By Haroon Rashid Bhat
Whenever there is a mention of Faiz Ahmad Faiz, the frequent image that comes into one’s mind is an image of a poet I adhered the same kind of view about his personality for quite some time but when I read the booklet published by Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art Culture and Language under the title “ Hamara Adad- Faize Ahmad Faiz ”. After reading that particular booklet which is fully devoted to him, I came to know that besides the well-known poet, Faiz Ahmad Faiz was an ideal teacher, an eminent writer, competent editor, philosopher, brave soldier, faithful husband, an affectionate father, and above all a nice human being.
Born in Sawalkout Punjab, Pakistan in 1911, he was one of the fortunate personalities who became the eye witness of his success and fame. His writing in both format- prose, and poetry attained global recognition; widely acknowledge by all irrespective of any socio-cultural or religious differences. May I mention here some of the interesting and inspirational episodes of his personal life which I expect that everyone may surely enjoy.
One day when Faiz Shab was busy making necessary preparation for his trip to India. At the time of departure, his daughter expressed her wish, requesting him to get an autograph from her favourite actor Dilip Kumar. When Faiz Sahab returned home, her daughter asked about her request. He said, “My daughter, as soon as I was proceeding towards Dilip Sahab to get your wish fulfilled, he (Dilip Sahab) extended his hand with a piece of paper requesting me for my autograph”. That particular episode reflects the nature of the value and mutual respect they nurtured in their hearts for each other.
It was his constructive thinking and his love for nature that motivated him to develop a small garden in the prison where he spent four years of his life. During his long stay in the Prison, his family members’ occasionally visited him and each time he requested his family members who were residing in London those days to come along there with different varieties of flower saplings and seeds so that he could grow the beautiful garden within the premises of the prison reflecting his love towards the environment.
One of his admirers Soom Anand said, “On the political front, he represented the voice of helpless people. He stood against capitalism, dictatorship. He speaks less, but when speaks, his speech remains full of a lesson”. He neither gave ill-treatment to anyone nor he indulged in any action that disrespects or displeases others. He strongly objects to backbiting. His softness, sober nature reflected in his writings. In one of his letters, he admitted that the cause of unhappiness is because of the selfish nature of an individual or his self-centeredness approach, According to him “we remain more focused on our loss and gain forgetting our social obligation towards our society”. In another letter he admitted that his personal qualities are limited when compared to the qualities imbibed in others; it is the matter of hard work quantity of sweat that is emitted from the body that ultimately matters in the development of one own personality. While he was celebrating his birthday party in London in 1976, one of the guests requested him to share some experience about himself on that particular occasion. He said, “It gives me a sense of horror when people speak more about himself and giving a little chance to others to speak.” He gave deep respect to humanity and humanism. He was against ferocity, killings, riots, uncertainty. His heart was full of love and affection. He travelled extensively, witnessed the sufferings of the labor class, problems emerged due to the world war second. He stood against social-inequality, exploitation by the capitalist class.
His association with the valley of Kashmir was unique in the sense that his marriage with Alyse George was solemnized by Sheik Mohammad Abdullah in Srinagar in 1941 at Pri-Mahal. His daughter Muneera threw light on the emotional status of her father and said, “Instead of blood, I think there is a love of river flowing inside his body as he always advised me to share the love with others so that you will receive more love in return from others”.
Such personalities acted as the ambassador of peace and love between the countries. It is the beauty and versatility of his works that he is being taught, discussed beyond the boundaries of his native state. His personal life and works always remain a source of information for all. This legendary poet left this transit world for good on 20th November 1984 but his literary works have universal validity and appeal. May Allah bless eternal peace to his soul!
Haroon Rashid Bhat is a teacher by profession and is reached at firstname.lastname@example.org