Jigar Moradabaadi has been amongst the finest Urdu poets of the last century .Gazal is his forte .Laced with Beauty of thought , Love , Romance, Humanism and Tassavuf , his poetry comes up a class apart from the usual classical urdu Verse . His Biographers say that the Tassavuf in his Kalaam is a result of his close association with noted urdu poet Asghar Gondvi who also became his close relation . In fact Jigar married the sister of Asghar Gondvi’s wife. After this marriage , He shifted permanently to Gonda .Broadly speaking , he belonged to the Classical school of Urdu GAZAL that was influenced by DAAG DEHLVI .
Ali Sikander or Jigar Moradabadi ( 1890-1960 ) belonged to a family of Molvis . His father Molvi Ali Nazar was also a poet.His ancestors are reported to have been Teachers to Mughal emperor Shahjahaan .
Jigar had ordinary Education . He learnt Arbaic and Persian at a Madrasa. He could neither speak nor write English .
He fought poverty for quite some time till he established himself. To earn his living , he even sold Cheap eye glasses/ Goggles at Railway stations . But once he established himself as a sought after poet , he started charging hefty fee to participate in a Mushaira where he would be the star attraction and a crowd puller . In every mushaira , he recited his Gazals in Tarranum ( singing style ).
He drank heavily . And then one Day , he Suddenly gave up Drinking altogether . Thereafter ,he turned to smoking and became a chain smoker . This also he left suddenly and got addicted to playing Cards . He would invite people and friends to his house to play cards.Jigar would often advise Majaz Lukhnavi to give up liquor .To this Majaz would say..
“You left it just once, I left it several times.”
Broadminded , down to earth and helpful, Jigar was a man of smiles . People say that his smile was infectious .He would respect any thought that he found pure and truthful.
Although he did not associate himself with the stalwarts of progressive movement in urdu poetry yet he respected and loved Majaz , Jazbi, Ali Sardar jafri , Majrooh , Masood Akhtar and others .He proved a real mentor to MAJROOH SULTANPURI. Malik Ram , well known authority on Ghalib was a personal friend of Jigar . Malik Ram has also written extensively on Jigar and his poetry .
Jigar’s poetic collections are DAAG E JIGAR , SHOLLA E TOOR and AATISH E GUL . Atish e Gul won him Prestigious sahitya Acdemy award in 1958. Dr Muhhamad Ziauddin Ansari ,
Author and Biographer of Jigar Moradabaadi informs us ,
“ Jigar was a true patriot and a nationalist . Before India got independence , Jigar strongly advocated struggle to oust the British . He was close to many congress leaders . Although he did not participate in the movement personally , he was all praise for Jawahar lal Nehru , Dr Sampurananand and Dr zakir Hussain.”
The Bengal famine of 1937 shook him and he wrote ,
“Bangaal Ki Mein sham o sehar Dekh rahaa huun.
Har chand huun ki door magar dekh Rahaa Huun
Aflaas Ki Maari Huyee Makhlooq sar e raah
Hai Gor e Kafan khaaq basar Dekh rahaa huun.”
Murder of Mahatama Gandhi also disturbed him. He wrote a verse on Gandhi ji’s death.
Jigar was a lover of Kashmir. Noted kashmiri poet Farooq nazki spent good time with Jigar while he was on a visit to kashmir in 1957.Jigar was an invitee to Jashn e Kashmir event and Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki (father of Farooq Nazki) well-known broadcaster and poet was in charge of Cultural wing of Jashn e Kashmir event at that point of time. Jigar went to Ancestral house of Nazkis at Bandipora in Kashmir and relished Saffron Kehwa tea sitting on the balcony overlooking Wular lake.A wonderful write up on this visit was also published in Greater kashmir ( A leading valley based English Daily ) dated 18th Sep 2013 . This beautiful piece on his meeting with JIGAR was written by Poet Farooq Nazki under his series “ONCE UPON A TIME” .
I quote excerpts from Farooq Nazki’s write up ,
“ The man had a mystique about and magic in his eyes. That day I saw him for the first time in our Bandipore house. He was sitting on the third floor dub as he watched Wular lake in the backdrop of the magnificent Harmukh.
