Mustafa Zaidi – A poet remembered 9/9

Unfortunately, the reasons why Zaidi finished his existence remain valid even today; some would argue, in fact, that conditions have become worse. He yearned for artistic freedom, the actualisation of self-worth and esteem and he felt stifled. His fears of growing bigotry were not unfounded, as was witnessed in the decade after his death. Unlike many medieval and modern masters of Urdu poetry, Zaidi was politically active and international in his perspective. He felt that there was no place for him in Pakistani society – perhaps we never do have any room for ‘deviants’!

Zaidi was punished for his dreams but they exist beyond him, continuing to haunt us yet often eluding our contemporary consciousness. We owe his tortured soul a lot; not the least of which is remembering why he decided to die.

Zaidi was starved for love and artistic freedom; and punished for his dreams. His dreams still fill our contemporary consciousness, reminding us each day of all that we have lost as a nation.

Cont. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

Published on July 25, 2006 at 6:23 pm  Comments (21)  

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  1. Thank you for the information on this great civil servant & poet!

  2. I wonder what happened to this Shehnaz character?

    I found this on the net:

    Girlfriend charged with murder

    Shehnaz is under arrest for the murder of poet Mustafa Zaidi. She is also implicated in a smuggling scandal, and accused of conducting affairs with several high ranking officials and industrial magnets, in order to carry out espionage for foreign agencies.


    Smuggling, Espionage??? strange.

  3. I really wonder how Shehnaz Gul ended up & if she is still alive. I have always held her in high regard.

  4. His murder and her arrest made me read his potry. I followed the story quite long and remember them both one a man with courage and having aesthetic sense the other full of beauty and both killed by killers who still live but are always dead and non exisrtent. the worst is that we the people have stopped at least remembering and atleast asking who did that act of cruelty. I remember…. Mein aik ahtebar se aatish parast thha….. woh sarey zaviun se chaman ki shareek thhee.

  5. To me, the overall sketch of Mustafa Zaidi’s life and poetry resembles that of Omar Khayyam…

  6. a handsome poet

  7. AFTER HIS MURDER THE LITTLE SERVENT (BOY ) was disappeared who was the only eyewitness

  8. I am Mustafa Zaidi’s niece (he was my father’s older brother).I knew the man that is being talked about in this article from the day I was born because he wes my father’s only living sibling.My grandmother (his mother) used to talk about him to us till the day she died.Also,I have not only read his poetry that has been printed but also what he never chose to print.I have seen the original manuscripts and have witnessed the creative process where he has crossed out words or exchanged one word for another.I think that the article that I have just read is an excellent one and a lot of research work has gone behind it.I would not like to make any comments randomly except to say that he was very intelligent,very humane and a somewhat ‘larger than life’ kind of person who was not destined to live long.As Josh Mallihabadi rightfully said that while he was still able to create beautiful poetry before the age of thirty-nine,when he died,he would have reached higher levels if he would have lived longer.
    The only detail that I would differ with is the conjecture that he committed suicide.I feel that it was a fact that was not clearly established and there were facts that led to the assuption that he was murdered.Still,it is an insignificant detail at this point in time and deviates from the main subject,which is his poetry!

  9. It is rather upsetting to read the premise that Mustafa Zaidi had committed suicide or had “decided to end his life”.Is it that every one has forgotten the facts as were reported in the press at the time of his death :
    *Shahnaz gul under arrest for the murder of Mustafa Zaidi.
    *Shahnaz Gul implicated in a smuggling scandal.
    *Shahnaz Gul accused of conducting affairs with several high ranking officials and industrial magnates,
    *Shahnaz Gul accused of espionage for foreign agencies.

    Also,The facts were:
    *Mustafa Zaidi was very close and fond of his family and had sent his German wife (Vera0 and his two pre-teen children to Germany with the hope of being able to join them there shortly.From there,they were planning to migrate to Canada.
    *He was extremely depressed because he had been dismissed from service under trumped-up charges amongst the 303 by Yahya Khan.His Bank Accpunts had been frozen and he was not being permitted to leave the country to join his family.
    *He had not known Shahnaz Gul for a long time.She was simply a breath-takingly beautiful woman,with a dubious past,who had been planted to entice him and to eliminate him.
    *It was supposed to be a suicide pact between two lovers but Mustafa zaidi died and Shahnaz Gul came out unscathed.
    *The drug (or poison0 was supposed to have been in the coffee but the first thing that was done by the police after breaking open the door was to wash the coffee mugs(in order to eliminate the evidence).
    *Since shahnaz Gul was herself unconscious,her husband was allowed to enter and remove her purse (containing what?).
    *There were signs of violence on Mustafa Zaidi’s body and it appeared that after having been drugged,he had been suffocated by a pillow.It appeared that ‘others’ had entered the room after he had been drugged in the coffee,in order to finish him off.
    *Boxes containing documents were removed from Mustafa Zaidi’s garage.
    *Shahnaz Gul’s husband never ever left her,despite all the publicity.

