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Nida Fazli is one of those modern poets who got recognition after the extremity of Progressive Movement. Among the contemporary poets he occupies a position of consequence in literature and because of his association with films and popular mushairas he is widely appreciated by the Urdu and Hindi knowing masses.



Born on October 12, 1938, as Muqtada Husain in Delhi, Fazli was brought up in literary environs as his father Dua Dubaivi, was himself a poet. Similarly, many of his relatives and teachers were also poets. He completed his school education in Gwalior and did his Masters in English literature. During his college days he was an active member of the All India Students' Federation that was affiliated to the Communist Party. Thereafter, for a number of years, he worked as member of the CPI. He still believes in the humanistic facet of Marxism and considers himself a poet who is conscious of his socio-political surroundings. Nida arrived in Mumbai in mid-sixtites and after a drawn out struggle succeeded in making some room for himself in the world of films and TV.

Initiation As A Poet

In his childhood and adolescence he was exposed to the tradition of the Daagh School of Poetry as his father, Dua Dubaivi, was himself a poet and a pupil of Nuh Narvi, a prominent pupil of Daagh. Therefore, his initial attempts to write poetry were in the direction of imitating Daagh's style. Later on, a tragic incident made him realise the phony mawkishness that is the hallmark of Daagh School of Poetry. It so happened that a girl who was his class fellow in the college and on whom he had a crush, suddenly died. He was in distress and wanted to give expression to his grief in poetry. The poetic traditions of Daagh, however let him down badly. Then he heard a bhajan:

Madhu ban tum kat rahat harey

It changed his entire concept of poetry. The thing that appealed him most in that bhajan was the human desire to share the feelings with the objects of nature. Once he got the inspiration he started reading the poetry of the saints and was gradually drawn towards folk literature. Fazli has made the conscious efforts to negate the "sophisticated" traditions and develop for himself a poetic style that is closer to folk.

As a Poet

Fazli believes that poetry is essentially an attempt to protect beauty in life. It is essential because the fanatic politicians and authoritarian forces have always been attempting to obliterate whatever is beautiful in human life. Thematically, however, his poetry kept on changing with the changing values and locales. Many of his early poems, as they were written before his arrival in Mumbai, divulge a milieu that is, in essence, of a small town and rural. In the poems, written immediately after his shifting to Mumbai, one finds agitation, protest, anger, frustration and the courage to demolish the status quo. It was obviously the upshot of rural-urban dialectics. Gradually, the anger was replaced by bewilderment and awe, traces of Bhakti and Sufi traditions can also be noticed in hjis latest poems. Child appears to be a dominent motif, particularly, in the most recent phase of Fazli's poetry. Besides children he l;oves ordinary people and prefers to select commonplace themes. In many of his poems, objects of nature like a hillock, a tree or a river are personified as living beings. Fazli believes that the whole cosmos is an organism and even the tiniest speck is an integral part of the family that we call cosmos. Fazli persists experimenting with forms and diction, the last two collections of his poetry include some prose-poems, which give him more space to carry out creative experiments.

As A Prose Writer

Nida's reputation in Urdu literature is also because of his prose writing. His first prose book, Mulaqatein, though contained only interviews with the leading creative writers in Urdu, was well received because of its style, which can be loosely defined as creative prose. His second book, Deewaron Ke Beech, according to him, is an autobiographical novel. Whether the critics accord to treat it as a novel or not, the fact remains that it is a remarkable book so far as its stylish prose is concerned. The second volume of the autobiographical novel, Deewaron Ke Bahar, is also published recently. Nida selects each word with utmost care and like a hewer of stones chisels out each sentence from the rock of language. He attribute his mastery over the usage of language to his extensive reading, particularly pre-Revolution Russian fiction. He claims that he ahs read fiction more than poetry. He is also of the opinion that prose writing is more difficult than poetry writing because one has to be more careful and accountable while writing prose.

Published Works

1. LAFZOn KA PUL [Poetry]
2. MOR NAACH [Poetry]
5. MULAQAATEIn [Prose]


Nida has been honoured with the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1998.

Texts and Translations by : Zaheer Ali