TO BE UNDERSTAND?
Adat he Bana Li hay tum nay to Munir Apni
A meeting with Mr. Munir Niazi
(This meeting took place in 2002 and the article was written at the same time)
By Umer Raza Bhutta
“I do not know why I am doing this, Ask God or see the circumstance that forced me to become a poet”. To my query as to how he reached at poetry, this was the answer, from Mr. Munir Niazi. He was living in the building (that can be called a home, as not very artistically architected). The entrance to his room was through a 4 feet tall window that seemed to be the usual entry and exit of the guest coming to see him.
“Take this key and go in the back yard you will find a similar window just besides the geazer, open the lock and come back” I thought he has starting liking me (the honour he rarely bestows on anyone) and that’s would help me in talking to him. This was my first meeting with Mr. Munir Niazi and the last one indeed. As i settled in a chair in his bedroom and wanted to talk to him” Junaid Jamsheed” Started at full volume. Mr Niazi told to me that he listens these song in order to get out of dizziness caused by sleeping……….
The poets and the poetry has played a very significant role in not only literature but also the motivation or otherwise of specially the youth. The poet belongs to a very sensitive breed. Thus they do not seem to be happy whatever is and was. However, they have a very optimistic picture of the future in their mind that they portray through their poetry. “We do not have any conscious efforts in poetry. We do not know why we are doing it, but not doubt there is tint of satisfaction in it”. Mr. Niazi explained the reason for being satisfied man.
Mr. Niazi was born in ………” Yar I am sick and tired of telling that I was born in Rajan Pur……..”The first question met its faith and I had to rephrase the question. “My family members were doing business and I was writing. Quite often my family warned me that whatever I was doing wasn’t a productivity work, I should be doing something more rewarding” (to them the productivity or reward may not be more than the world of earning money).
Mr. Niazi seems to regret his early ambitions while saying “Now I think why I did not became a millionaire first and then started all this work”. But those who have a high esteem for their work as Mr.Niazi shows here, can only choose the way that is unproductive to the worldly gurus.“ To me poetry should be an idealized form of the society whether you are able to make it so or not”
Mr. Niazi started the “sat rang” paper from Montgomery (now Sahiwal).”Most of the times I used to live in Lahore. In Montgomery there was none that could answer my questions. The problem with me was that to whom I should take my poetry to. There was no one who could understand me“
Mr. Niazi was unhappy (and very rightly so) with the publishers who did not give him the due royalty of his book. During the conversation Mr. Niazi showed me a book that was a translation of his Punjab poetry in English. “This is a translation published by American organization and a Pakistani Publisher without my permission. They sent me a Rs. 16000/- check that I used to pay of my electricity and telephone bills”.
“Hamesha Dir Kar Deta Hun.N Main” When I talked to him I got an idea about the background of the poem, a beautifully worded poem phrased in a masterly flow. I asked, “Isn’t your life a true manifestation of this. Have you not been late in life?” He explained the complete scenario “I do not want to pursue anything. I do not want that I should go and ask for a piece of land. This is not according to my standards. I have contributed in this country I have some rights too. I recite Quran and try to help others whenever I can afford. I never thought of talking help from anyone I do not know but to me help comes from somewhere.”MR. Niazi, Who was awarded the pride of performance by the government finally, had to file a suite to get a land allotted in his name.”Mr. Abid Hassan Manto was my lawyer when we won the case I got the requisition in 1995”.
You make the circumstances; Circumstance do not make you. The old or modern every theory supports certain set of quotations. Mr. Niazi does not seem to be favouring such quotations too.”I do not know what I will be if I have to relive. Circumstances will make me. Nothing could happen according to my wishes. I did something and the result was something else”.
As it had been and in this talk again I wanted it to be this way. I asked for the message. But he was not excited about the idea of giving the message “I do not want to give any message. It is possible that someone is doing well on his own, and the message distracts him from his own path. Let one go on by himself let him learn himself. Those who were of strong self-realization carved their own paths and did not bank merely upon the guidance of others . My message is in my poetry if someone wants and has an urge he can get it from there”
I wish we could have cherished the company of people who had strong will and the nerves to face the odds and continue to profess their own path.
(I found this article from my archive. While reproducing this piece I could recall the brief time that I spent with him twelve years ago i could also recall the signs of LOST HOPE in him)