These lines by Majaz Lakhnawi beautifully encourage women to realize that it is only they (the women) who have the power to bring about change. It is time for women to realize that it’s about courage, and not beauty anymore.
These lines were penned down a long time ago, yet they are as modern as they were while being written. Let us know a bit more about this important Urdu poet from our very own city.
Majaz Lakhnavi (1911-1955) was a progressive, romantic and revolutionary Urdu poet. His real name was Asrar-ul-Haq Majaz and he was popularly known as Shayar-e-Ruma. He was a very sensitive writer and never ran after getting appreciated. His works earned him the title – ‘Keats of Urdu Poetry’.
He belonged to a family of 20th century Muslims, in Rudauli (near Faizabad), in the pre-division British India. The Muslim minority to which Majaz did belong and rose, were facing a lot under the British subjugation. The widespread distress in the surrounding society became a part of his lifestyle, thoughts, and works.
He wanted India to win freedom, just like any other Indian at that point of time was wishing. His works are reflective of his ‘taraqqi pasand soch’, which we call ‘progressive thinking’ in English.
Majaz was one amongst the strong pillars of Progressive Writers Movement. He has a unique place amongst all other progressive Indian writers, which include Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Ahmad Faraz, Ismat Chughtai, Firaq Gorakhpuri, Sahir Ludhianvi and various other celebrated writers.
On one hand were dark sleeping villages, and on the other hand were awakened roads of Delhi, Mumbai, and Lucknow. This contrast was something that bounced the minds of all progressive Indian writers, including Majaz. Therefore, the progressive Indian writers started a literary movement to aware and educate the Indians.
Majaz had his earlier education from Lucknow and later, got admitted to Aligarh Muslim University. Both Lucknow and Aligarh were very dear to him, and so is he to the two cities. He came in touch with a lot many Urdu poets while residing in these two cities. This encouraged the writer in him and he became an important part of discussions at the coffee house.
He wrote about love, nationalism and progressive thinking, in his own impressive way. Here’s a patriotic couplet by Majaz Lakhnawi:
His composition, ‘Ye mera chaman, hi mera chaman, Main apne chaman ka bulbul hoon’ was adopted by AMU as Tarana-e-AMU after his early death. It is sung in all events, convocations, functions, and celebrations of AMU, which take place in India or abroad.
While this was a glimpse of Majaz life, you can read more about him in the book written by his younger sister, ‘Hum Sath The’. It gives a detailed insight into the life, personal and cultural backgrounds, and interests of Majaz.
As long as the Urdu language is alive, the writings of Majaz Lakhnawi, their panoramic expanse, emotional depth and literary mastery will stay as great as they are. Be it ‘Ek Nanhi Si Pujarin’, ‘Awara’, or ‘Shehar Ki Raat’, Majaz has constructed a bridge between reality and thought.
We Lucknowites are proud that we share this beautiful city with him. In the words of Majaz,