The sudden demise of renowned Urdu poet Nida Fazli who had an emotional bond with Bhopal left the arty people of the city shocked beyond measure.
He was particularly attracted by the landscape of Bhopal which for him was a melodious plot of beechen green.
Fazli, 78, who passed away following a heart attack in Mumbai on Monday, was schooled in Gwalior district of Madhya Pradesh. A regular visitor to Bhopal, Fazli was very fond of Bhopali food and ‘paan’.
Remembering the poet, Mumtaz Khan, a fashion designer from Bhopal, says, “When he (Fazli) last visited the city on December 29 last year for Urdu Academy mushaira, I went to receive him at the airport. While we were driving back to the hotel, he made us stop at Lalghati so that he could have a piece of Bhopali meetha paan. Throughout the drive, he kept on talking about Bhopal. He said he was admiring Bhopal’s beauty from the airplane but the announcement of the landing at Raja Bhoj airport made him sad. He said Bhopal is a land of poets, litterateurs and artists. But Rajas and Maharajas still have a bearing on it. He was a good friend of Fazal Tabish, Bhopal’s shayar and dropped in his place whenever came to Bhopal. In his last mushaira, he (Fazli) began with the couplets of Fazal. He also spoke on the recent award-retuning spree. He said no one can snatch the power of pen from these writers. If they do not like something, they should have written it instead of insulting the awards given to them.”
Fazli was honoured with the MP government’s Shikhar Samman in 2005.
Renowned film and art critic of Bhopal Sunil Mishra says, “When I take his name the first think that strikes me is his warmth and humility. His way of greeting his friends could melt hearts. I went along with him to the places of many of his poet-friends in Bhopal and enjoyed their discussions on issues ranging from food to politics. He never said no to coming to Bhopal whose lakes and greenery he fell in love with. He often used to talk about late Jagjit Singh Ji, who was his great friend. It is a coincidence that Fazli Ji passed away on Singh’s birthday.”
Hashir Fazal, the elder son of poet Fazal Tabish of Bhopal has emotional ties with his ‘Nida Chacha’.
He says, “Abbu (Late Fazal Tabish) was like soul brother to him. When I recently visited Nida Chacha in Mumbai, he kept teasing for a couple of days as my father called him up and asked to keep his house alcohol-free for some days as I will be visiting. Nida Chacha kept teasing me as he had to keep himself away from alcohol. He was a very warm and simple person. I have yet to meet a person as humble as him.”