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Mazhar Imam

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Nadim Balkhi: A great poet, a great man and a great friend

Nadam Balkhi is my contemporary and peer. We both started reading and writing at about the same time. He was born in a highly respected and scholarly family. There could not be any dispute about the knowledge and grace of his father Janaab Fasihuddin BalKhi. Apart from being a high-ranking official, he was also a great scholar of Urooz  (Prosody). I have only once received the honor of meeting him in the year 1957, at his home, in Patna City. His eloquence is still intact. He endowed me with his famous and significant book, “Tazkira Niswan Hind” with his signature, which is still my precious asset today. I also wrote a commentary on this in an issue of “Sohail”  Gaya in September 1957.

Under the shadow of Fasih-ud-Din Balkhi, Nadim BalKhi's thought and consciousness flourished and had command over Sukhan (language), perhaps in such a way that the great experts on the subject became envious of him. Nadim BalKhi got a college job in Datonganj. He said goodbye to Patna and made this small remote place his permanent home. This definitely benefited the people of Dalton Ganj and many benefited from his knowledge and awareness but he himself moved away from the Mainstream of Urdu. And I say from my own experience that it's important to be in the Mainstream to get your talent praised and recognized. I have spent the first 60 years of my life away from the Urdu Mainstream and the places that could earn instant fame. And the consequences have been felt at every level. Nadim Balkhi also moved to such a remote area that he became distant from his own people, but his determination and courage should be commended that he kept the lamp of knowledge lit in all circumstances. Despite the unfavorable conditions and the inconveniences of publishing and broadcasting, he continued to write and compose and the poet within him was always alive. Many of his poetry collections have gained popularity and many are waiting to be published. Nadim Balkhi has also paid a special attention to Azad Ghazal, which has further strengthened both our personal and literary ties. His book "Tafheem-e-Arooz" has the status of authority in the subject of Poetry. There is also a chapter dedicated to Azad Ghazal. In “Shua e Naq,d” his collection of critical essays he has commented in details on the Azad Ghazals of Zafar Hashmi, Rasheed Ejaz, Shariq Jamal Nagpuri and Atiq Ahmad. A collection of Nadim Balkhi's Azad Ghazals has been compiled and is ready for publication. I wish it could be published soon, because Nadim Balkhi's Azad Ghazals require special attention because of their artistic strength. I am more convinced of the restrictions of the Azad Ghazal than its freedom, so I have disagreed with Nadam Balkhi one or more times. We both agree that not every Bahr (Poetic meter) is suitable for Azad Ghazal (Not even for Azad Nazm but Nadim Balkhi has said Azad Ghazal in “Mafailun Failatun Mafailun Fiilun” and has also given Uroozi justification for it. Nadam Balkhi is an expert in Urooz so it is not possible to debate with him on this topic but my disagreement remains in place.

Nadam Balkhi is a very good poet, a very good man and a very good friend. I have often approached them to clear up some of my doubts in literary and prose matters.

Translated by from “Zikr e Nadim Balkhi. P 49.”

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