Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki – Some aspects of his poetry
By Amir Suhail Wani
If prose is walking and poetry dancing then we are compelled to assert that Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki was both a gymnast and a ballet dancer. Poetry is inherently an interior impulse and has been often defined as the most appropriate arrangement of most appropriate words. Paralleled to this academic discourse one is simultaneously bound to describe poetry as an assembly of rambling emotions embellished by the ornaments language. Thus rarely has it happened that poets have come out of their imagery and spoken of pragmatic realities and real life issues. Still rarely has it happened that poets like Rumi, Goethe, Dante , Iqbal and others have been able to philosophize their poetry.
Born on March 16, 1910 in a family known for scholarship and spiritualism,Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki belongs to this rarest of rare genre of poets who philosophized their poetry and poeticized their philosophy. Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki is a poet both in conventional and post modern sense whose poetry opens vistas to unending universe of possibilities. He touches upon spectrum of issues which span over social, religious , ethical , philosophical , meta-physical and above all real life issues. An important aspect of his poetry as Maroof Shah quotes “he does not know aestheticism or ” poetry for poetry’s sake”. Keeping Neil Bohr’s statement that “ Greatest events in human history take place when two divergent lines of thought come together” It becomes amply evident that Nazki’s contribution to Kashmiri & Urdu poetry and thought
is immense because it is in his works that the Rubai of Khyaam, the Saqi of Hafiz, Shaheen of Iqbal and Rhyme of Gani Kashmiri merge together. He is an amalgam of oriental and occidental heritage. That is why M.Y. Taing himself a polymath describes Nazki as “Jammi ul kamaalat” of our times and to quote Maroof Shah again “Nazki is seen as last living representative of symbols of Kashmiri cultural ethos- its. najabat, sharafat , wazadari and ilm.”
Despite assimilating influences across the board , it remains indubitable that he was influenced by Iqbal to an incalculable extent. He followed Iqbal both at expression and ideological plane. Tracing Iqbal’s influence on Nazki Professor Abdul Qadir Sarwari writes” Like Iqbal Nazki speaks of freedom, humanism, compassion and equality”. This shall not delude the reader and fact should always be kept in mind that despite imitation he doesn’t sacrifice his individuality and own shade. Even while importing Iqbal to Kashmiri he maintains his uniqueness. To trace these similarities and an echo of Nazki’s originality we look at following analogies.
Nazki like other great poets is a futuristic and visionary poet and repeatedly brings home the gospel that poet is a doubly polished mirror whose one side is faced to past and other to future. Nazki is well aware of his times and the collective social transformation he has been witness to. In the present era of space conquest when man has conquered the limitless skies man has simultaneously failed to conquer his own self. In the process of gaining control over forces of nature he has lost self control and turned into something that Albert Camus terms as “ A wild beast loosed upon this world”.Nazki foretells futuristic events in his typical satirical style. He points to some of the grave futuristic problems but in a tone that is mostly humorous rather scary. As Maroof writes” He has the subtle humor of a social critic”.
Dynamism, as is understood in the common parlance as being something associated with mechanical and muscular activities is not a dominant even visible denomination in his poetry. He engages himself more with ideological dynamics and emphasizes on evolution of ideas. He is interested in self-construction and introspection of one’s own territory of ideas and emotions. As such he doesn’t want to deconstruct any of the existing structures of society, though he may at times dream to change its existing state. To put it subtly he wants to repair the society instead of creating a new one by bulldozing the existing one. Thus it is unjustifiable to call him a revolutionary poet, for he never dreamt a one. He is worried about vanishing of vernacular ethos and deflation of rich cultural traditions, something that doesn’t characterize a revolutionary.
In same context it may be noted that resistance as is used and understood in post-colonial literary parlance is not a theme in his poetry. One may find a line here or a couplet there but that surely doesn’t entitle him as poet of resistance. By poetry of resistance should be understood something emerging as a reaction to imposition of political hegemony. He is more interested to raise his voice against those internal forces that tend to collide with the intrinsic nature of man.
His greatest achievement is that drawing inferences from everyday life he builds up a simple, pragmatic, workable and tenable philosophy of life, rather living. His philosophy of living is rooted in compassion, traditionalism, humanism and realism. As his writing reveal, his greatest teacher has been his life itself. He has been an insightful and keen spectator of life of which he later turns to be a great interpreter and commentator.
God seems to have given him the vision to see beyond structures into the reality of superstructure. It may again been emphasized hereupon that Nazki has a dexterous command over oriental languages including Persian and Arabic through and through. This enabled him to not only write in diverse languages thereby attaining the status of trans-language poet, but he at times uses cross language structures and that add beauty and meaning to his verses. The Arabic maxims that we find sprinkled in his Kashmiri Quatrains beautify his verses like anything besides adding many dimensions to it . The incorporation of his Persian ode in one of the journals from USSR, very well describes his status in languages beyond his native one. His “Tazmeen” on Quatrain “ Ya Sahib ul Jamaal” in four languages is in itself a magical one, which in addition to its rhythm and subtleties is a treasure of wisdom and inspiration. In this regard an essay by Ayaz Rasool Nazki titled” Qandi Parsi” is a beautiful exposition. The elegy Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki wrote in Persian on demise of Allama Iqbal is again a treat to read. Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki breathed his last on 16th April 1998 at Srinagar.He maintains his relevance beyond the contours of space and time. He is a universal poet whose universality will continue to inspire eons ahead. The task lies with us to ignite our lamp from this crucible of wisdom and vision.