KARACHI: Renowned poet Rehan Azmi died here on Tuesday. He was 61. He was unwell for the past few weeks. He leaves behind two sons.
Mr Azmi was born on July 7, 1958 in Karachi. He did his schooling from the city of his birth and studied in a local college. Known for impressive noha and marsiya writing, he also wrote ghazals and songs. He penned lyrics to many a song for PTV, and before that for Radio Pakistan.
He was a prolific poet when it came to nohas; so much so that it was once claimed his name had appeared in an international record book. But that remains to be corroborated. All of his books were well received. They were Qalam Tor Diya, Khwab Se Tabeer Tak, Gham, Manzar Ba Manzar Karbala, Aik Ansu Mein Karbala and Rehan-i-Karbala.
Talking to Dawn about Mr Azmi’s life and work, poet Jawaid Saba said “In the kind of literature he produced, he had no parallels among his contemporaries. He wrote nohas, marsiyas and salaams. He was a multidimensional versifier. He started off by writing ghazals and wrote songs for PTV. Then he came to this side [devotional] of literature and earned a great name for himself.
“He was an extremely humble and graceful man. It’s a great loss for us. He was always willing to help others. I think [research] work should be done on his poetry,” said Mr Saba.
President of the Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi, Ahmed Shah said, “I had known him for the last 40 years. I don’t think anyone in the world has written more nohas than him. Wherever in the world he went, he would find cassettes of his nohas. I know people benefitted monetarily from his writings but he himself never charged a single penny. He lived in a small house and led a simple life. It’s a big loss.”
Mr Azmi’s funeral prayers were held at Jaffar-i-Tayyar. He was laid to rest in the Wadi-i-Hussain graveyard after Maghrebain on Tuesday.
Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2021