    Had it been an open and shut case of suicide,it would never have been necessary to exhume his body from the grave,as was done.The anove are all recorded facts.Unfortunately,murder cases in Pakistann are NEVER solved and there are dozens of examples ,including the still unsolved case of the murder of the first prime-minister of Pakistan.Certainly,when influential and ‘high-up’ people are involved,there is no chance for justice to be done or the murderers or the perpetuator’s of the murder be identified.

    As a member of Mustafa Zaidi’s family,my only request is that while it is certainly more ‘romantic’ to treat it as a “Romeo and Juliet’ tale,please let us not term his death a ‘suicide’ so easily, for the sake of correctness of recorded history.Besides,he was a very talented poet who wrote extra-ordinary poetry before the age of thirty-nine(39) when he died.As Josh Malihabadi lamented upon hos death “Urdu poetry was deprived of a wonderful poet of the future…”

  10. where is shahnaz these days.

    • I was a very little boy when I first saw Shahnaz Shaikh at a dinner in Beach Luxury Hotel standing right in front of me. I didnt knew her until our way back home my mom started talking about her that she was also there alter after few weeks we read about the death of Mustafa Zaidi and gul involvment in this case.

  11. A poet with an untamed flame in his heart.Haaye Mustafa Zaidi!

  12. i like his poetry,his vision and still feel anger that his murder has not been solved yet.
    i am looking for his poem “banam e watan” starting with
    tum nay har ki har nasal say ghaddari ki
    tum nay bazar meinaqlo’n ki kharedari ki

    i remember some of it but trying to find the compelete poem as i am unable to find on net.if some one know pls let me know even a link or can send me at
    s_m_asim at hotmail dot com

    • Ba naam e watan
      koun hei aaj talabgaar e niyaz o takreem
      wouhi her ehad ka jabrout, wouhi kal key laeem
      wouhi ayyaar gharaney, wouhi farzana hakeem
      wouhi tumm,laeiq e sadd tazkira wa sadd taqweem

      tumm wouhi dushman e aheiyae sada hou key nahin
      pass e zindaan ye tumheen jalwa numa hou key nahin

      tumm ney her ehad mein her nasl sey ghaddari ki
      tumm ney bazaaroun mein aqqloun ki khareedari ki
      eent sey eent baja di gaeiy khuddari ki
      khouf kou rakhh liya khidmat pey kamandari ki

      aaj mujhh sey meri jins e garan maangtey hou
      halaf e zehn o wafadaareiy jaan maangtey hou

      jaou ye chhees kisi madah sara sey maangou
      taaefey waloun sey,dhholak ki sadaa sey maangou
      apney darbaanoun sey baddtar fuqura sey maangou
      apney darbaar key goungey shouraa sey mangou

      mujhh sey pouchhou gey tou khhanjar sey udou bouley ga
      gardanein kaat bhhi dou gey tou lahou bouley ga

      tumm ney her dour mein daanish pey kaeiy waar keiye
      jabr key moun mein dehhaktey huweiy alfaaz deiye
      apni aasaaeshe yek umrr e gureizaan key leiye
      sabb kou taraaj kiya tumm ney magar tumm na jiye

      ilm ney khoun e rag e jaan diya auur na mara
      ilm ney zehr ka peymana piya aaur na mara

      ilm suqraat ki awaaz hei, eissa ka lahou
      ilm ghhewara o sayyara o anjaam o namou
      ilm abbas e alamdaar key zakmi bazou
      ilm betay ki naeiy qabr pey maa key aansou

      waadiye abr mey qatroun kou taras jaaey ga
      jou inn ashkoun pey hasey ga wou jhhulas jaaey ga

      tumm hi batlaaou key mein kiss ka wafadaar banoun
      ismat e harf ka ya daar ka ghamkhaar banoun
      mishaloun ka key andheiroun ka talabgaar banoun
      kiss key khurman ke liye shoula e israar banoun

      koun sey dill sey tummhein saaet e farda dey doun
      qaatiloun kou nafas e hazrat e eisa dey doun

      subhhey kaasshi ka tarranum meri awaaz mein hei
      sindh ki shaam ka ahang meray saaz mein hei
      kohhsaaroun ki alamat meray eijaaz mein hei
      baal e jibreel ki aahat meri parwaaz mein hei

      ye jabeen koun si choukhhat pey jhhukey gi bolou
      kiss qafas sey meri parwaaz rukey gi bolou

