Neeraj: A poet of his times and ours

His words can silence the anxious pangs of existential crisis

shishir

Shishir Tripathi | May 22, 2015



This morning I pulled out the ‘Friday Review’ from the Hindu and I learnt the Hindi poet Gopaldas Neeraj is entering his 90s but still wears that optimistic smile that belies the rudeness of modern age. Looking at his photo, I was awestruck by the mystical sheen on his face. Maybe, that comes from being Neeraj.

He might be 90 now, but for me he is an ageless philosopher, whose couplets and verses, poems and lyrics have overbearing presence in millions of lives, including mine.

It was March of 2010 and I was sulking under unbleached despair. Failing to clear an exam which “would have made me successful in many respects”, I was lamenting at the idea of a life being extremely treacherous, when a letter from my father made me realise the futility of allowing failings to mark oneself a failure.
 
My father had penned out on a plain white paper a poem by Neeraj. The poem was perhaps an antidote to his melancholic but haunting ‘Kaarvan Gujar Gaya’.

It read:

Chip Chip ashru bahaane waalon,

Moti vyarth lutane waalon

Kuch sapnon ke mar jane se jeevan nahin mara karta hai

Sapnaa kya hai? Nayan sez par,

Soya hua aankh ka paani

Aur tootna hai uska jyon

Jage kachchi neend jawani

Geelee umar banaane walon!

Doobe bina nahaane waalon

Kuch pani ke bah jane se saawan nahin mara karta hai

It was lyrical and had something that could lift a sulking soul. That was the beginning of my association with the poet, though only through his work.

Neeraj is a poet of our times though he belongs to a different era. His poems could depict the irony of modern life, which often becomes a mute spectator, while the most beautiful fades away. They also could silence the anxious pangs of existential crisis, by reminding us that after all life is beyond definitions, clichés and imposed metaphors.

While Neeraj for me will always remain a poet who wrote inspiring poems, he nevertheless is loved by a lot of people for his overwhelming lyrics for Hindi films that could render the music and voice of a song to insignificance.
 
I remember listening to “Rangeela re, Rangeela re, mere man me yoon ranga hai tera mann...” on one of those insomniac affected nights and it kept haunting me for days.

I often wondered as to how a song composed in a year when even my father was too young to understand the nuances of devotional love, could be so relatable. Perhaps it was the beauty of the words. While his immortal ‘Bas yahi apradh mein har baar karta hun aadmi hun aadmi se pyaar karta hun’ could wake us from a deep slumber of selfishness, ‘E Bhai Jara dekh ke Chalo’ from Mera Naam Joker, depicting the bewilderment of an adorable clown, instantly brings smile on the face.

But for anyone willing to experience the genius of the legend just tune in to ‘Kaarvan gujar gaya, ghubar dekhte rahe’. A few minutes of sheer pleasure will be guaranteed.

Comments

 

Other News

No right to plan their families

Bhadiya from Bhanpur Kheda village does not know her age. She has five children – the eldest one is 12-year-old while the youngest is an infant. Considering she got married in her teens – like most women in her village – Bhadiya must be in her 30s. After giving birth to five children she

SAIL to leverage domestic growth potential

Steel authority of India (SAIL) chairman PK Singh expressed confidence on improving the performance of the Maharatna PSU in the current fiscal because of a host of initiatives in almost every area of operations. During 45th annual general meeting of the company, Singh said the world steel as

TRIFED to scale up marketing of tribal products

Ministry of tribal affairs’ PSU— tribal cooperative marketing development federation of India limited (TRIFED) is contemplating to scale up marketing of tribal products through increase at its retail outlets throughout the country. TRIFED plans to scale up the retail marketing ac

Facebook and post-truth

It is not very often that Facebook advertises in newspapers. Last time it did was a year ago when it was promoting `free basics`— a limited internet service provided for free to subscribers of partnering telecom service providers. The internet platform’s reach is unparalleled vis-a-vis to tradi

IOCL pays VAT of Rs 2,935 cr to Odisha

In the resolution of the issue of VAT deferment for Indian Oil Corporation’s (IOCL) Paradip refinery in Odisha, IOCL has made VAT payment of Rs 2,935 crore to Odisha government. The refinery had commenced commercial operations in November 2015. The recent meeting between Odisha Chief M

Muddy makeover of the Taj

Patch by patch, the lucent dome of the Taj Mahal is being plastered with a mixture of Fuller’s earth. It’s a treatment other parts of the monument of love – minarets, walls and pathways – have received over the years. These mud packs, of two millimetre thickness, are believed to tak



Video

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter