KARACHI: Waqt, a collection of Urdu poems and ghazals by Peerzada Salman, was launched at the Alliance Francaise on Friday evening.
Saying Peerzada Salman is a prolific writer seems an understatement. He almost daily writes and reports on art, culture, literature and even politics besides contributing his weekly column titled 50 years ago to Dawn as its staffer. It amazes one how he finds time to pursue his passion for writing poetry after all the professional writing and editing work. With his lively style, he makes even the past common happenings highly readable. His usual gaiety is reflected in his poetry too.
The slender compilation of his poetry includes short poems, several three-liners as well as ghazals. His ghazals are short metred and can be categorised as modern in approach. Besides the traditional romance, in his poetry he touches upon almost every contemporary issue, particularly condemning sectarianism and racism. In the preface to the book, he claims that he is inspired by nobody but himself.
Renowned poet Iftikhar Arif, speaking at the event, said Waqt was the “first love book”. He said like most Karchiites, Salman was also inspired by Jaun Elia, but Jaun’s style was hard to follow.
Well-known critic and educationist Dr Naumanul Haq recited excerpts from the book. He said there was freshness in Salman’s poetry. He said that since Salman was a student of English literature, it was natural for him to be influenced by English poetry as could be seen in his poems.
Senior columnist Ghazi Salahuddin, who was moderating the programme, said Salman’s poetry bore Indian poet Akhtarul Eimaan’s imprint.
Dr Aalia Imam was also present at the launch to bless the poet.
Later, on prodding from the audience Salman recited a couple of poems and answered questions. In response to a query, Salman said being a journalist he had always avoided self-projection, but in 2015 he fell sick and the scare it caused prompted him to organise and preserve his scattered writings. So, first he published his collection of English poetry titled Bemused and now this book,Waqt.
As a glimpse into his poetry, here is his poem titled Silsila, or Series in English.
Yeh jo ik silsila hai taaron ka
Yeh fasana hai gham ke maaron ka
Ik khala hai jo teergi mein gum
Ik khala hai jo khamshi mein gum
Aasmanon ki ashkbari hai
Roshni ki talash jari hai
[This series of constellations
Is nothing but a tale told by the heartbroken
A void, enveloped in darkness
A void, enveloped in silence
The sky is in mourning
It’s in search of light]
Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2018