My father suddenly asked me, ‘‘Do you know anything about this great personality?’’ I shook my head to say no, as I wasn’t aware who the person was.
My father smiled at me and said, “ Jigar Muradabadi Sahib hain.’’ The cup of kehwa almost slipped from my hand as I was no stranger to that name. I couldn’t believe my ears and as if in a trance I got up from my place and went and sat next to Jigar Sahib. As he looked at the mix of emotions on my face, he first fondly smiled at me and then had a hearty laugh. I somehow managed to fumble the lines, Mai intihaa e shoaq mai ghabra ke pee gaya.
Jigar sahib too seemed touched and asked me if I knew any other couplets of his. I recited the entire Ghazal, “Lehron se khelta hua lehrake pee gaya, Saqi ki har ada pe mai bal kha ke pee gaya.” He was very happy.
We broke the journey at father’s favourite place; the Manasbal Lake or Manasaras as it is called in Hindu mythology.. We had our tea at Manasbal and continued our journey to Srinagar, passing through the apple orchards of Ganderbal, Soura and Gulab Bagh.
.As the secretary of the Bazm e Adab club S P College , I convinced my principal Jia Lal Koul, who belonged to the literati of the time and was a critic of Kashmiri literature, to allow us to organise a function in honour of Jigar Sahib.
At the function I requested jigar sahib to write a couplet in my autograph book. He agreed to do it provided I was able to interpret his verse. I accepted the challenge. Jigar wrote, Khud Apni aag mai jalti hai shamma, jalne do – Parayi aag mai jalna hai kaar e mardaana. I read the verse loud to show off a little. And then in reply said to him, ‘‘Sir you have not written paraayi aag mai jalna hai kaar e parwaana’’. For it is the characteristic of the shamma to burn in its own fire, but to sacrifice one’s self for others, is the valour of greatness. And that is exhibited by real men. As such, the greatness in the context of the Shamma is exhibited by Parwana.”
He loved my interpretation and asked if I write poetry. I replied in the affirmative . On hearing that, he asked me to recite a couplet. I told him that I would recite a couplet on the condition that he would not accuse me of plagiarism. I said this because in those days his couplet unka jo kaam hai who ehl e siyasat jaane, mera paigaam mohabbat hai, jahan tak pohanchay, was very popular. And my quatrain was inspired by it. I recited the following quatrain, which incidentally was my first verse, to him. Siyasat to ehl e siyasat hi janaay, Mohabbat mai koi siyasat nahi hai. He liked it and hugged me.
He lamented Majrooh Sultaanpuri’s involvement in the world of films. Majrooh he said, ‘‘was the future of urdu ghazal in the subcontinent. And I am sorry; we have lost him in the hustle and bustle of the film industry.”
Radio Kashmir had also recorded a detailed and interesting interview with Jigar . I do not know the fate of that precious recording .
I quote some lines from my favourite Gazals composed by Jigar ……
Yeh ishq nahin aasaan Itnaa hi samajh leejiye
Ek aag ka dariyaa hai aur Doob ke jaana hai
Aansoon to Bahut se hain aankhon mein jigar lekin
Bindh jaaye so moti hai Rah jaaye so daana hai .
Yuun Bhi Mujhe to Haasil Aaraam e Jaan Nahin
Ab Tu jo meharbaan hai ye dil mehabaan nahin
Nigaahon se chhup kar kahaan jaaiyega
Jahaan jaaiyega hamein paaiyega
Mita kar hamein aap Pachhtaaiyega
Kameen koyee mehsoos Farmaaiyega
Jisse raunaq teray qadmon ne dhe kar chheen li Raunaq
Vo Laakh aabaad hi o’ss ghar ki Veerani Nahin Jaati
Nahin Jaati Kahaan tak Fiqr e Insaani Nahin jaati
Magar Apni Haqeeqat aap Pehchaani Nahin jaati .
