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Intikhab-e-Kalam: Asghar Gondvi
This is a representative selection of Asghar Gondvi’s poetry. His work based on philosophy and spiritualism brought a new colour to the poetic landscape of Urdu and Persian poetry. While Gondvi’s work is minimal, as compared with the works of other Classical poets, such as Ghalib, and Mir Taqi Mir who have written thousands of verses, the quality of his work also stands out. Asghar seems to have been influenced by Ghalib, while in his emphasis on the greatness of man, and the value of struggle, he reminds us of Iqbal, who too, gives utmost importance to the virtues of love, faith and action.
Asgha’r poetic works are available in two volumes: Nishat-e-Rooh (Bliss of the Soul) and Sarud-e-Zindagi (Song of Life). The central theme of his poetry is love, not earthly and material, but mystic and transcendental. He expresses his feelings with consummate artistry, using the imagery of romantic poetry, so that he can be enjoyed at both the secular and spiritual levels. According to him life is a perpetual quest, an eternal search for the fount of love and beauty, and all objects of this earth are engaged in the pursuit of this one aim. Reason and analytical probing cannot take us to the source of light and love. What we need is a spirit of self-surrender and a sense of humility. Then alone can we rise above the apparent confusion of creeds and realise that one Truth towards which the all of creation is striving.
Prof. Dr. Abdul Aziz Sahir is one of the major Pakistani critics and researchers in Urdu literature. Currently he is serving as Chairman, Department of Urdu, Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad.