He is in a field that requires him to have nerves of steel. But, Mohammed Faiyyaz Farooqui, 46, is a poet at heart. His passion for poetry makes him an officer with a difference, awarded as he has been with the Sahir Ludhianvi Award for his book of poems in Urdu – Thoda Sa Main – by the Language Department, Punjab, at a state-level function held at Rampura Phul, Bhatinda in November.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police from Allahabad is currently posted at Border Security Force (BSF), Khasa. Between discharging his duties, the officer talks to us about his maiden book and how poetry came to hold a significant place in his life.
Farooqui indeed feels encouraged to have been awarded for his maiden project and is thankful to the literary environment that he grew up in as a child. “Both my father and maternal grandfather were poets, so, poems were always around me. But, I turned passionate towards the world of poetry in 1998, barely a few years after I started working,” he says.
Later, his wife was to become the judge of his poems who would give honest feedback for what he wrote. In fact, Farooqui says he penned his first poem and dedicated it to his wife, his mind and pen never stopping thereafter. The poet’s enthusiasm turned so high that he would pen down all his enthralling and meaningful thoughts in whatever he could find, even office files, newspapers and notebooks. Soon, he started maintaining diaries, especially when his family, friends and colleagues appreciated his rich thoughts and words. The day was not far when Farooqui’s inspiration to compile the different shades of his poetry in a book took shape and Thoda Sa Main was born.
Published last December by Faiz Ahmed Faiz Literary Foundation, Ludhiana, the book presents the beauty of the poet’s mind, who believes that the readers would find reading his poems an exercise in optimism. “I take life in a very positive manner and my book shows that. It is packed with diverse emotions that will make the readers feel that life is beautiful,” expresses Farooqui and adds, “If we focus on the brighter side of life, the dark side would get punctured on its own.”
Ask him what he feels are the qualities of a good poet and he says, “To be a good poet, one must have a pure heart as poetry originates in the heart. It takes off from one heart to touch many other hearts. In other words, it is a heart to heart communication.” Farooqui pauses and adds that in prose, many words are required to express something, whereas in verse, few words solve the purpose.
To elaborate, he shares the words of famous English poet, literary critic and philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge: ‘Prose = words in their best order; poetry = the best words in the best order’.
Despite his busy schedule, Farooqui remains successful in finding time for his passion because he maintains that when an individual has a fetish for something, he or she would find the time for it.
The poet indulges in his passion while travelling or even while visiting crime scenes, and of course, after the sun sets down for he believes that during night, the mind gets a tranquil environment to think on a higher note.
(The book of poems is available at leading book stores and is priced at Rs 125. It has originally been published in Urdu, but is also available in Hindi).