LAHORE: Punjabi poet Mazhar Tirmazi’s new book “Adh” was launched at the National College of Arts (NCA) on Friday.
Speaking on the occasion, short-story writer Saeed Bhutta rejected the general perception that contemporary Punjabi poetry was not up to the mark compared to the classical poets, saying the impression was created by the bad poetry books which were being published in abundance. However, he said, there are also books like Mazhar Tirmazi’s which show the bright side of Punjabi poetry.
“Currently, there are two kinds of Punjabi poets. First, those who write poetry using Urdu techniques while following the tradition of N.M. Rashed and Miraji. Second, those who use difficult diction that is hard to understand for themselves as well as for readers. Taking his own path, Mazhar does not try to make the language difficult and his poetry’s main quality is that he uses contemporary language.”
Journalist Arif Waqar read a paper on Mazhar Tirmazi as a person, not a poet. He recalled his college days when he met the poet for the first time as a young man when Punjabi writers had started frequenting the Pak Tea House for their meetings.
Poet Raja Sadiqulla said though Tirmazi was inspired by Majeed Amjad, he did not follow him blindly. There were other equally great poems by Tirmazi just like Umran Langian. He said when Asad Amanat Ali Khan sang it in the 1970s, he did not give credit or royalty to Tirmazi who had to move court to get his right.
Short-story writer Zubair Ahmed recalled when he first met Tirmazi at Kitab Trinjan, where the poet had come to publish his book. “His poetry does not have any grand philosophy but it originates from his existentialist crisis. However, it does not mean that his poetry is not political as ‘Surkh Gulabaan Dey Mausam Wich Phulaan Dey Rung Kalay’ is a political line.
The event was moderated by poet and broadcaster Afzal Saahir who also read out Tirmazi’s poems.
Published in Dawn, October 3rd , 2015