Zafar Iqbal Rekhta Blog

Zafar Iqbal – the canon maker of modern Urdu ghazal

Ye Tamasha Ab Sar-e-Bazaar Hona Chahiye

Zafar Iqbal (September 27, 1932) is an ultra-modernist ghazal poet. Born in Bahawalnagar, he completed his primary education in Okara and later moved to Lahore to complete his higher education. He is a judicial luminary by profession and a poet by choice, with ghazal being his main forte. He drew upon classical Urdu and Persian poets to develop his own versions of modernism. He is known for playing with the language; he tested its limits to see how much it could bear. Being associated with the institutions of justice dispensation, he has been preoccupied with the idea of the just and the unjust. Hence, his poetry contains an element of protest. Here are some couplets of Zafar Iqbal that will surely awaken your conscience:

1.  If your place of residence is in turmoil, take charge to bring peace.

ilzaam ek ye bhi utha lena chahiye is shahr-e-be-amaa’n ko bacha lena chahiye

2. Make your way, find your voice; don’t play drums to deaf ears.

jahan ghuroor hunar-parvari ho pamba-e-gosh vahan takalluf-e-arz-e-niyaaz karna kya

3. Divided we fall; let the hands hold hands

alag alag apna apna parcham uthaa rakha hai ki ham qabeelon na KHaandaanon mein rah gaye hain

4. Don’t be silent to the wrong; Speak Up!

khamushi achhi nahin inkaar hona chahiye ye tamasha ab sar-e-bazar hona chahiye

5. Wake up from the dream; let the dream come true.

khwab ki tabeer par israar hai jin ko abhi pahle un ko khwab se bedaar hona chahiye

Concept & Text: Faisal Fehmi & Aman Ali