Thursday, October 17, 2019

Rafta Rafta – An Assortment of Poems

Rafta Rafta – An Assortment of Poems

Rafta Rafta is a fine collection of poems by my respected friend, guide and philosopher Principal JagdishChander Joshi. Though I am a novice in the fine art of poetry yet Principal Jagdish Joshi gifted me a copy of Rafta Rafta with a genuine and gracious approach with the citation under his hand and seal “To the one who is a great lover of poetry – Shri Ramesh Chanderji Ambassador”. He was generous as always.

I must admit that I am not fully qualified to comment on the contents and genre of the poetry book of its learned author “Josh”, the num de plume of Jagdish Joshi. The preamble (Pesh-Lafaz)of the book is written in chaste Urdu of literary caliber and mostly
went over my head. But it seems Josh Sahib was not oblivious of the fact that readers like me would find it difficult to understand and thoughtfully gave the meaning of difficult Urdu vocabulary in the foot-notes on the page itself. The cover of the book rightly and aptly says it in a poetical parlance as to how difficult it is to understand poetry: Manzil-e-Shayari , Door -Bahut Door Hua Karti Hai.

There are 103 poems on varied themes pertaining to human day to day life. The author has aptly explained this in the Preamble of the book. The name of the Book is Rafta Rafta as, in accordance with the circumstances, one passes through these stages of life with ones intellect and understanding. The stage of Youth (Jawani) has its own potent message and that of Middle age (Mutbashist) has its own color. Then comes Old age (Zayafi) and its demeanor is different from the preceding two. Rafta Rafta revolves around these human emotions and stages.

The first ghazal of the book is about love (Mohabbat) followed by many more on the lofty feelings of love:

Mohabbat Jab Bhi Hoti Hai, Mohabbat Hi Hoti Hai;
Ibtda se AkhirTak, Mohabbat Hi Hoti Hai !

 I am reminded of the legendary song of a Hindi Movie – Pyar Ko Pyar Hi Rehne Do, Kuch Naam Na Do !

It seems the author is fully drenched in love as he said in one of the poems – Dhong Mohabbat ka ‘Josh’ Bhi Kar Leta Hai ! and depicted the natural feeling of love as felt by Ghalib“Ishq par Zor Nahin” in yet another beautiful composition:

Na Jaane, Kyon Mujhe, Tum Se Mohabbat Hoti Jati Hai,
Na Jaane, Yeh Mohabbat, Akidat Hoti Jati Hai!

The author ‘Josh Sahib’ describes the free and candid trait of Youth (Jawani) as:

Josh To Josh Hai, Hosh Se Ise Kya Lena !
Hosh Ki Aad Mein Josh Chhupate Kyon Ho ?

I have no mind and capacity to comment in detail on the excellent contents of the book and leave that to the discerning readers. Ghazal No.22 on page 38 impressed me a lot. Jagdish Joshi Sahib had recited the poem to me on telephone a couple of times. One may gauge from this his involvement and magnanimity with friends
Principal Jagdish Joshi speaking at the launch of  The Bits and Pieces
and novices like me. In fact, I had already written about Joshi Sahib’s earthy simplicity and humility in my recently released book “The Bits and Pieces - Reminiscences and Reflections of a Novice”.  His poetry is also laced with earthy wisdom which comes in the Middle age (Mutbashist) as referred to by the author. The Matla (Opening couplet) of one of the Ghazals in the book fully depicts the ease with which Josh Sahib says his mind:

Sadgi Se Jo Keh Dete Hain, Sada Alfaaz;
Gehrai Ka Pata Dete Hain, Sada Alfaaz!

Jagdish Joshi has seen more than 84 springs of life and is still kicking. I wish him many more springs to come. He got nostgalic in the last poem of the book. One can feel that:

Assi Aur Char Guzaar Diye, Maaji Ke Andhere Mein;
Jaane Kitne  Aur Jama Honge, Maaji Ke Andhere Mein!

Before I conclude these remarks of a novice on a book worth reading, let me take this opportunity to wish Principal Jagdish Joshi all the very best for his good health and his forthcoming works – One Hundred Years of DAV College Jalandhar of which we both are the alumni and other books listed on the title page of Rafta Rafta. It is gratifying to note that more than 10 books on Urdu/Hindi poetry of Joshi Sahib already adore the shelves of big and small libraries in the country and beyond. Besides this, a brief profile written by Prof. Sharad Manocha of DAV College Jalandhar which is available on the back cover page of the book fully illustrates the chequered literary and intellectual prowess of Principal Jagdish Joshi. I have nothing more to add except to say that we are determined to keep engaging him to bother us as we like to nullify what he wrote on page 37 of Rafta Rafta:

Josh Ki Be-tuk Ko Samjhne Ki Zaroorat Kya Hai;
Is Be-Akal se to Peeccha Chhudana Hi Accha Hai.

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