At the age of 13, Ghalib relocated from Agra to Delhi, and moved from one rented house to the other. His last house was a mosque-adjacent, three-room house in Gali Qasim Jan, Balli Maran, Chandni Chowk, Delhi, where Ghalib spent the last nine years of his life, and became the one house which largely came to be known after him. It is now known as Ghalib Ki Haveli. Maulana Hali writes in his remarkable book "Yadgar-e-Ghalib" that Ghalib also stayed at the house of his friend Miyan Kale Khan for some time. At one time, it had become a depot for household fuel-wood. In 1997, the Archaeological Survey of India acquired it and declared it a Heritage Site. Behind this, were the efforts of Firoz Bakht, a well-known literary and social figure from Delhi, and Ateeb Siddiqui, a lawyer, who filed a petition in the court to make the mansion a heritage site. After a long legal battle, on August 8, 1997, Justice Chandra Mohan Nayyar finally delivered a landmark judgment ordering the Delhi government to preserve Ghalib's house within six months, and exemplify it at the level that the great poet truly deserved.
Izhar Asar (1929-2011), with his multifaceted and unalike personality, was the first writer to regularly write science fiction in Urdu. Even though he had studied only up to the matriculate, he went on to write about a thousand scientific, social and detective novels in Urdu and Hindi. Interestingly, he practiced the dance form of Kathak for many years, did stage shows, and even taught Kathak to others. He wrote 200 scientific articles which were published in Indian and Pakistani journals. Additionally, collections of his articles were also published, namely ‘Science Kya Hai?’ and ‘Aaj Ki Science’. He was also a poet and tried to dovetail scientific thought and imagery in his poems. Most of the poems in his poetry collection "La Shirk" are based on scientific motifs. He wrote Shama group’s detective novel ‘Mujrim’, under the pen-name ‘Qanuun-Waala’. One of his radio dramas, "Teesri Aankh", became immensely popular and was broadcasted on all the stations of All India Radio. He also published magazines and digests and did ghostwriting for TV serials.
Main to Aflaak ke aage kaa parindaa huu.n Asar
Baal-e-Jibriil bhii shaamil hai mire Shah-par mein
The words that we use countless times in our everyday speech, they, too, show striking aspects about them when reflected maturely. Two such words are ‘Na’ and ‘Naa’.
guu.njtii hai tirii hasii.n aavaaz
jaise naadiida ko.ii bajtaa saaz
JAAN NISAR AKHTAR
“Naa-Diida” means that which can’t be seen, or invisible. Another word, on the same lines, is ‘Nadiida’, meaning a greedy person. Although it literally means one who has not seen- why? -because a greedy person looks at a thing in a manner as if he had never seen it before. The word ‘Naa’, when prefixed to nouns, functions as a pleonasm, and conveys negation. For example, ‘Naa-Laaiq’, ‘Naa-Khush”, etc.
Those who know the language, know it well enough as to where and how ‘Na’, ‘Naa’, and ‘Nahin’ are to be used.
Na suno gar buraa kahe koi
Na kaho gar bura kare koi
Interestingly, Javed Akhtar's famous film song "Kuchh Naa Kaho, Kuchh Bhi Naa Kaho", although written to the tune, never comes out as an oddity.
Let the purists say whatever they wish to!
In Urdu, ‘Naa’ is also used as an article of emphasis and affirmation. For instance:
Kisi buzurg ke bose ki ik nishaani hai
Humaare maathe pe thoDii sii raushnii hai naa
Josh Malihabadi spent a few years at Shalimar Studios in Pune and wrote songs for a few films there. Josh wrote six of the seven songs in the famous 1944 film "Man Ki Jeet ", based on the famous English writer Thomas Hardy's novel "Tess of the d'Urbervilles", which was directed by W. Z. Ahmed. In this movie, one of his songs, ‘Morey Jubna Ka Dekho Ubhar’, sung by Zuhra Bai Ambalewali became very popular.
Although the government at the time considered it obscene and banned the song from being aired on All India Radio, the similes given to the beloved’s beauty in this song were extremely novel:
Jaise Bhanvro.n ki jhoom
Jaise sawan ki dhoom
Jaise sagar ki bhor
Jaise uDta chakor
Jaise naddi ki mauj
Jaise turko.n ki fauj
In a remarkably similar manner, years later, Javed Akhtar wrote the song ‘Ek laDki ko dekha to aisa laga’ for the movie "1942 A Love Story".
The songs that Josh wrote were never pre-composed to the tune, for he would always write the lyrics first with respect to the situation in the film. It was the task of the music composer and the film’s director to put his lyrics to music.
Poetry that’s recited without a Tarannum (tune) is known as ‘Taht-ul-Lafz’, or differently, ‘Taht Mein Padhna’. If read in Tarannum, the reciter’s tone and voice largely draw the attention of the audiences. However, in Taht-ul-Lafz, one enjoys the full effect of poetry with the grandeur of words and the crescendo of the rise and fall of the reciter’s voice. Although Taht-ul Lafz recitation is common in Mushairas, but those who recited Marsiyas (elegies) in this manner in mourning assemblies, turned it into a dramatic artform. A contemporary of famous Marsiya-reciter Meer Anis, and who didn’t find favor with Anis’s Marsiya composition, wrote:
“Ek martaba Ittefaqan Anis Ki Majlis mein shirkat hui. Marsiye Ke doosre hi band ki Bait…
Saato.n Jahannum Atish-e-Furqat mein jalte hain
Sho’le tirii talaash mein baahar nikalte hain
… Anis ne is andaz se paDhi ki mujhe sho’le bhadakte hue dikhai dene lage aur main un ka padhna-sunna mein aisa mahv hua ki tan-badan kaa hosh na rahaa.”
When new poetry appeared in the form Azad Nazm, it found no takers as no one seemed willing to listen to it. Then, Famous actor and broadcaster Zia Mohiuddin experimented with reciting Noon Meem Rashid's poems at various events. He recited some of these poems in such a way that the listeners, for whom these poems were ambiguous, meaningless and far from poetry, they too became enchanted by them; even managing to discover in those poems a bit of poetry.