Words Are Pearls, Full of Colors And Whiff

A brief study of Maqsood Gul’s poetry

A homage to Maqsood Gul (Sindhi poet, scholar, Educationist, journalist and translator) on his 71st birthday

By Yasir Qazi

The mid-forth month of the Gregorian calendar brings the memory of Maqsood Gul (April 15, 1950 – February 14, 2015), veteran Sindhi and Urdu poet, scholar, intellectual and the man of letters. We are commemorating his seventy-first birth anniversary, today.
Let’s pay him homage by going through some of his thoughts and crack to discover out, how he deduced human sentiments and how his message is inimitable and everlasting.
In the praise of Almighty Allah, in his poem (Hamd), titled: Matches of matchless, he dazzlingly expresses his love for the creator:
Millions of Lord of Majesty and bounty on the earth and sky,
What examples shall be told of the Lord who has no match
Kareem is accomplished, beautiful, and graceful, too,
Let us ask ‘Kaleem’ (speaker), the miracles of excellence
In hangover, in thoughts, in South, in North,
The words of call to prayer of Bilal* still echoes
Rose is in the dewdrops of rose, its territory is in the heart
Very close to the existence, vein of meetings
Me crescent, me moon, me full moon, after full moon, there is pitch dark
Why shall the stains of the end of life be concealed.
Asked the land and the world, and asked nowhere and no place
No one answered the questions of the poor
O’ Gul, the roses read the syllabus/curriculum of fate,
Thousands hymning in orchard, of the eternal latif.
In the above-cited poem, the word Bilal refers to Hazrat Bilal Habshi, who was usually identified as “Bilal al-Habashi” as he belonged to Ethiopia, also called “Habsh” at that time. Hazrat Bilal (R.A) had melodious and loud pitched voice. When, in the second year of Hijrah (Migration to Madina), the Call to Prayer was started by Rasulullah on hearing the account of his companion`s dream about it, Bilal al-Habashi (R.A) was given the privilege by the Holy Prophet  to become the very first Muezzin (Caller to Salah from Mosque) in the history of Islam due to his exceeding piety and love for Namaz. Hazrat Bilal (R.A) finally got his freedom when Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (R.A) came to know about his condition and set him free from slavery after paying a considerable amount of money to his master. Hazrat Bilal (R.A) attained the greatest status of being Sayyid al-Mu’azzineen (leader of the Mu’azzins)
‘Ghazal’ is a tremendous genre of Arabic and Persian, also written popularly in several languages of the sub-continent, including Sindhi. It is considered to be the most popular genre, for romantic expression.
In one of his Ghazals, Maqsood Gul expresses his passion for his cherished one and compliments his beloved as below:
Reasoning, consciousness, and creed only you
Beauty, loyalty, precious gift, only you
Drizzling weather, raining in spring,
Barkha and raining, only you
Pleasure, life, living, lustre,
Soul, the language of the body, you
The brightened sun of the longing you
Mid night of darkness, you
The eve of dusk, redness of the red,
Entertained soul of night, you
The dancing girl of the affection has to come,
The trouble-stricken revelation, you
Since the eternity, the digit of love,
Perpetuity love like verse, you
The aspirations and desires of the feelings,
Ardor, craze,  sentiments, you
Brightened affection, dew drops,
Longing dawn of love, you
Intended-eyes, loved-prayer
Peeing into consciences, you
‘Gul’ flowers and fragrance, reasoning, scent,
Longing, wanting & adoring you

Mr Maqsood mostly uses his poetic nick ‘GUL’ (which means: ‘Flower’) in its tangible connotation, as a metaphor of fragrance, aroma, love, affection and possession towards his esteemed one, which beautifies the climax of his every communication, and substantiates himself as a real icon of the odour of manifestation.

