Innovative, colloquial, individualistic, experimental with unusual metaphors and symbols… Imroz’s poetry is everything but traditional. It is the poetry of today. It is the voice of an individual who sees life in relation to himself, his society and the universe he is a part of.
Poetry is basically the expression of the self, and hence subjectivity is very much the essence of his poems and this we find more prominent in his first book,”Khudkhushi ke Mausam me”. But as he moves towards his second book,”Kainaati gard me Urryan Shaam”, his thoughts and feelings become mature and objective. We do not find raw sentimentality in his feelings. His is the love that has stood the test of time, loss, patience and pain. He says:
میں اس سفید پھول کا خدا ہوں
جو میری خود رو محبت میں اگ آیا ہے
پھر بھی آوازوں کے کوکتے جنگل میں
میرے آنسووں کا کوئی گیت نہیں
To describe his feelings, he constantly gets inspiration from nature and draws his images mostly from his immediate physical environment. He also plays freely with Indian mythology. “Achoot khawab ki Brahman aankhien”, “Doosrey gautam ka giyaan”, and “Iss jeewan rutt ki sarhad mei” are replete with Hindi myths. Bold, expressive and blunt… his poems may seem provocative and annoying to some of his readers. His attitude towards love is not something heavenly and otherworldly. It is very much physical and earthly. Even when he finds some solace in it, it is only transitory. Mechanical sweetness of verses and rhyme is not to be found in Imroz’s poems. Mostly written in prose verse, his poetry is intellectual and is more like metaphysical poetry which deals mainly with thoughts, feelings and ideas which grow like weeds on the fertile and adequately equipped plains of his mind. Time and again, the readers can smell his desire to burrow back to the womb of nature offering him comfort in the form of trees, flowers, birds, ants, clouds and many more things.
Human beings in his poems are snared by orthodox social, political and moral dogmas and norms which in the form of traditions threaten their creativity and change them merely into stereotypes and artificial beings with lack of originality and have shattered personalities. Like a liberal humanist, he idealises a society where men can live without hurt, self- pity, guilt and degradation. Differences among social classes are easily traceable in Imroz’s poetry where people try to better their condition but soon find themselves burdened with the futility and heaviness of the toil which becomes all the more purposeless with a sense of constant and unavoidable death and hence makes his poems quite pessimistic. In his poem “Kaumi qaatlo ke liey Spaas naama”, he says:
اور ایک اندھی صبح کے کنارے
بے رنگ دھوئیں میں تیرتے ہوئے
ہم اپنی زندگی سے ہار جائیں گے
Living in a society where terror, insecurity and social injustice have penetrated to every nook, Imroz is very much conscious of the deteriorative effects of foreign interference, international and national political policies and commercialization. “aalmi zaalmo ke naam”, “Parliament” and Sader hummien galey kio nahi lagaatey” give us a clear picture of the world we are living in.
اجلی دنیا تعمیر کرنے کے لیے
مجھے خداوں کے دل چاہیئں
میرے نام لکھے پیغمبروں کے خطوں میں
کہیں نہیں لکھا
کہ اختلاف کا رنگ سُرخ ہے
پھر کیوں ہر روز آلودہ کفن دفنائے جاتے ہیں؟
“Existence itself is a dream”, and when it is combined with the feelings of despair, loneliness and purposelessness, a sensitive heart tries to create a world for himself which is in accordance with his inner self. In this quest, Imroz is on a journey and how much he succeeds in his attempt, only time will prove because “Zindagi aik safar maang rahi hei”.
Image: Duy Huynh
Very well reviewed, it’s thought provoking. Last time I read an interview of imroz in the news, that forced me to know about him. But this piece of writing even forced me more, to read his poetry . . .