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Book launch: 'Makhmoor Saeedi Ke She'ri Aafaque'
Makhmoor Saeedi's poetry is both a lament of society's moral and cultural defeat and an expression of his creative uneasiness and the chaos of his time, viewed noted Urdu litterateur Haqqani Al-Qasmi.

He was speaking at the launch of Dr Quaseem Akhtar’s book “Makhmoor Saeedi Ke She’ri Aafaque” or ‘The poetic horizon of Makhmoor Saeedi’ at Shaheen Bagh, New Delhi recently. The book launching programme was organized by Seemanchal Media Manch in collaboration with Parwaz Charitable Trust.

Although a lot has been written about Makhmoor Saeedi, Dr Quaseem Akhtar’s book offers a great evaluation of his poetry. This critical analysis is perhaps the first extensive work on Makhmoor Saeedi by a young scholar which has added new vigour and vibrancy to the study of life and personality of Makhmoor. This is because no exclusive book has so far been written on him, said Haqqani. Sheen Kaaf Nizam’s work is a compilation.

It should be noted that Makhmoor Saeedi, born on 31 December 1938, in Tonk, Rajasthan, had lost many of his close family members during India’s independence movement. He was forced by circumstances to travel to Delhi where his journey began as a journalist, poet, writer and translator. His literary contributions won him Sahitya Academy Award. He died on 2 March, 2010.

Haqqani congratulated the author for his arduous journey from a marginalised region of Bihar to the centre as it is difficult for many to do. He said that areas like Seemanchal stand as metaphors of marginalization because very few people from such areas make it to the centre. “Our entire struggle is about centre versus marginalization” said the famous author. This book therefore is a new addition to Seemanchal’s academic publications. Dr Quaseem’s creative journey is beautiful, added Haqqani.

Dr Khalid Mubashshir, Assistant Professor of Urdu, Jamia Millia Islamia said that the emotions, expressions and style in Makhmoor’s poetry are all his own. He created his own unique style without copying anyone. As pointed by the author, ishq (love) and past are the metaphors used frequently in Makhmoor’s poetry. Any work on Makhmoor cannot ignore this, said he.

Author of children’s literature Siraj Azim said, “Reading Makhmoor feels like I have entered his soul” because in his poetry I find my own feelings and emotions.

The book’s author Quaseem Akhtar said that when Makhmoor Saeedi saw modernism eclipse and get away from its track, he kind of dissociated himself from that trend and adopted a different outlook in which there is respect both for old traditions and value for modern tendencies. It is precisely because of this that you find great clarity and freshness in his poetry.

Khan Mohammad Rizwan, who coordinated the programme said that Quaseem Akhtar was emerging as a powerful poet who ‘has created a niche for himself and left good impressions on the contemporary poetic landscape in a very short span of time’.

Abid Anwar, Iftikharuz Zaman, Imran Akif, Imtiyaz Rumi, Manzar Imam and Salman Abdus Samad also shared their views. Absar Ahmad Siddiqui, Ashiq Ilahi, Sehla Khan and others attended the programme.

(The author is a freelance journalist and research scholar based in New Delhi.)

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