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Sunday, December 7, 2014, Agrahayan 23, 1421, Safar 13, 1436 Hijr

Mumtaz Renu
'My face is your mirror'
S A Khan  (Translated from Urdu by Abu Aqueel)
Published : Sunday, 7 December, 2014,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 71
What is poetry? It may be explained in simple words that adoption of positive ideology of life and expression of truth is poetry in real sense. To articulate one's point of views in words clearly is the basis of poetry. The poetry that has no elements of truth cannot meet the needs of life. The literature that has no purpose cannot represent life. This is not a philosophical talk nor there do any doubt but to state your views you need courage.
It is the responsibility of poets and writers that they project their thoughts and opinion about love and peace so that it could help resolving the global issues. Heap of collections of literature on contemporary problems cannot be a solution. Nor composing of verses in poetry can resolve the problems of life.
To study books is necessary. Book reading clean the dark patches in mind and the mind becomes stronger and healthier.
The writers should know that life is inclined towards evolution. Therefore, literature should reflect the present and guide to future. In this way real and purposeful poetry can be produced and moved forward.
One should respect the evolution of life in poetry. Every word should be well identified to expand the circle of its meaning.
Poetry should be used as a mean to destroy the age-old system in life. Poetry can help in building a healthy society and cultivate the realism of arts and culture.
It is not possible to produce best literature without being inspired by natural beauty. It is imperative to have wisdom with grace for creating good literatures.
At the time of composing a poem, it is crucial to be closed with the realism of action and poetry.
For composition of verses words should be selected wisely. Words spur life to move forward towards the destination of evolution. Selection of words is vital so that they do not help in creating despair and dejection. To move forward on the path of life, one needs passion and zeal and not despair.
The above points are important for development of creative and objective literature and poetry. If writers take into their consideration above points then poetry with purpose can be produced and progressed. The caravan of life without any hurdle can then move ahead.
In the world all those bloodshed and wars that were fought had hands of literature behind them. Similarly, literature played its role from behind to stop bloodshed and wars. Objective literature always give messages of tranquility and peace and guide the society. For this reason, writers and poets are called as builders of a nation. They hold power in their pen that can correct or destroy society.
is one of those poets who guide the misled people and lead them towards their cherished goals.
Now let me say something about . Before 2002, I was not aware of her name nor was any detail about her known to me. One day I went to meet Bengali poet Asad Chowdhury in his house and was talking to him about future of Urdu literature in Bangladesh. I have old relation with him. Asad Chowdhury is known as the strongest well wisher of Urdu language in Bangladesh. During our conversation his telephone rang. He picked up the receiver and was talking to the other end. I became alarmed when he said to the caller that a good Urdu poet was sitting in-front of him. Then he gave me the phone to talk with . After exchange of pleasantries she asked me to meet her at their house and then she explained me the location of the house. The whole conversation with was in Bangla. This was my first meeting with her over phone. From the house of Asad Chowdhury I went straight to the residence of . At the gate, I asked the guard to convey the message to Begum Sahiba that I have come to meet her. A few moments later I met her in a decorated room. I told her that I have already talked to her over phone. She was pleased. It was a long meeting with her. She told me about her explicitly and sought my help. After hearing her narration I thought that there are seven wonders in the world. But looks like the eighth wonder of the world. I am telling this because if a person does not know the language and composes poetry in the same language, is it not amazing?
brought a stock of files and papers and put before me. In most papers Bangla and English poems were written. Also, I saw some writings in Urdu and Persian languages. On my query, she told me that in Jeddah some poems I wrote in Bangla and English Languages, those were translated in Urdu by a friend Mr. Nizam, who was belonged to Hyderabad. Some of the hand-writings were familiar to me. These were written by Nayeem. Mumtaz explained that these are her Urdu and Persian verses and Nayeem had written them in Urdu and Persian languages.
When I asked her that if you are ignorant of Urdu and Persian languages, not to speak of writing, you also cannot read then how could you compose these Urdu and Persian verses? Her answer was surprising. She said that this situation has been prevailing over her since 1992. Often, I feel loss in myself and have no sense of vicinity. At that moment voices of an unseen person whisper in my ears. Strangely, when I come out from that situation, I still remember those words and sentences that I was told by the unseen person. Then I write these words and phrases in my mother language. I came to know later that these sentences are in fact, verses of poems. This is also surprising that I am quite ignorant of Urdu and Persian languages but what the unseen person says to me I memorize them. I also can understand their meanings.
This was my first face to face meeting with . I fixed some of my leisure time for writing her poems in Urdu. After several visits, I found that her folded personality was revealing to me. During this time we debated several times and I told her about the mistakes in her poems in the context of meters, syntax and rules of poetry writing. I wanted to correct these mistakes but was adamant for not making any change. She said, "I have written these verses in its original forms as it came to my heart and mind. Therefore, there is no scope for any change." She said if there is grammatical mistake; keep it as it is because she does not want to displease the unseen person.
Renu Mumtaz wants to present her poetry writing in the same form as she has composed it. This is another aspect of her personality. She does not want to be recognized as a master of language. In my opinion, this is the highest level of her truthfulness, honesty and fairness. I accepted her arguments and kept myself engaged in my work. Later I came to know that has interests in music and regularly does practice. She never sings others songs but play her own composed song. There are many poems and ghazals in her collection, "My Face-Your Mirror"
I have studies this collection several times. Despite some mistakes in it, a person does not feel satisfied after its study and he wants to read more and more time. New sides emerges and the reader is bound to think that a poetess whose mother tongue is Bangla, who does not know how to read and write Urdu and who feels difficulties in speaking Urdu, she writes such poems, gives lessons on spiritualism, reveals the secret of reality of love, if she is not the living eighth wonder then what is she? Allama Iqbal says "Sahyeri juzw-e-paghambarist".
Messages are also there in the poetry of . In her poetry one will find resolutions of issues, lessons for love and peace. For example:
Ranj-e-wasl hai asrar manzar khamoshi men zindagi hai gham sahna
Zakhm zakhm paimana, gardishon ki ashkon maikashi hai, gham sahna
Zindagi hai yeh rangon ka arz-e-shama hai ehsas piyar ko samajh lena
Ashiqana rahon men chandni bhi mahram hai ashiqi hai gham sahna
Main hun hastiy-e- mahfil, aap ke kheyalon k silsily agar tootey
Raqs-e-lahr men renu dil ka ayina zakhmi dilkashi hai gham sahna