      kiss qafas sey dill qaed huwa hei abb tak
      kiss key farmaan ki paaband hei raftaar e falak
      koun si raat ney rouki hey sitaroun ki chamak
      kiss ki deewaar sey simtee hei chambaili ki mehek

      dasht e eisaar mein kab aabla pa rukta hei
      koun sey bandd sey sailaab e wafa rukta hei

      ba wafadaari e rahwaar o bey takreem ilm
      ba guhrbaari e alfaaz e sanaa deed ajam
      ba sadaaey jaras e qaafila e ahle qalam
      mujhh kou her qatraaey khoun e shouhudaa teri qasam

      manzilein aa key pukarein gi safar sey pehhley
      jhhuk parey ga dar e zindaan meray ser sey pehhley

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  14. Mustafa ziadi Bohat ba kamaal poet they.un ki poetry bohat la jawaab hai.

    unhein pathron per chal kr kabhi aa sakho tu aao
    meri ghar k rah guzar mai koi kehkashan nai hai

    (0322-4555743)junaid ali khan

  15. “Mustafa Zaidi came into the world of letters asTegh Allahbadi and exitted after a terrible accident.In his last collection,some idea of his stature is already apparent.He had started to count among the few great poets.
    In his early poetry,there is the very clear influence of the progressive can be said that as long as he wrote with the nom d plume of ‘Tegh Allahabadi’,the influence of the progressive writers was very clear.When he made the transition from ‘Tegh Allahabadi’ to ‘Mustaf Zaidi’,he made both a personal and poetic transition.
    From an ideological point of view,he remained progressive,but these ideologies bacame an under-current.The scope of his poetry expanded.subjects became more intense and his nazmz and ghazals bacame much subtler and more beautiful than before.
    Mustafa Zaidi created a great beauty and balance in some ghazals and,in particular,poems written in foreign countries are a beautiful and happy addition to the Urdu canon-poetic thought is the root of these poems.Mustafa Zaidi’s education and erudition was huge and glimpses of it can be seen in his poetry.
    He was a true addition to Urdu poetry.What were the circumstances of his death? Was it suicide or murder? Whose hand was behind his death? This is not our problem.We can only say that his death was terrible and he was one of the few good Urdu poets.Because of his death, a vacuum has been created in Urdu poetry which will be hard to fill.”
    Ibne-e-Insha (extract from ‘Mahnama-e-Kitab, Lahore).
    (translated by Laurel Steele)

  16. Josh Malihabadi comments about Mustafa Zaidi :
    * ” Iss preim autaar bacchey key paidaishi, sakunati aur jaduani teen (3) watan hein. Allahabad, Pakistan aur mera dill.Allah o Akbar mera dill…farsh per arsh ka hamil!”

    * “Iss key kalaam mein aaeina e adab ki si shaan paiey jaati hai.Iss ki shaery iss qadar buland takhaeul aur iss darja niraley tarz ki haamil hai key basa auqat sar dhunney kou ji chhahta hai aur kabhi kabhi tou ye tamanna paida hou jaati hai key kaash mein bhi aisa kehh sakta”

  17. i was an teenager when this incident happened..a porn document named “shahnaz gul ki diary”was very popular at that which she describes about her affair with zaidi..and also her porn movies shoot in hongkong.also drug smuggling and interpol agents stuff..she was stunningly beautiful i saw her photo when she was going to appear in front of court.

  18. I remember in early 70s when i was acollege student, I came across the sad news of Mustafa Zaidi’s murder which later was intentionally confused with suecide etc. Though I had interest in poetry but was not aware of him. Later the proceedings of the case and media’s role and involvement of Shahnaz Gul perhaps made me interested in all therein. It made me read his poetry which I did in detail and all the books available. His last book reflects his personality, feelings and situation where he was at the time of his death. Perhaps he was a loving husband as faf as Veera is concerned and loving father for his kids but adveturist in beauty. Perhaps he was trapped because of his weaknesses in loving beauty. This feature of him is evident from one poem starting with ” Zulf-e-Jhelum key thhay kabhi kaidi” ” Shehr likhhtey thhay Mutafa Zaidi” …………

    What has been written in Forewords of “KoH-e-Nida” really reflects of his personality.
    There is too much to be shared which is interesting as far as his poetry is concerned. His poetry I am sure is unique in the age of Iqbal and Faiz

    Qamar Abad

  19. the da

    the day great mustafa zaidi left this selfish world one news paper of karachi published following lines i think these lines show the true picture of his secrification
    shehnaj gul se sheh mat kha giya
    shayar habas ke marke men kam aa giya
    tafteesh to khulegee khame zulf kee tareh
    kahte hain zehar pee ke zawani luta giya
    poets are sentimental & needs sincere friends

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