Nida Fazli (1938-2016)
It was a chance walk past a Hindu temple and the overhearing of a bhajan by Surdas, that turned a young boy towards his lifelong love for poetry.
Like many of his era, he reached Mumbai in 1964 in search of work and started writing for the magazines, Dharmyug and Blitz. After partition, he had refused to move to Pakistan, even though his father did.
As a student of literature, young Nida Fazli found solace in words and hope in the turn of a phrase. He spoke then, and often later, about the need for communal harmony. He chose to express himself in an everyday/ everyman language, shunning the ornate Persian flourishes that many in his generation had adopted. His nuanced words, elegant presentation and brevity won him a vast fan following. Yet, he wasn’t unknown to controversy to start with. In his book Mulaqatein, he openly criticised his contemporaries for their “fake” leftist/Marxist ideas. This infuriated them leading to him being boycotted at certain events. He held on steadfast to his ideas, his poetry a reflection of his many attempts to unravel the complexities of life.
हर घड़ी ख़ुद से उलझना है मुक़द्दर मेरा
मैं ही कश्ती हूँ मुझी में है समंदर मेराकिससे पूछूँ कि कहाँ गुम हूँ बरसों से
हर जगह ढूँढता फिरता है मुझे घर मेराएक से हो गए मौसमों के चेहरे सारे
मेरी आँखों से कहीं खो गया मंज़र मेरामुद्दतें बीत गईं ख़्वाब सुहाना देखे
जागता रहता है हर नींद में बिस्तर मेराआईना देखके निकला था मैं घर से बाहर
आज तक हाथ में महफ़ूज़ है पत्थर मेरा
Nida Fazli Sahab was brought in to write lyrics for Kamal Amrohi’s Razia Sultan
after poet/lyricist Jaan Nisaar Akhtar passed away. However,it was poetry
and not lyrics that made him come alive. He was never prolific a film lyricist, choosing instead to hone his art at mushairas and kavi sammelans, where his presence was much awaited and applauded. His philosophies were rooted in everyday life and found easy resonance with his fans.
Fazli Sahab forged a successful partnership with ghazal singer Jagjit Singh. Incidentally the day Fazli sahab passed on was also the birthday of Jagjit Singh.
Janab Nida Fazli has several poetry books to his credit.
Here is one of his evergreen classics from the film Ahista Ahista