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Najm Hussain Syed




Shah Hussain's Poetry   Najm Hussainn Syed
In the new Lahore lies buried Shah Husain and with him lies buried the myth of Lal Husain. Still, at least once a year we can hear the defused echoes of the myth. As the lights glimmer on the walls of Shalamar, the unsophisticated rhythms of swinging bodies and exulting voices curiously insist on being associated with Husain. This instance apparently defies explanation. But one is aware that an undertone of mockery pervades the air - released feet mocking the ancient sods of Shalamar and released voices mocking its ancient walls. Husain too, the myth tells us, danced a dance of mockery in the ancient streets of Lahore. Grandson of a convert weaver, he embarrassed every one by aspiring to the privilege of learning what he revered guardians of traditional knowledge claimed to teach.

Bulleh Shah in the Light of History   Najm Hussain Syed
In the beginning was the stone. And man stood before the stone possessed by the need to live and the urge to be. In the end too, is the stone and man stands before it as unsatiated as in the beginning. Between these two points there is movement- movement that cuts and chisels the stone to form the axe, that strikes two stones against each other to rouse the slumbering spirit of fire, that smithers the stone to fragments to touch off the multifaced dance of water, that splits the very being of the stone to release demons whose dance is infinitely subtler and infinitely mightier. The movement breathlessly explores the mazes wrought by its own course and then shapes the stone into forms of pain, pleasure and silence, to envision through them what is beyond pain and pleasure and silence.

Austere Rythms of Farid   Najam Hussain Syed
Farid's position as the first known Punjabi poet is a matter of curiosity as well as reassurance. The saintly Bawa Sahib (1173-1266A.D.) stands at the far end of Punjabi poetic tradition in an eminent isolation. Nearly three centuries pass before another figure of any status relieves the curious blank.Farid's renown as a mystic enhances his isolation as a poet. There is, around the Bawa Sahib, a halo of revered legends - a halo, which sometimes seems to touch his poetry and absorb it into itself, and sometimes to focus on the more popular aspects of sainthood and leave out poetry entirely. The curious student of history may follow the arbitrary movements of this legendary halo and strain his eyes between frustrating darkness and suddenly vanishing promises of light.

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