Read his another romantic countenance, in one of his ghazals:
Never the beseeches shall stand, restrained
Always the sobbing, shall be calling submissions
Years elapsed in emerging the moon in my courtyard,
Couldn’t forget the loyalties of that night
Some Netta‘s-eyed offered smiling, which
Paid fragrances with gestures
Scented, scented with rosy eyes,
Nudged the new gestures of love
The mirror fell down and broken,
Likewise, the reflection was offered to the history
The breeze  kissed ‘Gul’  and awoke him from sleeping,
Recalled the coquetries of eyes of someone
Maqsood Gul has comprehensive grasp over his style and articulation, that he rides like a jockey and the reader not only enjoys the jaunt of, what he shares, in his stanzas but also retains each of its lyrics, as it embodies him.
See another specimen of his thought:
By way of thinking, I got beauty in my breaths,
No sweetness in love is without you
In lieu of love, why asking/questioning in love?
Don’t remember the good deeds, rather throw them in the river,
The eyes that cast light in the paths are placed in heart,
No gap shall appear, till life, in the faiths
The weather changed her suits, due to your smiling,
Many more gardens arose and offered the flowers in the ways.
The moment we pass, may be passed in adoring the love
You use your brain in only praising Sindh
The one who wanted to climb the mountain, the bridegroom got to the top
The great power is found in the courage and accompany
There’re many dangers in the path of love,
The unavoidable love has got only relies upon God
Paying homage and many prostrating to beauty
The brain came to have a glance at the shrine of thy heart
‘Gul’ flowers were singing regarding the scents of beauty and truth
But the fools wasted their time in applauding.
The last line of the overhead limerick noticeably indicates that he desires no applause against his opinions. He just wants to hop, like a rose, in the shrubbery and keep scattering the scents, without reception of any indebtedness, in retort; which is the highest value of humanity. Those, who go through the life and works of Maqsood Gul, in detail, undeniably come to know that, throughout his lifespan, he was a ‘giver’, not a ‘receiver’. Even then he received ample adoration from his land-fellows.
While reading the poetry of Mr Qazi, his reader comes to know that the warmth for his soil is one of his foremost romances, which he states during his inattentive communication with his beloved and proves to be a real son of the soil, determining that no love is complete, without the affection of one’s land. The instances of the afore-mentioned reality can be found in almost each of his creations, including the above one, as well as the below poem, in which not only Sindh but the utmost poet of Sindh, Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai is also cited by him, out of extreme regard:
Thinking about beauties,
Printing brand-new sketches,
Every dream is true beauty,
Mother! Dedicating to you
In the way of realizing dreams,
Beloved! Me worshipping you
Your eyes are filled with intoxication,
I’m drinking with thy eyes
Dough again the swamp
I’m growing cotton and mustard
Talty ! from your soil,
Seeking steak and steak
The fort of cowardness collapsed,
Awakening the awareness
Sip, sip of Sindhu
Pouring out elixir inside
Finding the excitement of history,
Sharpening the swords.
May the land of Bhit Dhani be saved!
All the gallants are invited
Collecting flowers, ‘Gul’ bouquet
Scenting the path with awareness.
Maqsood Gul’s poetry not only fulfils the requirements of outstanding poetry technically but also in the frame of perfection of the manifestation, it can definitely be marked as the message, illustrating the contemplations of thousands of existences, being their real interpreter.
He says:
Pretty, longing/yearning, memories are enlightened,
Sanctities dear, enlightened.
Moon arose, moonlight smiled,
The sparkling twinkled around,
Applause! Love is sprinkled by brides, now
The fragrances emerged in their hearts and souls.
Flaming fire like love appeared,
Sparks of love, enlightened.
The eyes heavy-hearted, aspirant, thirsty,
The care and chirpings enlightened in body.
Flower ‘Gul’ and fragrance hugged,
The scents, in souls enlightened.
The ‘Taj Mahal’ of Agra (India) is considered to be the symbol of love. How beautifully, Mr Gul uses TM as a metaphor of adoration in his following elegy:
Taj Mahal and the company of the moon,
The rays, stood bowing,
The greed and lure, distributed the medals
The relations, stood bowing.
Darkness, pointed axes over the sun,
The possibilities, stood bowing
You came out of to start visiting,
The paths, stood bowing
The aliens settled in the motherland,
The sons of soils, stood bowing
The breeze kissed your face and went away,
The flowers, stood bowing.
Every colour of fondness is appealing, except those, which detach you from your darling. Maqsood Gul doesn’t overlook painting this colour too, as this is also one of those imperative stages, which a seeker comes across, during this voyage. Recite, how exquisitely the poet portrays this severance:
Taj Mahal and the company of the moon,
The rays, stood bowing,
The greed and lure, distributed the medals
The relations, stood bowing.
Darkness, pointed axes over the sun,
The possibilities, stood bowing
You came out of to start visiting,
The paths, stood bowing
The aliens settled in the motherland,
The sons of soils, stood bowing
The breeze kissed your face and went away,
The flowers, stood bowing.
And, sometimes in life, we don’t find any cradle of motivation to live and everything around us textures like inoperable reality. Such state of mind is prettily revealed by Maqsood Gul in his below limerick:
Neither enthusiasm into the eyes, nor the faiths into the eyes,
But whenever I behold you, the breath comes into the eyes
How can I’ve  another view in my strayed eyes,
I’ve decorated worship place for you in my eyes
Had a firm belief in Sindh, truth and beauty,
Whenever, I got Sachal and Shah stayed in my eyes.
Did anyone have a view of fire and raining, friends,
The heart was broken, but the river had great waives
The poor innocent girl, as if, is walking on had a walk on embers
Who did not have marriage and wedding ties in her eyes.

Again the great poet of his land, Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai and his literary successor, Sachal Sarmast is stated in the above poesy, which shows his affection and regard for both.

Riffling through the pages of the poetry, composed by Maqsood Gul for his land, its people and his treasured, one comes to know that, progression was his constitution, love was his motto, humanity was his religion and harmony was his maxim, which he preached throughout his life, though his writings, whether prose or poetry; and that is a perfect recipe for being alive for a long span of time. That’s why his comprehensive message will help him live longer.

(Poetry translation courtesy: Baloch Suhbat Ali)




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