Syed Nasir Raza Kazmi (Urdu: سید ناصر رضا كاظمی, 8 December 1925 – 2 March 1972) was an Urdu poet from Pakistan and one of the renowned poets of this era, especially in the use of "ista'aaray" and "chhotee beher." Kazmi was born on 8 December 1925 at Ambala, Punjab, (British India). Nasir Kazmi used the simple words in his poetry like "Chand", "Raat", "Baarish", "Mausam", "Yaad", "Tanhai", "Darya" and gave them life by his style of poetry. His poetry continues to be used on Pakistan Television (PTV) TV shows as well as in India in Bollywood films.
Education and career
Kazmi was educated at Ambala, Simla and afterwards at Islamia College, Lahore. After the creation of Pakistan in 1947, he came to Lahore. He did some journalistic work with Auraq-e-Nau as an editor and became editor-in-chief of the magazine Humayun in 1952. Later he was associated with Radio Pakistan, Lahore and other literary publications and organisations.
Kazmi started his poetic life in 1940 by following the style of Akhtar Sherani and wrote romantic poems and sonnets. Later he began writing ghazals under the guidance of Hafeez Hoshyarpuri. He was a great admirer of Mir Taqi Mir, and probably the melancholy and "Ehsaas-e-Mehroomi" in his poetry was a direct result of that admiration. His tutor in poetry was Hafeez Hoshyarpuri, who also used symbols from nature in his poems. Nasir used to hum his poetic verses, and it was appealing to many of his readers and listeners.
He emigrated from Ambala, India to Lahore, Pakistan in August 1947. He also worked as a staff editor for Radio Pakistan. He used to sit at Pak Tea House and Wander at Mall Road, Lahore with his friends. He was fond of eating, wandering, and enjoying life. He was frequently thought of as a melancholic poet, though most of his poetry is based on romantic happiness and hope.
His last four books were published after his death as a result of stomach cancer in Lahore on 2 March 1972. Some of his collection of poems were published as books- 'Berg-i-Nai' (1952), 'Deewaan' (1972), 'Pehli Baarish' (1975), 'Hijr Ki Raat Ka Sitara' and 'Nishat-i-Khwab (1977). A few days before his death, Kazmi said in a television interview;
"Horse riding, hunting, wandering in a village, walking along the river side, visiting mountains etc. were my favourite pastimes and probably this was the time when my mind got nourishment for loving nature and getting close to the expression of poetry. All my hobbies are related with fine arts, like singing, poetry, hunting, chess, love of birds, love of trees... I started writing poetry because I used to reflect that all the beautiful things, those I see and those in nature, are not in my hands, and they go away from me. Few moments of time which dies, cannot be made alive. I think can come alive in poetry, that is why I (Nasir) started writing poetry!".
Kazmi had a unique style of poetry, used simple words in it. Pain, sadness, desperation, love, separation as well as happiness, passionate love and optimism is depicted in his poetry. A sense of sorrow and grief present in his poems is due to the trauma he suffered in the troubled, terrible time of 1947's partition. Here are some verses from his poetry.
Diary of Nasir Kazmi: Nasir Kazmi ki Dairy (Chand Pareshan Kaghaz) (Autobiography, 1995 compiled by Hassan Sultan Kazmi)
Famous ghazals and nazms of Nasir Kazmi: Kazmi’s Ghazals include: 1. Kaun is raah se guzartaa hai 2. Terii zulfon ke bikharne kaa sabab hai ko”ii 3. Dukh kii lehar ne chheRaa hogaa 4. Dil main ek lehar si uthi hai abhi 5. Naaz-e-be-gaangi main kyaa kuch thaa 6. O! mere masruuf Khudda 7. Be minnat-e-khizr-e-raah rahnaa 8. Dil dharaknay ka sabab yaad aya 9. Jurm-e-inkaar ki sazaa hi de 10. Tere aane kaa dhokaa saa rahaa hai 11. Fikr-e-taameer-e-aashian bhi hai 12. Rang barsaat ne bhare kuch to 13. Kise dekhein kahaan dekha na jaye 14. Karta usay beqaraar kuch dair 15. Wo dil nawaaz hai lekin nazar shanaas nahi 16. Neeyat-e-shauq bhar na jaye kahiin 17. Banny Banaaye hue Rasston pea a nekly 18. So gai Shehar ki har aik Galli 19. Apni Dhun Main Rehta hon 20. Dil main aur to kya rakha hai
21. Kia Zamana tha key hum Roz mila kartay thay
Postage stamp release
Commemorative Postage Stamp released in the name of Urdu Poet Nasir Kazmi
Pakistan Post has released a commemorative postage stamp of Rs 15 denomination on the death anniversary (2 March, 2013) of Nasir Kazmi, the renowned Urdu poet.
Kazmi passed on his art to his son, Basir Sultan Kazmi (born 1955, Pakistan), who himself became a successful poet and dramatist. Writing in both Urdu and English, he earned an MBE for services to poetry. He has resided in England since 1990, where he was awarded the North West Playwrights Workshop Award in 1992 and published an abridged translation of his long play Bisaat (entitled "The Chess Board") along with several volumes of poetry both in Urdu and English. He is currently the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Chester.
Nasir Kazmi's grave at Mominpura graveyard, Lahore, Pakistan
Nasir Kazmi died on 2 March 1972 in Lahore due to stomach cancer. He is buried at Mominpura Graveyard, Lahore, Pakistan.