“SOMETIMES poets appear in a large number like flies come in the summer season, but only few of them survive till end of the season,” a great writer once said when his attention was drawn towards ‘abundance’ of poets in Pashto literature.
The poets, who remain alive among the literati and readers for a long time due to their standard poetry, are indeed fortunate as they are gifted with the muse to pen down masterpieces.
However, some poets and writers achieve fame on the basis of their social and organisational activities instead of their writings. “Such poets use their ‘legs’ instead of their ‘pen’ to become famous as they participate in every literary gathering and visit writers in far-off areas to get acquainted with them. They are also instrumental in setting up literary organisations and attracting media,” said a senior writer.
But it is also a fact that fame for such poets and writers is short lived. People forget them soon after their death or when they stop to participate in literary gatherings.
On the other hand, ‘original’ writers are remembered by people for centuries. Pashto has also many original writers and poets, who are remembered till date by people despite the fact that they are no more present here physically. It is hoped that some of the contemporary Pashto poets will also remain alive in the literary circles for long. Shah Saud is one of such poets.
He is one of the most popular poets in Afghanistan despite the fact that he never visited Afghanistan, as he usually doesn’t attend poetry recitation sessions and prefers his solitude to being among the people. He spends most of the time at his village on the suburbs of Peshawar. Although he seldom ventures outside Peshawar, yet his imagination is strong enough that has enabled him to depict every issue of mankind in his poetry.
“Shah Saud became popular among the poets and readers of Afghanistan as a result of natural process without making any extra efforts. His books, published by Danish Publishing House in Peshawar, reach Afghanistan and become popular within days,” said a poet from Afghanistan.
However, it doesn’t mean that Shah Saud is allergic of people or has no friends. Being a sensitive person, he cares the most for his friends and loves to be among them though he never tries to gain fame or popularity by reciting poems and ghazals in front of people.
Shah Saud, without any exaggeration, can be considered a poet of his own style among the contemporary Pashto writers. He imitates no one, as his thoughts are genuine. He has five poetry books to his credit including Dray Gotizay Daeray, Janana Sta Tar Dara Sanga Dar Sham, Bas Hum Dagha Shantay Kha Yam, Dasay Der Laray Ba Na Zoo and Kha Da Che Ta Rana Khabar Na Shwalay.
His recently published book Kha Da Che Ta Rana Khabar Na Shwalay is a true representation of standard Pashto poetry. Being a master degree holder in philosophy, Shah Saud looks at every incident, phenomenon and happening from a peculiar angle, which is different from that of other writers and poets.
However, philosophical thoughts don’t affect lyricism of his poetry. Presenting philosophical thoughts and discussing complex issues in poetry is a difficult task but Shah Saud mixes philosophy in his ghazal to increase its beauty.
Unlike many other poets, deep philosophical thoughts and complex issues don’t overburden the fragile shoulders of ghazal when it is written by Shah Saud. His peculiar style remains intact in ghazal, poem and blank verse, no matter on what he writes or what he discusses.
Many of his fans wonder as to how a common topic becomes attractive and worth reading when Shah Saud picks his pen to write about it. May be his particular style has enabled him to beautify common, dry and dull subjects.
Shah Saud personifies unanimated things like earth, night and river in his poetry and brings them to life then these talk to him from the core of their heart, revealing secrets of nature to him.
He uses beautiful metaphors, similes and allegories to keep the readers and listeners of his poetry spell-bound. Like he says:
Bas kho yo zal day pa ulfat rata nazar karahy wo
Che khabredam tar lewantoba may safar karahy wo
(Only once you looked at me with a bit of love And I reached the destination of insanity when I came into senses)
Sta le kabala os pa cha banday yaqeen na kawam
Sta le khatira may pa har sarhi bawar karhay wo
(Now I don’t believe in anyone owing to you As I used to trust everyone because of you)
Azghi wo, ghanay ka gulan wo har sa gran wo pa ma
Hum zma khawra wa pakhpala may pray kar karhay wo
(All were dear to me whether they were thorns, bushes or flowers As it was my own soil and I myself had cultivated it).