“Recollected in Tranquility” by Amjad Pervaiz

 Gehri Shaam Ki Bailain  
Poet: Hamid Yazdani  

Recollected in tranquility

Review by: Dr. Amjad Pervaiz

Hamid Yazdani appeared in the poetry scene of Pakistan in the eighties. He inherited the art of saying poetry in classic style from his father Syed Yazdani Jallundhri who was a famous poet.  With the passage of time the aesthetics entered his mood as well as modern approach towards saying poetry. These three factors make Hamid individualistic as well as classic approach in his poetry is witnessed. He says that he learnt the art of saying a line from the classical poets. That is why his lines are both modern in their approach as well as are creative in nature. Modern approach has taught Hamid to create new patterns, new vocabulary, new dialect and diction and new sensitivity. To substantiate this observation, a couplet said by him is offered here for the reader’s appreciation. It says ‘Fazaa-e-Asar Main Urta Hua Parinda Hun/ Hawa Key Rang Chuppey Merey Baal-o-Par Main Hain’. This couplet reflects the soul of the present era. Earlier Hamid Yazdani’s poetry book ‘Abhi Ik Khwab Rehta Hei’ had appeared in the literary scene. That was 1992, fifteen years ago. He has come out with his second Urdu poetry book, the one under review after this gap. This fact alone indicates the element of selectivity in Hamid. In between however Hamid has a Punjabi poetry book titled ‘Neeli Raat Di Chup’ to his credit in 2002. 

Hamid Yazdani was born in Faisalabad in 1961 but was raised in the educational and literary environment of Lahore from where he obtained Masters Degree in Sociology. He is also Masters of Social Work from Canada. He is a Ravian and also a student of the University of the Punjab. His educational institutions abroad have been Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada and Mohawk College, Hamilton, Canada.  

Hamid writes both in Nazm and Ghazal formats. In Dr Zia ul Hassan’s opinion Hamid’s Ghazal is distinct in its features but his “artistry has been formulated in a better style in his poems”. He has also paid tributes to the veteran personalities of Pakistan like he has a few words for late Parveen Shakir (page 80). He says ‘Asman Par Lakeer Ki Soorat/ Najam-e-Shab’Taab Ka Safar Daikha/ Aik Mah Geer Teer Ki Soorat/ Nuqrai Khwab Ka Safar Daikha’. On page 74 he has paid tribute to Hakim Muhammad Saeed. He says ‘Ab Bhi Tera Dimagh Roshan Hei/ Tu Keh Tha Aik Azam Ki Diwar’. Hamid is basically an optimist. In the poem titled ‘Naye Mausam Ke Rastey Phoot’tey Hain’ he links the old traditions to the new ones. He says ‘Purani Shaakh Par Khilti Hui, Ik Narm Konpal Sey/ Naey Mausam Ke Rastey Phootetey Hain’. His couplet from the Ghazal on page 108 also reflects the positive outlook of making a better future while keeping the traditions intact. He says ‘Ik Nai Tabeer Saanson Mein Rahi/ Ik Purana Khwaab Aankhon Mein Raha’.

Living abroad for a considerable period has its effect on Hamid also. He is a host to all the visiting delegates from Pakistan in the literary field. In his poem ‘New Year Eve’ his picturesque poetry portraits the beauty of nature whether it is the mist in the air or the quietness of the trees and the snow falling. He then remembers the spring season that follows the severe winters. He does not believe that spring was actually in the offing. His memories get brighter, the brain cells start opening up. The dark corners of the house start getting brighter. The still weathers of his album also come to know of the spring coming. Hamid winds up by saying that ‘Meri Album Mein Thehrey Huey Mausamon Ko Khabar Ho Gai/ Sabz Shakhon Mein Dabka Hua Waqt Khamosh Hei/ Kya Hua? Kya Bahar Aa Gai? Khil Utha Zakhm-e-Khwab-e-Hunar/ Phir Dehekney Lagi Har Nazar’. (The balmy seasons which had come to a standstill in my album have heard of it/ Time, hunched among the green branches, has nothing to say/ What has happened?/ Is spring here? The dream of my artistry, which is like a wound, opens; and everyone’s vision is on fire again.) 

Summarizing Hamid’s poetry one can see that aesthetics dominate Hamid Yazdani’s poetry. Modernism, tradition and romance therefore make a troika for the creation of a new diction in poetry. This diction if is close to the tradition is also different in a way. As reiterated earlier Hamid’s stay in Germany and Canada has more effect on his Nazm. The West’s effect has been taken in a positive way. It must be interesting to note that Hamid still misses his city-of Lahore very passionately. In his poem “A Poem for Lahore” he says, “You were lost in deep sleep when I left you/I went away without taking your leave/ What else could I do…?/I had to go/ In the morning, as you rubbed your eyes, you may have seen, where your silken shadow fell, in the leaves streaming past/ a leaf…! / A dry, wan and distraught leaf, like my departing kiss.”    

Hamid’s foreign experience, however, has also added fresh topics in the repertoire of Hamid’s poetry. His poem “Casanova” for example renders a touch of modern expression while elaborating on the artistic values, aesthetical deception and moral fallacy of the European society in a given/contextual time of the history. 

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(Printed in the daily newspaper “The Nation”, Lahore, Pakistan)