Fazli -- The
Tarkieb of good poetry
Since the last year or two, Nida Fazli has been
increasingly in the news on merit. He won the Sahitya Akademi award for
Literature for 1998, penned the Sarfarosh chartbuster Hoshwalon ko khabar kya in
1999, and this year has penned the wonderful dialogues and lyrics of the
TV epic Noorjahan, the songs of the Asha Bhosle-Jagjit Singh album Dil
Kahin Hosh Kahin and the lyrics of Tarkieb, including the splendid
Jagjit-Alka duet Meri aankhon ne chunaa hai tujhko duniya dekh
"Esmayeel Shroff is literate enough not to shackle me," says
Nida. Elaborating on the un-Nida-like Dupatte ka pallu kidhar ka kidhar
hai, he says that the song is not vulgar but naughty like so many
treditional folk songs. "In fact," he says, "this particular `mukhda’ is
that of a folk song I heard in Hyderabad."
The Gwalior-born Nida
Fazli came down to Mumbai in 1965 with a Masters degree in Arts under his
belt. He made a name for himself as a journalist and an author of several
books like Deewaron Ke Beech, besides being the editor of the `Rasa
Nataraj’ weekly. The famed writer-filmmaker Rajinder Singh Bedi was
impressed by his book Mulaqaatein, and recommended his name to art
director-turned-director Sudhendu Roy for Sweekar (1973). Nida wrote its
dialogues and the top Hindi magazine `Dharmayug’ compared the richness of
the dialogues to Socrates, Shakespeare and Bertrand Russell.
his first break as a lyricist through Kamal Amrohi in the much-delayed
Razia Sultan. Nida Fazli’s other films include Mohan Segal’s Daulat, Raj
Kapoor’s Biwi O Biwi (Sadiyon se duniya mein), Harjaee (Tere liye palkon
ki jhaalar bunoon), Red Rose (Kiski sadayen), Aap To Aise Na The (Tu is
tarah se meri... - his only chartbuster), and three films with Yash Chopra
- Nakhuda - his first solo film, Silsila and Vijay.
But in a
commerce-driven industry, where none of his films (other than Aahista
Aahista) and no song other than Tu is tarah se proved a hit, Nida’s only
recognition came through some albums with Jagjit Singh and Talat Aziz. It
was only from the late ’90s that Nida’s works got greater attention. His
Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin lyrics and the Tamanna piece-de-resistance Ghar se
masjid hai bahut door... drew attention, as did the beautiful lyrics of
Kavita Krishnamurthy’s album Koi Akela Kahan and some of the gems from
Asha Aur Khayyaam.
Nida’s Tarkieb of writing good lyrics include a
variety of great inspirational sources. "Anything can inspire me. On my
morning walk, I would regularly see a 5-year-old schoolgirl. Her smile
remains a very great source of inspiration for me."
Adds Nida, "To
write good lyrics, you must know literature, history, psychology and
philosophy. Culture is like an ocean where so many rivers merge from all
directions. My reading has ranged from Bhagawad Geeta to Russian and
American literature. A poet must fill himself up with good thoughts and
study Like a musician, he must do endless riyaaz (practice) to remain good
at his art. Purism is not possible today in any art. But where the words
are being mutilated everywhere in this fast commercial age, one can retain
literary calibre by these methods."
Nida wants a deterrent legal
punishment for the misuse and abuse of language that is rampant today. "It
is as heinous a crime as any," he feels. "That the public wants only saste
gaane is a myth." For Nida writing poetry is a spiritual pleasure. He
concludes, "Without a cathartic element, it is impossible to write any
song. A great philosopher-poet once said, ‘What you lose in life, you try
to regain in creativity.’"