In my second semester of BS, a teacher recited a ‘misra’ of Faiz. In regular Urdu poetry, a poem consists of couplets, and each line of a couplet is called ‘misra’. The misra in question was “Hum aa gaye to garmi-e-bazaar dekhna”. The situation that led the teacher in question, Mr. Alvi, to recite poetry impromptu is very interesting. A group of students in our class never took Mr. Alvi’s class, much to his infuriation. One lucky day, the abovementioned group entered the class when Mr. Alvi was halfway through his lecture. A sarcastic smile played on his lips when he noticed the ‘notorious’ students joining his class. He just read the above misra and continued his lecture. Literally translated, it means “The bazaar lights up the moment I enter”.
The lecture had been and gone, but I couldn’t get the misra out of my head. The next day, I asked Mr. Alvi to share the other misra with me. To my utter disappointment, he neither remembered the poet of the poem, nor the other misra. When I went home, I googled it up but to no avail. On a whim, I sifted through the contents of “Kuliyaat-e-Faiz” (Complete works of Faiz) from my personal library. After an hour or so, I found it. Sheer joy!
Fast forward 6 years. Today I was reading Meer Taqi Meer’s poetry and I came across a poem that instantly reminded me of Faiz’s “garmi-e-bazaar” poem. This time, I was fortunate enough to find the poem online. There is a very interesting link between these two poems. I can’t believe it’s a coincidence that the poems match in ‘bahr’, ‘qafia’ and ‘radeef’ (different aspects of poetic metre). Clearly, Faiz got his inspiration from Meer. I can imagine how it feels breaking the Da Vinci code. Granted, we can scale it down a bit in my case . Here are the poems I’ve been talking about.