In 1981 Azra Abbas came out with her aboriginal accumulating of poems, Neend Ki Musafatein [Journeys of Sleep]. The aboriginal band in the book was “Paani pe chaltay huay paon hamaray hi thay” [Those anxiety were ours that footstep on water]. It heralded a new alpha in Urdu poetry. In those days, allotment book composition over added forms of announcement was no beneath than aggravating to footstep on water. But there was one iconoclast, Qamar Jameel, who spearheaded the book composition movement and alloyed a assertive ardour in abounding adolescent writers, some of whom are still in the aforementioned appearance of their artistic lives. Abbas was one of those adolescent writers.
In the accomplished 40 years or so, Abbas has been absolutely constant in publishing balladry collections. Her aboriginal was based on her admission into the branch of love, again its fulfilment and again absorbed about the aftereffect of this appointment with love. Afterwards that came Maiz Per Rakhey Haath [Hands on the Table] area some of her balladry were singled out for their absolute animal expression. Hairat Ke Uss Paar [The Added Side of Wonder] was notable for cogent the adventures of active in a adopted burghal (London) while Andhere Ki Sargoshian [Whispers of the Darkness] was apparent by a profound, able anguish which was not acquainted afore in her poetry.
This anguish is actual abundant there in her new book Bheerr Mein [In the Crowd], but the chat ‘sadness’ would not be abundant to explain this, or any, collection. These are variations of anguish which are added apparent in the brand of book composition than in any added form. Love, binding bonds and her admired burghal Karachi accept been some of the best alternate capacity in Abbas’s poetry. Now life, time and afterlife accept additionally circumscribed up as important capacity with which she is best concerned.
The grande amazon of book balladry has complete and her acrimony has been replaced with blahs about love
Her anguish comes from altered spaces. From promises of adulation which could not be kept; from adulation that is befuddled into a bend or has been put in abeyance; from adulation that was absent or was showered over addition who did not deserve it; or aloof for cat-and-mouse all her activity for addition who absolutely adapted her love. But aloft all, this anguish is there because of the futility of the chase for adulation which she adventures at the present date of her life. It is a aged sadness, bare of the accurateness and accurateness of Abbas’s acrimony of her adolescent canicule about which she had told an accuser that, had she not been a poet, she would accept been a terrorist. Now her acrimony has below into a anguish which is generally chatty aback cogent the sorrows of love.
Is it aberrant that she is still autograph adulation poems? No, it is not. Aback she was young, she was autograph about adulation as an experience; now she is autograph about adulation as a afterthought of things past. She is autograph about a adulation which was promised to be accustomed to her in instalments, but was discontinued afterwards the aboriginal one. She writes about the futility of the chase for adulation in balladry such as Tum Mujhe Dhoondte Rahey [You Kept Looking for Me], area both lovers end their lives aggravating to t the other; alike admitting they accommodated once, they abort because they are not able to recognise anniversary added at the appropriate moment. One composition is called Aatishdaan [Fireplace] area the titular article is reminiscing about bodies who acclimated to accumulate about it for warmth, but now it is about to be extinguished. She is abandoning the canicule aback she acclimated to backbone dreams from copse and aback she acclimated to airing beneath copse and the copse would accord their dreams on the artist by showering their leaves and petals on her.
The futility of the chase for adulation has enabled Abbas to anticipate about the abstraction of time. This futility of activity has rendered time useless. Now aback time passes it doesn’t acquaint area it is casual and area it is affliction someone. Nevertheless, time will detach the article of one’s cocky and booty it to its accepted end. That end is death, addition affair which is dealt with poignantly in Abbas’s new poems.
There are some balladry which try to accident counterfeit taboos. We can say that these are feminist poems, admitting Abbas is alert of defining herself as a feminist. In the composition ‘Ab Mein Column Box Mein Koi Khat Nahin Daaloon Gi’ [I Will Not Put a Letter in the Column Box] she abjure the anathema for women that they cannot column a adulation letter to addition out of a accepted relationship. In addition composition she abjure that she is not a “houri” and appropriately cannot go to the paradise promised to men. Some balladry admonish us of the book balladry accounting in the 1980s and ’90s aback balladry was acclimated as a approach of resistance. Hum Un Ke Saath Hain Jo Maarey Gaey [We Are With Those Who Were Killed] and Woh Kehta Hai [He Says] are two such poems.
In this new book, Abbas is able to acquisition new means of alignment anapestic account as well. In Aik Nazm Doosri Nazm Ke Liyey [A Composition for Addition Poem], two balladry are presented as characters talking to anniversary other. One composition is abaft the added composition and is cat-and-mouse for its turn, sadly, to be befuddled into a c as the aboriginal composition is destined to be.
Apart from her capacity and expression, it is additionally account acquainted how far Abbas is able to booty her balladry as memorable and audible units. In best cases, she is successful, but there are some balladry area she starts with an abstraction and again forgets it in her beck of alertness and doesn’t appear aback to it to absolve its attendance at the alpha of the poem. Those balladry can be termed as aloof forms of announcement which could not become complete entities.
Abbas has had an active activity as a poet. She now has a affluent abundance accession of reminiscences and she keeps alive on them to accord new acceptation to her experiences. This is why balladry readers agilely delay for her new balladry and acceptable her as the grande amazon of book poetry.
The yst is a poet, biographer and translator. His aboriginal atypical Char Darvesh Aur Aik Kachwa will be appear this year by Maktaba-i-Danyal
Bheerr MeinBy Azra AbbasAaj Ki Kitabein, KarachiISBN: 978-9696480280159pp.
Published in Dawn, Books & Authors, September 23rd, 2018
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