Zakhmi zakhmi si yaden hain teri ek khyalon men milney ka arman
Hai sarab-e-nazar mah-e-kamil merey daman men kiyon barsey tarey
Raz-e-tanhai per sayya-e-chandni saans gulzar teri muattar
Raaz-e-ruswayi rah-e-rasayi raaz-e- mumtaz aksar sitarey
Kitna mushkil hai ankhen milana teri ankhon se mumtaz renu
Teri ankhon men hain unkey jalwey her nazar ki nazar hain sitarey

Haway-e- zindagi kafir, kahin khushbu, kahin aahon ka naghma,
Yahi pahchan meri,
Labon per maut phir bhi muskarahat, jaley aankhon ka jalwa,
Yahi pahchan meri,
Jub bhi miley renu teri hi dastaan duhrai zamana
Rah-e wasl khamoosh jalwa magar hai dard ka rishta
Yahi pahchan meri,

Lahar piyar ki, muntazir apni manzil,
Kahan jayen hum chorh kar apni manzil
Mohabbat ki hasrat men arman na nikley
Hai sham-e khamooshi, sahar apni manzil
Zamin, asman, kahkashan, chand, tarey
Nahi muntashir, muntashir apni manzil
Who mumtaz, mumtaz hotey nahi hain
Samajhtey hain jo apna ghar apni manzil

How good a message Allama Iqbal has given. He says:
Nahi tera nashiman qasr-e sultani k gunbad par
Tu shaheen hai basera kar paharhon ki chtanon par

's eloquent message is for those who consider their home as their destination. If you want to become celebrity in the world then come out from the four walls of the house and breathe fresh year.

In another of her poems, says:
Jin baton se tootey dil phir jhoomey jaisey lahrta badal
Kis ka khayal aakar tarhpayey aankhon se hai barista badal
Kahin na badal hai na saya aankhon men barsat hai phir bhi
Meri rasm-e-judai renu dil k badl-e dharhkta badal

And think about this verse of the poem:
Aag hi aag hai apni ghata men kaisey abr-e-arman barsen
Lahren jub toofan uthayen garjey sahra tapta badal

Kabir Das has said in one of his Doha (poem) that:
Kabir Das ki ulti bani
Barsey kambal bhigey pani

Lord of speech, Meer says:
Patta patta, boota boota haal hamara janey hai
Janey na janey gul hi na janey Bagh to sara janey hai

When I read this poetry of Meer, I recalled the poem of . The poem is as follow:
Ek zamaney hi se jal rahey
Teri aankhon k sheeshey agar
Main bhi bun bun k tara magar
Jal rahi aik tanweer si

Piyasi rishtey ki hai
Chandni, chandni
Kis zamaney k anjaney arman they
Ek zamaney se lekin bicharh hi gayey

Zindagi aik andesha hai,
Aur andesha hi zindagi
Meri purchaiyeen magar
Khud hi saya tera
Janey kiyun phir talash-e- nigah se teri
Gul bicharhtey rahey

It will be not enough whatever you write about the depth of her personality. One thing I want to mention that her most of her poems begin with four or five single lines of poetry. She calls these lines as the title of the poem and names them "Rubayee". The Rubayee is composed in a fixed meter. The beauty of these lines is this that they bring forward the sum and substance of the whole poem. In other words it is the essence of the poem.
I want to say something about the last poem of - "Najoom-e-Bari".
After reading the background the poem becomes understandable. But she in many places of this poem seeks help from Allah in the Jihad (fight) against the Batil (wrong) and advised people to walk on right path. She also asks satan to throw out evils and pray to Allah for His Mercy. On the other hand, she also prays to Allah for His Mercy on satan. She has a soft corner in her heart for the damned Satan and prays to Allah to forgive satan. Her heart is filled up with the feeling of kindness. She does not want to see anyone in distress. She is very kind hearted and treat people very kindly. "Najoom-e-Bari" is the last poem of "My Face is Your mirror" which is in fact a reflection of her heart.

S A Khan is a poet. Abu Aqueel is a critic and translator

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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