Keeping the poetry alive

LAHORE - The dawn of 21st century has seen many poets who have made a valuable contribution to the Urdu poetry in this age of hi-tech and internet.

Without breaking the tradition, they crafted their own distinct identity into the field. They adopted modern ideas and expressed them in a stunning poetic language. We have great names in this field and Shahzad Nayyar is among those who proved their mettle in the last few years.

Nayyar is an army officer but also possessed a poetic soul and authored four poetry books. His first book, Barfab, a collection of poems, appeared in 2006 and received an applause among literary circles, following 2009’s publication of ‘Chaak Say Utray Wajood’ , a collection of ghazals and poems and winner of Parveen Shakir’s Aksay Khushboo Award. His ‘Girah Khulnay Tak’ , a collection of poems, appeared in 2013 while the fourth one ‘Khawbshar’, a collection of ghazals, is the latest edition published in 2018.

Born in Gujranwala, he joined the army as a second lieutenant and during the service did MPhill in Mass Communication, Masters in Urdu and a diploma in Persian literature. His poetry produces rhythms.

While Nayyar’s poetry mostly deals with the modern challenges, it equally holds subjects of love and romance. Naturally, a soldier’s poetic soul passionately seeks attention of beloved when he finds himself surprised and exhausted in this fast age.  When Nayyar says ‘main honay ka guman oray..zaman ki bay krani main.. mua-liq hoon, makan-o-la-makan k darmiyan,’ he needs his beloved as ‘jo teray lims ki khushboo..meray paikar ko choo laiti..teri awaz ka jugnu agar rasta dikha daita.’ Not only this, he admires his beloved in a striking way: ‘Ge uthain gay hazar-ha manzar. Sirf palkain utha-e-yeh sahib!..Khaak hain aap ki hathaili par. Jaisay chahye ura-e-yeh sahib!’

He seems strictly against oppression and tyranny and reminds the autocratic forces not to test human patience till ending level. ‘Dambadam gardish-e-dooran ka ghumaya hoa shaks- Ek din hashar uthata hay giraya hoa shaks.’

He is humble and advocates love for humanity and says: ‘Mujh ko ksi bhe haal main khalqat k saath rakh. Gin ko khudai chahye en ko khudai day.’

Nayyar seems somehow sceptic. In a verse of his ghazal he articulates his disenchantments with superstitions, asking man to be logical. ‘Ikhti-aari hay ya zarori hay? Marnay walo! Khuda zarori hay?..Khawab pay inhisar say pehlay..Khawab ka taj-ziya zarori hay.’

Who can better describe the menace of terrorism and unrest plaguing the country for decades more than a man who himself fights against the evils. A soldier rightly wanted end to this war.

‘Ja-bja khoon k cheentay hain hamaray ghar main. Kon sa vird krain kay bla-ain ja-ain.’ He is strictly a soldier, ready to die for the country, obeying orders without saying why and no. Late Aslam Sirajudin, a unique fiction writer, has rightly quoted Alfred Tennyson’s verses to describe Nayyar’s obedience to command. ‘Theirs not to make reply. Theirs not to reason why. Theirs but to do and die.’  Siraj further says Shahzad Nayyar is anti-war and succeeded in raising anti-war emotions through his poetry.  Late Khalid Ahmed, a known poet and journalist, appreciating Nayyar’s contribution to poetry wrote: “We have heard in the past many names who earned great reputation in field of literature while serving in the army. Shahzad Nayyar has made the fresh contribution to list. Having expertise in fields of ghazal and poem, Nayyar’s chose diversity of topics to express his ideas.

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