Today, March 2, marks the 44th death anniversary of Syed Nasir Raza Kazmi, the most famous Urdu poet of the past century. He was known for his unique simplistic style where he placed a deep emphasize on the use of metaphors (ista’aaray”) and meter (chhotee beher), magically breathing life into his work.
dil mein ik lahir si uthi ha abi
koi taza hwa chali ha abi abi
Born in Ambala, Punjab which was still part of the British India at the time, he moved to Lahore to pursue his higher education at Islamia College before coming back to his hometown where he stayed briefly. After partition ,he chose to migrate to Pakistan where he took his career to new heights, working as an editor for the newspaper Auraq-e-Nau and later becoming the editor-in-chief of the magazine ‘Humayun’ before finally joining Radio Pakistan. During his career he also worked with various publishing houses.
Nasir began writing poetry at the very young age of 15, initially emulating the styles of the leading romantic poet Akhtar Sherani while his later works were influenced be his tutor, Hafeez Hoshyarpuri. He deeply admired the works of Mir Taqi Mir, and this may be the reason for the incorporation of melancholy in his many works.
Sheher mein humdum puraaney bohat hai Nasir,
Wapt parrne pe mere kaam Na aaye koi
He was deeply fond of nature, citing it as the main source of inspiration for his poetry. It is no surprise that his favorite pastimes revolved around nature too such as hiking, hunting and horse riding.
Unfortunately, his time on earth was short. He passed at the age of 46 after battling stomach cancer. His legacy is survived by his son, who himself would later became a famous poet and dramatist. Even today, nearly five decades after his death, his work remains popular in both Pakistan and India.
itefaqaat-e-zamana bhi ajab hain Nasir
Aaj woh dekh rahe hain jo suna karte they…