with his vision and mission, he is a revolution and a phenomenon for us, at least.
Iqbal is that sharpshooter whose ideas are his weapon and words are his bullets. These bullets pierce deeper and deeper until they bleed the dead conscience of his reader.
He fires his shots to hit the bull’s eye. The firing technique is the outcome of his patience and perseverance; to study and master the craft. Iqbal has the appropriate art of target recognition and a sharp shooting angle. Is it even possible not to get influenced by his thought and hit by his lines?
Years down the line, Iqbal prepared his projectiles bit by bit, gathered the propellant painstakingly and loaded his rifle heavily. Having his range beyond generations and confidence beyond common, did this shooter ever envisage how far would his bullets go; with what intensity could his bullets hit; what after all would he be making or breaking with his shooting skill?
Ponder. Iqbal gives birth to shaheens with his skill. But who are these shaheens? Iqbal’s shaheens are extraordinary individuals. Role models. Shaheen’s key characteristic is to look up. We look up to those shaheens.
And yes, they never look down upon anyone since they are the product of Iqbal. His end product is priceless. We can’t sell or buy a shaheen. Shaheen takes a quick flight to monitor the world above earth. Shaheen thinks.
Not ordinarily but out of the box. You know why? Because Iqbal makes him/her to think. Iqbal teaches how to contemplate. These falcons/ thinkers are our intellectuals. The treasures.
In this part of the world, Iqbal is more than a poet basking in the sun, in his signature tweed coat, talking to mountains and singing to birds. Iqbal is a force. His bullets are his words. His target is the disillusioned youth who is enmeshed in the cobwebs of fury and frustration, horror and humbug.
Iqbal shoots to de-puncture the inflated poison of institutionalized alienation of all sorts among youth. Let’s be blunt. Swinging between our unsettled past and uncertain future, we roam senselessly. Chequered past doesn’t leave us; a colourful future doesn’t own us. Something around us keeps the pot boiling and makes us suffer. Shaheens do ask, why is suffering sealed in our fate?
We feel suffocated. Surrounded by godlessness, we are a generation of floaters and drifters. We need words, we get noise. We need friends, we get snakes. We need hope, we get fraud. What to do? Where to go? Our sermons are vapid; our homilies jejune.
Institutions here aren’t able to even create a halfway stir. The ones holding the moral compass are busy blaming and shaming ABCs for XYZs. We are in constant search of something/someone to derive a ray of hope from. Iqbal’s therapeutic bullets do the work.
He bombards the mental cancer we all are inflicted with; a destructive shell we are trapped within. His volley of bullets pierces right through his target. His hit carries an earthly momentum; it smacks senses and punches the heart.
It creates tides in the lymph and generates waves in the blood. Iqbal is a flesh-burner and a blood-boiler. He slaps and shakes. He cares and cures. Iqbal is the sun; his warmth resuscitates the paralyzed. Iqbal is the moon; scattering light in a dark dense night.
His bullets for youth awaken sleeping spirits. He pumps a different high into the intoxicated. Iqbal has magic bullets – our therapy. If not anywhere, Iqbal is a need here. Iqbal’s read is more than a need here.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.