Sunday, February 1, 2009

ASAD - 106

Originally posted on in 1997

sab_ko maaraa 'Jigar' ke sheroN ne
aur "Jigar" ko sharaab ne maaraa !

What kind of image the word "shayar' evokes in your mind ? I would say that there are 2 most common answers. One, well-dressed polished person, who often uses poetry in his talk, full of "adab" etc etc. Another is, a drunken, heart-broken, bitter person - a la "Pyaasa".

The second image fits Jigar. Unkept hair, short built, dark complexion, smallpox scars on the face and always carrying a bottle. Even at the mushaira's, he used to go drunk. He used to dismiss any comments about his appearance by saying, "koi achchha insaan hi shayar ban sakata hai".

Many young poet-wannabes followed his footsteps and started drinking. Needless to say, drinking doesn't teach about poetry. Nor does "Pyaasa" like appearance. As the Pakistani poet Mehboob KHizaaN says ...

baat yeh hai, ki aadami shaayar
ya to hota hai, ya nahiN hota !

But Jigar himself always gave good advise. To one of the famous poets, who was young then, Jigar said - "Achchha sher zarur suno, lekin uski naqal mat utaaro. Jo dil me banati hai, use kaagaz pe utaaro. Apana ustaad khud bano". This one went on to become Majrooh Sultanpuri !

In his later years, Jigar gave up drinking completely. Still, wine remains an important part of his poetry. So let's take a brief look at such shers tomorrow, before concluding our discussion on him.

- Abhay.
ASAD _also_ stands for "A Sher A Day" !

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