'Na Kisi Ki Aankh Ka Noor Hoon was written by my grandfather'

  • Sneha Mahadevan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 09, 2015 10:53 IST

For decades now there has been confusion about the original writer of Urdu nazm Na Kisi Ki Aankh Ka Noor Hoon, Na Kisi Ke Dil Ka Qarar Hoon. While Bahadur Shah Zafar has been attributed for having written it, a controversy was raised at the behest of Jan Nisaar Akhtar and Javed Akhtar that the ghazal was written by Muztar Khairabadi. After years and years of research, renowned veteran lyricist and poet, Javed Akhtar, grandson of Khairabadi, has found the original copy in the pages of his grandfather’s personal books. From finding a bundle of old papers in a tattered cardboard box to scouting in libraries and private collections in Khairabad, Lucknow, Tonk, Rampur, Indore, Gwalior, Bhopal and Indore – all the cities where Muztar lived and travelled as a Judicial Magistrate – till it's transformation in these five volumes, the story of Khirman will say it all.

He explains, “When my grandfather died in 1927, my father was a 15 year old. He had some of my grandfather’s works with him but most of it was scattered, lying around. A few years back I found a lot of his poetry that my father had collected. It took us 10 years to get all his sorted but we found five huge volumes. I took the help of two people who were well versed with Urdu in Mumbai to help me find all his work. I have found this ghazal written in one of the pages of his personal book. There were many other ghazals that I found too. Now, I am publishing a book - Khirman on my grandfather’s unpublished work. It will be a single book and will include work from all his volumes”

He adds, “He is probably the only poet in India whose work hasn’t been published so I have put it all together. In fact, though the song is very popular as it was in the movie Lal Qila, and has been sung by so many people, no one really knew the original writer. He was a very versatile man and never repeated himself in his work.” But the single most important contribution of Khirman is to showcase the depth and range of Urdu’s most neglected yet most eclectic poet. Apart from ghazals in the most immaculate Urdu there are also dohe, kajri, hori, bhajan and geet in Hindi.

The Vice President of India, Mr Hamid Ansari, will launch a five-volume set of poetry by the noted Urdu poet Muztar Khairabadi at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, 6.00 pm today Saturday, 5th September 2015.

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