“Kabhi kisi ko mukammal jahan nahin milta,
Kahin zameen to kahin aasman nahin milta.”
No, he wasn’t being pessimistic when he said that in a ‘matter-of-fact manner’ – it was just a doff to the human bondage that we all inherit. We strive to be master of our fate and captain of our soul, but life has a way to throw us a curveball that derails some element in our life and aspiration.
He was a stormy petrel who well-knew the importance of being ‘politically correct’ to prosper but couldn’t quite abide by his own advice when he came to writing his shayari.
Nida Fazli was a renowned poet – a shayar who was popular with the common man. He wrote in the coveted hindustani script – the unique blend of Hindi and Urdu. He was equally comfortable in the world of mushaira / literary circles as he was in Bollywood.
He straddled many worlds – having done his in MA in Hindi, he was a key exponent of synthesizing Hindi and Urdu. He had a good command over English as well. He understood the history of Hindi poetry as well as Urdu Ghazals in a profound manner. His fascination for the theme related to ‘Duniya’ saw multiple expressions in his works over the years. It started with a popular couplet that was picked up by Jagjit Singh to launch him in the world of stardom.
“Duniya jise kehte hain, jadoo ka khilona hai;
Mil jaaye to mitti hai, kho jaaye to sona hai.”
Over the years he contributed his lovely nazms in movies like Razia Sultana (Tera Hijr Mera Naseeb Hai) , Aap Toh Aise Na The (Tu Is Tarah Meri Zindagi Main Shamil Hain) Ahista Ahista (Kabhi Kisi Ko Mukammal Jahan Nahin Milta), Harjaee (Tere Liye Palkon Ki Jhalar Bunoon), Sarfarosh (Hoshwalon Ko Khabar Kya Bekhudi Kya Cheez Hai), Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin (Jeevan Kya Hai..) etc. In particular Jagjit Singh collaborated with him for many popular numbers including the romantic, ‘Hoshwalon Ko Khabar Kya, Bekhudi Kya Cheez Hai …’. Yet another soulful number was, ‘Apni Marzi Se Kahan Apne Safar Ke Ham Hain, Rukh Hawaon Ka Jhidhar Ka Hai Udhar Ke Ham Hai …’.
Yet Bollywood wasn’t a place where he truly belonged – he had seen the dark side of human relationships personified in the tinsel town where there were many a slip between the cup and the lip. He summarized it well in the following couplet –
“Baat kam kijiye jahanat ko chhipate rahiye
Ajnabi shehar hai ye, dost banate rahiye;
Dushmani lakh sahi, khatam na kije rishta
Dil mile na mile, haath milate rahiye.”
He wasn’t defeatist in his approach but he always acknowledged that larger forces are at work in our lives and eventualities are bound to upset our plans. His approach is summarized by the following couplet –
“Koshish bhi kar, umeed bhi rakh,
raasta bhi chun, phir uske baad thoda muqaddar talaash kar.”
He was well aware of the current world realities and his work would reflect his sensibilities in the modern world. He strived to promote peace and harmony. He looked for the lost humanity that was the cornerstone of the life gone by.
He will be dearly missed as a fine practitioner of the oeuvre of ghazal and shayari. An apt final world would be to quote one more of his popular songs –
“Tu is tarah se meri zindagi mein shaamil hai,
Jahan bhi jaaun ye lagta hai teri mehfil hai.”