Mehjoor the poet
The genius of Mehjoor as a leading twentieth century Kashmiri poet has been accepted by all who have read him. There is no doubt that Mehjoor as a poet is great because he symbolizes the brilliance of the Romantic movement of the Kashmiri literature. An extended glance at the collections of his poetry divulges the fact that he is unquestionably, an unswerving writer who does not confine himself to the inadequate precincts of commitment and that his poetic contribution is a convergence of various impacts and aspects. He in his poetry exhibits such elements which surface in the literary contributions of the greatest poets of English as well as Urdu literature.
Mehjoor was the poetic name of Peerzada Ghulam Ahmad who was born on August 11 in 1887, at a naturally picturesque village called Mitrigam in Pulwama District. In 1905, Mehjoor surreptitiously left Srinagar where at that time he was pursuing his middle course and reached Amritsar in Punjab to learn and feel the new experiences of the world of literature. The Punjab was a hub of literary activities those days and Mehjoor had an opportunity to expel his ideas through his Urdu written verses and this endeavor led him to assume his poetic name as Mehjoor. After coming back from Punjab to Kashmir, he was able to get a job in the Revenue Department as Patwari and was posted in Ladakh where in the free hours he was able to compile his work Safarnama-e-Baltistan. After returning from Ladakh to the Valley, he gave attention towards Kashmiri language and tried to learn it avidly with the intent of contributing to his literary world through this language and in the course of time his creations in Kashmir became instrumental in awakening the consciousness of the people and for representing their concerns and voicing their feelings, thereby, earning him the title of the Poet of Kashmir.
In 1914, Mehjoor started contributing his eternal verses in Kashmiri and he for the first time wrote a lyric or a love poem. He persisted with his mission of writing in Kashmiri and wrote many lyrics romantic in taste. One among these famous lyrics is 'Bage Nishat ke Gulo' the verses of which activate excitement in the hearts of the readers.
Mehjoor has deep interest in the bounty of nature in Kashmir and he invariably depicts the scenic gardens, moors, forests, waterfalls, rivers, lush green fields and mountains as a source and means of conveying his heartfelt emotions and messages to awaken his countrymen to raise their voice against all kinds of injustices and ills perpetuated against them. He expresses his emotions in this manner;
"Bulbulan Dup Gulls Hussan Chui Pur
Keyha wanai ,zew chai ne ,su chui kasur"
Through his verses in Kashmiri, Mehjoor contributed to the sentiment and movement of freedom struggle during the tyrannical and autocratic Dogra regime. His poems gave momentum to the struggle and served as a clarion call to the masses to free their nation from the chains of slavery. He express his patriotic fervor in the poem "Walo Ho Bage-e-Wano" and stresses upon his fellow countrymen to embellish their nation and land with the flowers of honour and dignity.
In other beautiful poem, "Gulshan Watan Chu Souni" Mehjoor expresses his love for his nation and breathes out the idea symbolically and that too with candor and pride that there is nothing dear to him than his nation.
"Bulbul Wanan chu poshan Gulshan watan chu souni
Andi Andi Safaid Sangar Deware Sange Mar Mar"
Mehjoor through his immortal verses teaches lessons about nature, love, peace, unity, faith in God, upholding of human values, uselessness of strife's, jealousy and hatred. His poems reveal that he is a poet with lofty ideals and aspirations and bring home to one's mind that his poetry derives power from the intensity and sincerity of his experiences and establish the fact that what comes from the heart goes to the heart taking the form of appealing artistic creations. He is simple and writes with great variety and it is due to this distinct artistic quality that he has been able to write lyrics, songs, odes, elegies, prose, biography, novel, translations, and criticism.