Friday, March 17, 2023

Gushing Over Daagh Dehlvi's Sublime Poetry

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 17 March 2023 “Saath Shokhi Ke Kuchh Hijaab Bhi Hai Iss Ada Ka Kahin Javaab Bhi Hai” -Daagh Dehlvi Sabaq Aisa Padha Diya Tu Ne Dil Se Sab Kuchh Bhula Diya Tu Ne -Daagh Dehlvi Urdu Hai Jis Ka Naam Humeen Jaante Hain Daagh/ Hindustaan Mein Dhoom Humari Zabaan Ki Hai (We realize the importance of Urdu, O Daagh/ for, our language is being celebrated all over India). English poet, essayist and critic William Hazlitt (1778-1830) defined poetry as, ' Words arranged in a way to convey a whole rainbow of meanings.' He further added that when a language is used to the optimum to express something in a soulful manner, it becomes poetry. Daagh Dehlvi's entire oeuvre illustrates what Hazlitt meant. Urdu itself is an exquisite language. In fact, it's meant for poetry and Daagh poetically exploited this lovely language to the hilt and created a huge corpus of works consisting of sixteen thousand couplets and a Masnavi. It's often said that a mountain of words may also contain rocks, pebbles and boulders. But there're no rough and corrugated edges in Daagh's works. All his four volumes show a kind of a uniformity in the exalted standards of language, thoughts and grammar. Daagh belonged to the old school of poetry. In other words, he was a Rewayati (traditional) poet in the mould of Mir, Ghalib, Momin and ' Sauda'. He was the last of classical poets. Predominantly a romantic poet, Daagh's poetry celebrates romance in its myriad hues and shades. His deft handling of Urdu language and its idioms and phrases made him a masterly poet: Hazaron Kaam Muhabbat Mein Hain Maze Ke ' Daagh' / Jo Log Kuchh Nahin Karte Kamaal Karte Hain. This second line (Misra-E-Saani) is now more of a proverb in Urdu language. Lovers with a poetic bent of mind often quote this couplet of Daagh: Milate Ho Usi Ko Khaak Mein Jo Dil Se Milta Hai/ Meri Jaan Chahne Wala Badi Mushkil Se Milta Hai. Daagh Could Be Delectably Naughty In His Poetry When He Wrote, “Iss Nahin Ka Koi Ilaaj Nahin/ Roz Kahte Hain Aap Aaj Nahin.” He could be playfully didactic at times: Aashiqi Se Milega Ai Zahid/ Bandagi Se Khuda Nahin Milta. Daagh Was Also A Very Practical Man Who Realized Quite Early In Life That: Hazaar Baar Maanga Karo Toh Kya Haasil/ Dua Wahi Hai Jo Dil Se Nikalti Hai. So Very True! Cognoscenti Of Urdu Poetry Often Quote Daagh's Famous Couplet: Saaqia Tishnagi Ki Taab Nahin/ Zahar De De Agar Sharaab Nahin. His moral, rather practical, advice is ever-relevant: Zid Har Ik Baat Par Nahin Achchhi/ Dost Ki Dost Maan Lete Hain. Daagh is one of the most quoted of Urdu poets because of the simplicity of language. He never resorted to Persian-laden Urdu, despite knowing the language very well. On this count, he was quite different from Ghalib as the latter had a habit of writing his poetry in heavily Persianised Urdu. Daagh avoided convoluted and contrived linguistic gymnastics. He was also trained in calligraphy and horse riding and was a teetotaller. Daagh will always be remembered for his sublimely beautiful poetry. ----- March 17 is Daagh Dehlvi's Death Anniversary ------ A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to the world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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