Oldest Gujarati ghazal poet Asim Randeri passes away | india | Hindustan Times
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Oldest Gujarati ghazal poet Asim Randeri passes away

india Updated: Feb 06, 2009 20:05 IST

The oldest Gujarati ghazal poet Subedar Mahmoodmiya Mohammad Imam, popularly known as Asim Randeri, died of old age in Rander area of the city yesterday.

He was 104 years old.

A legend in Gujarati literature from the pre-Independence era and recipient of the Vali Gujarati Award in 2006, Randeri was buried at the Goregarima graveyard here today morning.

Born in an effluent family in Rander village here on August 15, 1904, Randeri studied till matric before working for a British company.

His flirting with the pen began when he was 18 years old.

Randeri's works like Leela, Shangar, Tapi Tirey and Gulchadi with their bold style revolutionized Gujarati ghazal writing.

Leela, a fictitious character created by Randeri, was a hit among youth. His love for this character continued and lived in the form of a magazine with the same title for six years.

'Tapi Tirey' is a collection of Gujarati ghazals on love blossoming on the banks of the river Tapi, considered to be the lifeline of Surat, which had become hub of Gujarati ghazal in the 1920s.

According to the Encyclopedia of Indian Literature (Vol-2), Asim's ghazals and nazams had a pronounced romantic flair in them.

It said that a great number of Gujarati ghazal poets emerged on the scene in the early part of the 20th century which included Shaida, Bekar, Asim Randeri, Sabir Vatva, Nasim, Sagir, Amin Azad, Munadi Zar Randeri, to name a few.

Gujarati Ghazal was under the heavy influence of Urdu and Persian language.

After the death of his father, Randeri went abroad and worked in the editorial department of 'Kenya Dailymail' in east Africa from 1928 to 1932.

From 1932 onwards also worked as a sales person in the Mumbai with Walkon Trading, a branch of a Swedish match company, before retiring in 1965.

Between 1965-71 Randeri travelled across India and abroad and performed for various television and radio programmes.

Randeri was the first to hold mushairas over All India Radio. He later travelled to Pakistan, South Africa and the US with his ghazals.