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Islamabad

July 18, 2017

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Poetry imbued with fragrance of Punjabi culture

Poetry imbued with fragrance of Punjabi culture

‘Deh gayay saaray kuchay ghur

Hun baarish da kis noun dur’

Mirza Sikandar Baig’s poetry collection ‘Dhupaan Pichlay Pehr Diyaan’ in structure and substance though much similar to the common run of contemporary modern Punjabi poetry also has a classical touch. The book may prove a bright milestone in the world of Punjabi poetry. The image that we get of the poet in this poetry collection holds out an assurance of a promising poet.

He has found his own mode of expression. His ghazals bring out the colours of the Punjabi language. The brightness of his language resonates in his verses:

‘Kin min kin min kanyaan lagian;

Muddat hoyee aay jhariaan lagian,

Jhairray jhakraan noun she jaanday;

Ohh rukh wee aurak deh jaanday,

Chun taaray waangoun banday;

Khouray kehri than leh jaanday,

Kehri jhulni jhulli cee;

Lai gayee yaar payaaray log,

Thal diyaan tuttiaan raitaan uttay;

Rul gayee jind nomani androun’

He does not collect nectar from flowers for the honey of his poetry. On the other hand he sucks life’s double standards, despair, pain, deceit, harsh truth and burnishes them into an immaculate poetry:

Ghairaan leeyay nein haasay ohday;

Saanoun sirf dalasay ohday,

Rizq ghareeb da ghat da jaway;

Wadhan roz asasay ohday,

Apnay shehroun aj nssun tay jee karda aay;

Janglaan ander jaa wassun tay jee karda aay,

Dunya di makkari dekhi;

Jhooti sachhi yaari dekhi,

Mojich ohday kuttay rehnday;

Sadday bachay bukhay rehnday’

His poetry also highlights what we share as humans, the desperation of love:

Jo karna cee kar baithay aan;

Dil dee baazi har baithay aan, Ohh moorat aay ek pathar di;

Jis day uttay mar baithay aan, Puchh haal na assaan sodayeeyaan day;

Dadhay nein rog judaayeeyaan day, Yaadaan wichray yar diyaan;

Pal pal manoun maar diyan, Yaar  jinahn day tor jaanaday;

Bohra bhora mar jaanday, Hook ghamaan di reh jaandi;

Muk wanjli day sur jaanday, Hijr wichoray seh seh aashiq;

Loonay waangoun khur jaanday, Chahd kay ronday yaar Sikandar;

Kehri nukri tor jaanday, Chudh dunya day maylay chulyay’ Yaar Sakandar bailay chulyay, Mukh maahi da waikhun layee;

Uth dhammi day wailay chuliyay, Koi na aithay dardai saada;

Kis noun dasiyay dil da haal.

He does not talk about life, he desires to lay it bare and open; free of pretense; and liberated from the self-indulgent remnants. His poetry is imbued with the fragrance of Punjabi culture, conscientious candour and thorough lucidity:

Aalim lokaan desoun kadya;

Kar kar sakhyaan zaari guyyaan,

Khoon wich bhijyaan zakhmi daraan;

Thaan thaan khumb khalaari guyyaan,

Ais hanairay da ek daaru;

Apnay lahu day deevay baal’

Mirza Sikandar Baig’s themes are steeped in the place he belongs to and its culture. At times his poetry seems like songs of the bygone days, begging to be rediscovered. This poetry collection is a convincing coexistence of the Punjabi culture and a hunt for empathy: 

‘Sohna des Punjab da laggay;

Jeevain baagh ghulab da laggay,

Shehd nein naaloun mittha paani;

Jehlum Sindh Punjab da laggay,

Lokeen baydarday kee jaanun;

Dukh doongay dheeyaan parayeeyaan day’

The poet in many of his poems sounds like a saint who, at heart, is damn too sensitive not to lose sleep over the ultimate condition of human beings. This is, indeed, a saintly touch in his poetry:

‘Waryaan die k tasveer purani bun jaanda aay;

Banda ek din aap kahani bun jaanda aay,

Ug waa tay mutti paani da eh putla;

Waa naal waa paani naal paani bun jaanda aay’

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