Dil Ko Sukoon Rooh Ko Aaraam aa gayaa
Maut Aa Gayi ki dost ka Paigaam Aa gaya
Ye Kyaa Muqaam e ishq hai zaalim ki In dinon
Aksar teray Bagair Bhi aaraam aa gaya
Deewanagi ho Aqal ho Umeed ho ki Yaas
Apna vahi hai waqt pe jo kaam aa gaya
Kaamil Rehbar Qaatil Rehzan
Dil Sa Dost na dil sa dushman
Aaj na jaane Raaz ye kyaa hai
Hijr ki raat aur itani roshan
Khair Mizaj e Husn ki Ya rab
Teiz Bahut hai dil Ki dhadkan
Koyee keh dhe Gulshan Gulshan
Lakh Balaayein Eik nasheman ..
Khaar Ko Gul aur Gul Ko Khaar Jo chaahe karay
Tuune jo chaaha Kiya Aur yaar jo Chaahe karay..
Mumkin Nahin ki Jazbaa e Dil Kaargar na ho
Yeh aur Baat hai tumhe ab tak khabar na ho
Laazim khuda ka hosh bhi hai bekhudi ke saathh
Kisski ussay khabar jissay apni khabar na ho
Tauheen e Ishq dekh na ho Aey jigar na ho
Ho Jaaye dil Ka khoon Magar Aankh tar na Ho
Ab to yeh bhi nahin rahaa ehsaas
Dard Hotaa hai ya nahin hotaa
Ishq jab tak na kar chukke ruswa
Aadmi kaam ka nahin hotaa
Yuun Dil Ke tadapnay ka Kuchh to hai sabab aakhir
Ya Dard ne karwat li Ya tum Ne idhar dekha
Kya jaaniye kyaa Guzri Hangaame Junoon Lekin
Kuchh Hosh jo aaya to Ujhadaa huvaa Ghar dekhaa
Meri simt se ussey aey saba ye payam-e-akhir-e-gam sunaa
“Abhi dekhana ho to dekh ja ke khizan hai apni bahaar par”
Ye fareb-e-jalwa-e-sar-basar mujhay dar hai yeh dil-e-bekhabar
kahin jam na jaaye teri nazar inhin chand naqsh-o-nigaar par
Kabhi shakh-o-sabz-o-barg par kabhi gunchaa-o-gul-o-khaar par
Mein chaman mein chaahe jahaan rahuun mera haq hai fasal-e-bahaar par
Wohi maikhana-o-sehaba, wohi saagar wohi sheesha
Magar Aawaaz-e-nosha’nosh maddham hoti jaati hai
Wohi hai shaahid-o-saaqi, Magar dil bujhataa jaata hai
Wohi hai shamma lekin roshani kam hoti jaati hai
Tabiyat in dinon begaana-e-gham hoti jaati hai
Meray hissay ki goyaa har khushi kam hoti jaati hai..
And one of his Gazals ‘ Kaam Aakhir Jazbaa e Be-ikhtiyaar Aa hi gayaa “ was also used by Guru Datt in his classic movie “PYASSA “.
Apart from Ghalib, Begum Akhtar felt quite comfortable with singing GAZALS of Jigar Moradabaadi only. And in some Mehfils , she sang Jigar alone.At a point of time , Begum sahiba felt attracted not only to the poetry of Jigar but also to the person as well. In an exclusive interview to Ameen Sayani she once said,
“ In a fit of infatuation , I also dashed an interesting letter to Jigar sahib telling him plainly that I wanted to marry him. Prompt came his reply wherein he had written that It was important for me to see the person as well apart from liking his poetry . Yes he was not a handsome person. He had a black complexion . He grew a beard and was not dress conscious . He kept long hair and wore a cap as well .Those days he also drank liquor endlessly .But he looked so gracious and elegant when he recited his poetry in a Mushaira . Another quality of Jigar sahib that I liked was that he never did any loose talk nor spoke ill of any person.”
He lies buried in TOPKHAANA locality of GONDA (UP )..
“Unkaa Jo Farz hai Woh Ahl e siyaasat jaanein
Mera Paigaam Mohabbat hai Jahaan Tak Pahunchay “
So Long so much on jigar.
Autar Mota is a blogger , Translator and writes in English , Urdu , Kashmiri and Hindi. His write-ups have appeared in many national magazines and journals.