Remembering Brilliant Poet MUSTAFA ZAIDI.

Like the sensational Nanavati Murder case, His death attracted lot of media attention .This news and so many connected stories became headlines of some Newspapers of the subcontinent . Many Foreign Journals also printed stories on his Mysterious death in the company of a married woman named Shahnaz Gul. Mustafa Zaidi died on 12 October , 1970. In the third week of same October month , He was scheduled to fly to  to Vienna by Lufthansa in a ticket arranged by his wife Vera from Vienna.

Vera was profoundly hurt with Zaidi ‘s Extramarital affair with Shahnaz Gul. Vera had confided to her close friends that enough was enough and she could take no more of this flaunting by Mustafa zaidi . She had taken their children with her to enable them to continue their education in Vienna.

Before marrying Vera Hill , He had affairs with some modern and fashionable women

Syed Mustafa Zaidi was born and brought up in a well to do  family from Allahabad . In India , he wrote under the pen name “ Tegh Allahabadi “ . A close friend of *Salam Machhlishahri , he was known as Mustafa Zaidi after he moved to Pakistan in 1950. Many writers have commented that like Josh Malihabaadi , he is reported to have regretted his family’s decision to move to Pakistan where he felt somewhat suffocated .

He was dismissed from service by martial Government in 1969 on frivolous charges . Zaidi maintained his Innocence  through his writings. He alleged that he was made a scapegoat as he was not willing to take a bribe from the relatives of a politically powerful people.

Some say he was a New Asrar Ul Haq Majaz of Urdu poetry. A few are tempted to call him as reborn Noon Meem Rashid. A sample of his urdu poetry is as under ….

(1)

Har Eik ne kahaa Kyon Tujhe Aaraam na aaya

Suntay rahay Hum Lub Pe teraa naam na Aaya

Mat Poochh ke hum Zabt Ki Kis Raah Se Guzray

Yeh dekh Ke Tujh pe koyee Ilzaam na Aaya

(2)

Seenay mein Khizaan Aankhon mein barsaat rahi hai

Iss Ishq Mein har fasl ki saughaat Rahi Hai

Sufi Ka Khudaa aur Thaa Shaayar Ka Khudaa aur

Tum Saath Rahay Ho To Karamaat Rahi hai

(3)

Meri Rooh ki haqeeeqat Meray Aansoon se Poochho

Mera Majlisi tabassum, Mera tarjumaan nahin hai..

Inhii Pathron pe chal kar agar aa sako to Aao

Meray Ghar Ke raastay Mein kahin kehkashaan Nahin Hai

(4)

Wo dard-e-dil mein mila soz-e-jism-o-jaan mein mila

Kahan kahan ussay doonda jo saath tha meray

Wafa ka naam bhi zindaa hai mein bhi zindaa huun

Ab apna haal sunaa mujh ko be-wafa meray

(5)

Bhalaa Kahaan Ke Ham Aise Gumaan Vaale Hain

Hazaar Baar Ham Aayen Hamein Bulaao Bhi..

Tumhaari Neend Men Doobi Huyi Aankhon Ki Qasam

Hamein Ye Zid Hai Ki Jaago Bhi Aur Jagaao Bhi.

                A Post Graduate In English ,Zaidi was a lecturer before qualifying civil services . He was a modernist poet who loved travelling , sports, Flying Aeroplanes  and swimming. He drove across Europe in his own Volkswagen . He was an intellectual who lived life to its fullest. He was Candid , outspoken , Non-conformist and a wanderer at Heart .

We can rightly say that 46 years back , the world of literature lost one of its finest poets. His wife ,family and friends lost someone who was exceptionally loveable and dear to them.

From India , Salaam Machhlishahari wrote the finest elegy for his childhood friend Mustafa zaidi.Firaq Gorakhpuri was a staunch admirer of his poetic talent . So was Josh Malihabaadi . Faiz read a paper at his memorial service.

I conclude this post with my favourite poem of Mustafa zaidi titled “ Aakhri Baar Milo “ or “Meet Me For The last Time “

(Aakhri Baar Milo)

 Aakhri Baar Milo…!

Aakhri baar milo aaisay ke jaltay huve dil

Raakh ho jaayein, koyee Aur taqaaza na karein

Chaak-e-Vaada na silay , Zakhm-e-tamanna na khilay

Saans hamvaar Rahay , shamma ki lau tak na Hilay

Baatein bas itni ke lamhe Unhein Aa kar gin jaayein

Aankh Uthaayay koi ummeed to Aankhein chhin jaayein

Oss Mulaqaat ka iss baar koyee Vehm nahin

Jis se Eik aur Mulaqaat ki soorat niklay

Ab Na hai jaan o junoon ka na Hikayaat ka waqt

Ab na tajdeed-e-wafa ka na shikayaat ka waqt

Luutt Gaye shehr-e-havaadis mein Mataa’-e-Alfaaz

Ab jo kehna hai to kaisay koyee noha kahiye

Aaj tak tum se rag-e-jaan ke kayii rishtay thhay

Kal se jo hoga ussay kaun sa rishtaa kahiye

Phir na dehkein-ge kabhi Aariz o Rukhsaar,…. Milo

Maatami hain dam-e-rukhsat dar o deewaar,….Milo

Phir na ham hongay,

Na iqraar, Na inkaar,…. Milo

Aakhri Baar Milo…

Noted Urdu Poet Salam Machhalishahri wrote this elegy several months after Zaidi’s death.

Tegh , You became Mustafa Zaidi in Lahore,

Yet you were the same as you were in Allahabad.

Flowers longed for and came to your lips

That wild flame was still in your heart

Which long ago had burned for a woman.

People say you thought of dying

In the past as a sensual jest.

You thought of turning your back on life,

The flight that is wine and song and love.

But flight is nothing but fog:

The body’s rainbow, the wine in the cup and goblet

Are nothing but a leaping flame.

Two abandoned children and in your body the poison of Shanaz

Perhaps your spirit isn’t calm even in the hereafter.

You were always starved for love.

Maybe you cannot understand all this.

Well, death has come in the past like this.

We have always been punished for our dreams.

 ( Salam Machhalishahri translated from Urdu to English by Laurel Steele )

In 1970 , leading Newspapers wrote :

“Zaidi’s body was found with the telephone set in his hand. There was dried blood around his mouth and nostrils, and the buttons of his shirt were open. The air conditioner was running and there were naphthalene balls on the bed. An earring was found near the bed and there was a mug with remnants of some liquid in it. An unopened aerogram from Zaidi’s wife was also found in the room. An unconscious woman was lying in the sitting room, adjacent to the bedroom. She was identified as Shahnaz Gul, the wife of a Karachi-based businessman.. While Zaidi’s body was taken to the morgue for postmortem, Gul was moved to Hospital, from where, after she regained consciousness, her husband took her home. ”

Autar Mota is a Blogger  , Translator and writes in English , Urdu , Kashmiri and Hindi. His write-ups appeares in many national magazines and journals.