Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Faiz in Seven Valleys of Attar (1)

The Seven Valleys in Sheikh Fariduddin Attar’s masterpiece Mantaq al Tayr are the course on which not only those birds which were seeking there King had to journey through but each one of us takes that route in our lives while we are seeking our own Simroghs.

This is the first part of a seven part study of the seven poetic works of Faiz Ahmed Faiz(1911-1984) which I believe is a movement in those seven valleys seeking Simrogh.

The First Valley- The Valley of Quest: طلب وادیِ

According to the classic of Attar, in the first, in the journey the seeker reaches a stage wherein he sees all created things wandering distracted in search of the Friend. How many a Jacob will he see, hunting after his Joseph; he will behold many a lover, hasting to seek the Beloved, he will witness a world of desiring ones searching after the One Desired. At every moment he finds a weighty matter, in every hour he becomes aware of a mystery; for he has taken his heart away from both worlds, and set out for the Beloved. At every step, aid from the Invisible Realm will attend him and the heat of his search will grow. The quest in this valley above, below, in every sphere each atom is a Jacob fervently searching for Joseph through eternity.

Faiz first poetic work is نقشِ فریادی Naqsh-e-Faryadi .(1943) and we see in all major poems of this small volume a search, a quest for a beloved, and even when the beloved is found the quest takes another dimension specially when the it comes to
the poem مجھ سے پہلی سی محبت میری محبوب نہ مانگ

The book starts with the famous couplet of Faiz longing for that beloved:
رات یوں دل میں تری کھوئی ھوئی یاد آئی
جیسے ویرانے میں چپکے سے بہار آ جائے
Then we see a poem سرودِ شبانہ in which the poet is simply immersed in the thoughts of the beloved whom he is seeking and I personally have no doubt that this beloved is no other than the ultimate Reality, although few eye brows may rise as Faiz and his poetry is never seen in this light but the historical and cultural perspective which Faiz’s poetry brings very subtly brings this out:
اے کہ تو رنگ و بو کا طوفاں ھے
اے کہ تو جلوہ گر بہار میں ھے
زندگی تیرے اختیار میں ھے

Then we move to a poem اک رہگزار پر where the beloved and the beauty of that beloved takes reader to the diverse reality of the beloved, who is here, there and everywhere and still is not accessible:
وہ جس کی دید میں لاکھوں مسرتیں پنہاں
وہ حسن جس کی تمنا میں جنتیں پنہاں

Then comes a startling ghazal of this volume, which is so amazing that it can be considered as the poem of this valley of quest and it shows the intensity of the quest :
کئی بار اس کا دامن بھر دیا حسنِ دو عالم سے
       مگر دل ھے کہ اس کی خانہ ویرانی نہیں   جاتی

کئی بار اس کی خاطر ذرے ذرے کا جگر چیرا
مگر یہ چشمِ حیراں جس کی حیرانی نہیں جاتی

مری چشمِ تن آساں کو بصیرت مل گئی جب سے
بہت جانی ھوئی صورت بھی پہچانی نہیں جاتی

بجز دیوانگی واں اور چارہ ہی کہو کیا ھے
جہاں عقل و خرد کی ایک بھی مانی نہیں جاتی

The vocabulary, the diction and the undertones expressed in this volume are expressively and expansively seeking a path, a person and a way of life that is not possible without the Beloved.