Nida-fazliThe poet who chose India over his parent’s choice: Pakistan, during the partition of sub-continent ceased to be at 78. A rebel in his tribe, Nida Fazli rose to become reckoning poet and lyricist who penned several soulful compositions like ‘Kabhi kisi ko Mukammal Jahan nahi Milta’.

Muqtida Hasan Nida Fazli, popularly known as Nida Fazli, was a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi award. Some of his famous ghazals include ‘Aa bhi jaa’, ‘Hosh waalon ko khabar kya’ among others.

Fazli was born on October 12, 1938 in Delhi into a Kashmiri family. He grew up in Gwalior, where he attended school and subsequently studied English literature. His father was also an Urdu poet.

As a young, Fazli was fascinated by the lyrical mood of Meera and Kabir and widened his knowledge of poetry by studying TS Eliot, Anton Chekhov and others.

By 1964, he moved to Mumbai in search of a job. His poetic style attracted the notice of filmmakers and writers of Hindi and Urdu literature. He wrote essays critical of contemporary poets of the sixties in his book Mulaqatein which outraged poets including Sahir Ludhianvi, Ali Sardar Jafri and Kaifi Azmi. As a result, he was boycotted in some poetic sessions.

His career improved when Kamal Amrohi, a filmmaker, approached him. He teamed up with Jagjit Singh to bring an album that attained prominence for its soulful poetry and music.

Fazli was a poet of various moods and to him the creative sentiment and inner urge were the sources of poetry. He thought that the feeling of a poet is similar to an artist: like a painter or a musician. In contrast he found lyric writing a mechanical job as he had to fulfil the demands of the script and the director. Later, he accepted the practical necessity of money which comes from lyric writing and helps one to ponder on creative work.

Nida Fazli disagreed with the partition of India and had spoken out against the communal riots, politicians and fundamentalism. But during the riots of December 1992, the man who chose India over Pakistan had to take shelter in his friend’s house for the fear of his life.

–  Riyaz Ul Khaliq


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