Munir Ahmad, better known as Munir Niazi, SI (1928–2006) was one of the best-known and admired Urdu poets from Pakistan who also produced good poetry in the Punjabi language.
Munir Niazi launched a weekly, Saat Rang, fromSahiwal in 1949. He wrote numerous songs for films and made his name as the foremost movie song writer of Pakistan. He also wrote for newspapers, magazines and radio. In 1960 he established a publication institute, Al-Misal. Lately he was associated with Lahore Television and lived in Lahore till his death.
Taiz Hawa Aur Tanha Phool, Jungle mein Dhanak, Dushmanoon Kai Darmiyan Sham and Mah-e-Munirare his popular Urdu publications. In Punjabi he has published Safar di Raat, Char Chup Cheezan and Rasta Dasan Walay Tarey. His effective imagery conveys pictures in few words. He has experimented with poetic forms and has tried to create a new style, rhythm and diction in Urdu poetry. Innocence, mythology, nostalgia, dreams, eroticism, and romance are some of his most common themes.
|Courtesy:Pakistan Film Magazine|
I have written about him and his poetry earlier (wondering whether it was him in the wonderful re-making of Mehdi Hasan’s ‘yeh watan tumhara hai‘; in thinking about song and poetry; and in terms of his literary rivalry with Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi, who died just a few months before him). We will, no doubt, write about it again later.
His ‘mohabbat abb nahiN ho gi, yeh kuch din baad meiN ho gi’ and ‘humaisha dair kar daita houN meiN’ are especially poignant and I find his following Punjabi qata so often relevant to my own travails:
kujh unj we raawaN aukhiaN sann
kujh gall icch gham da tauq ve see
kujh shehr dey louk ve zalim sann
kujh sanouN marran da souq ve see
Yes, the path I chose was hard
Yes, there was the noose of grief around my neck
Yes, the citizenry was also so cruel
But, ultimately, we too wanted to get killed
(coloquial for the last line: ‘we were suckers for punishment’; this is NOT a translation, just conveying the essential meaning)
Another favorite of mine is the following:
Kisee ko apnay amal ka jawab kiya daytay,
Swal saray ghalat thay jawab kiya daytay
-By Iftikhar Chaudri of Lovers of Fine/ performing Arts,Poetry,Literature& Music of Sub-Continent