Nida Fazli


“Madness is the force of Arts. There is no room for logic here. When one is pushed against the wall, one breaks through it. My poetry is the offspring of such madness.” Thus said the well-known Bollywood lyricist and poet Nida Fazli who won the Sahitya Akademy Award for his collection of poetry Khoya Hua Saa Kuchh in 1997.


Nida Fazli was born in Delhi on October 12, 1938. His father belonged to the school of traditional Urdu poetry. He passed his boyhood in Gwalior. During the communal riot the partition his parents migrated to Pakistan but he stayed back in India. He secured an M.A. from Gwalior College in 1954. It is a sad episode of his life that the circumstances prevented him to attend the funeral of his parents at Pakistan.

The budding young poet passed one day by a Hindu temple. A bhajan singer was singing a composition of Surdas, which spoke of Radha sharing her sorrow to her maids at being separated from her beloved Krishna. Struck by the poetic beauty of the Pad, relating to close rapport and bonding between human beings, young Nida got inspired to make his first serious attempts at writing poetry.

During that period, he felt that there are limitations of Urdu poetry also. He absorbed the essence of Mir and Ghalib to express what he intended to. He was fascinated by the lyrical mood of Meera and Kabir. Nida widened his horizon of poetry appreciation through the study of Eliot, Gogol, Chekhov and Takasaki.

The Struggle

He came to Mumbai in search of a job in 1964. In the early days of his career, he wrote in Dharmayug and Blitz. Because of his individual style of poetry, he was noticed immediately by many eminent personalities of films, Hindi and Urdu literature. He was often invited to Mushairas the prestigious recitation sessions of one’s own poetry.

Poet Nida Fazli became a favourite name to the connoisseurs as well as ghazal singers. His works were liked because of its elegant presentation. One of the remarkable points of his writings is the exclusive use of the colloquial language for ghazals, dohaas and nazms. He willfully avoids ornate-Persian imagery and compound words to make his poetry a common place, closer to the home and hearth. He wrote the famous couplet: 'Duniya jise kehte hain jaadu kaa Khilona hai Mil jaaye to mitti hai kho jaaye to sona hai'.

He wrote some critical essays on the poetry of the contemporary poets of the sixties in his book Mulaqatein. It ired many a poet including Sahir Ludhianvi, Ali Sardar Jafri and Kaifi Azmi. As a result, he was boycotted in the some poetic sessions.

The Break

The course of his career took a beautiful turn when Kamal Amrohi, a filmmaker, approached him. Jaan Nisaar Akhtar who was appointed as a lyricist of the film Razia Sultan passed away untimely. There were two more songs to be written, and he did that so gracefully that he started getting adulated by one and all of the industry. It was the beginning of his successful career when he started receiving increasing offers to write lyrics for Hindi films.

He is famous for his haunting composition of the film Aahista Aahista that has been included in his work Khoyaa Hua Saa Kuchh. The emotive lines of the song are follows,

'Kabhi kisi ko mukammal jahaan nahin miltaa Kahin zamin to kahin aasman nahin miltaa'.

His celebrated lyrics were also used In Tum To Aise Na The, Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin and Gudiya. He wrote the title song of T.V. serial Sailaab. The composition Koi Akelaa Kahaan is another popular number sung by Kavita Krishnamurthy. His ghazals and various compositions are sung by almost all the reputed artistes of the day.

Style and Content

Basically Nida is a poet of various moods. To him the creative sentiment and inner urge are the sources of poetry. He thinks that the feeling of a poet is similar to an artiste, like a painter or a musician. In contrast, he found lyric writing a mechanical job, as he had to fulfill the demands of the script and the director. Later he accepted the practical necessity of money, which comes from lyric writing, and helps one to ponder on creative work.

Multifaceted poet Nida Fazli is a confirmed optimist. He published his first collection of Urdu poetry in 1969. Childhood imagery persistently reflects in his poetry as elements of nostalgia. Primary themes which run through his poetry are - contradictions in life, the search for purpose, nuances of human relationships, difference between practice and preaching, the groping for that which is lost and the search for the enemy in the meaninglessness forest of life etc.

Nida Fazli openly negates the partition of India. He has written extensively against the communal riots, scheming politicians and fundamentalism. After the riots in the country in December 1992, he had to take shelter in his friend’s house due to security concerns. He shows no favour for either Brahmin or Sheikh because of their satanic propensities. Disgusted, the poet then wrote,

'Ye Sheikh o Brahmin hame achchhe nahin lagte Ham jitne hain ye itne bhi sachche nahin lagte'.

He has been honoured by the National Harmony Award for writing on communal harmony. He has 24 books to his credit in Urdu, Hindi and Gujarati, some of which are prescribed as school textbooks in Maharashtra. He received Mir Taqi Mir award for his autobiographical novel Deewaron Ke Bich from the Government of M.P. His well-known works are: Mor Naach, Ham Qadam, and Safar Me Dhoop To Hogi.

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