I have recently developed a habit of reading Hindi literature. And when we talk about Hindi literature, Urdu shayari automatically pops up on the screen of our mind and it cannot be left behind. We have to talk about these two together. From Rashmirathi to Tarapath, Sanchayita to Rag-Virag, Kamyani to Vandana… I have explored various themes, many poets and many shayars as well. Not only the traditionalists, but I also came across many modern poets and shayars during my recent touch-down and a few left a very remarkable impression upon me. I will share a few poets’ names and would request you to read them if you love reading Hindi poetry as well as Urdu poetry and shayari, ghazals etc. My picks might be weird but certainly explorable if you share my excitement as well as a balanced approach. Here we go.
Sumitra Nandan Pant: If you are a traditionalist reader at times, Pant’s poetry will be very suitable to you. You can read any of his collections but I would suggest reading Tarapath – a collection full of his gems, mostly. Sumitra Nandan Pant’s Hindi poetry is marked with versatile use of language, wonderfully picked words and a Sanskritised tone… you will love it! Do read him.
Suryakant Tripathi ‘Nirala’: Who doesn’t know Nirala? Saintly, self-satisfied, calm and linguistically rich… incomparable, almost. If you feel devotional at any time, Nirala is your go-to poet. Can anyone forget Var De Veenavadini? Who can forget Ram Ki Shakti Puja? Just read his collections Aaradhana or Raag-Viraag, you will feel extremely satisfied, calm and also charged with a positive energy that only Nirala can bring to you… just try it once!
Raghupati Sahay: Who is this person? Well, well, well, if you don’t know this person, you must know a guy named Firaq Gorakhpuri… yes, Firaq Gorakhpuri was the pen name of Raghupati Sahay, a noted Indian shayar and a popular figure in Urdu literature. If you feel like reading some wonderful shayari and Urdu poetry, just turn the pages of any of his collection and you will be welcomed with wonderful lines. Like this:
रफ़्ता रफ़्ता ग़ैर अपनी ही नज़र में हो गये
वाह री ग़फ़्लत तुझे अपना समझ बैठे थे हम
Gautam Rajrishi: One of his collections has recently been reviewed on Featured Books as well. Gautam Rajrishi is a contemporary shayar and poet as well as a short story writer. If you haven’t read Neela-Neela yet, do read it and then only you will know why Gautam’s amazing verse cannot get off my head… His poetry is wonderfully imagined, beautifully worded and cleverly served to the readers. You will feel drawn to it – sun, moon, stars, ribbon, beloved, lover, eyes, village… he is contemporary and traditional at the same time. His words are modern and his heart is ancient… if I may say this! Two couples from Neela-Neela are added below:
देखूँ तुझे क़रीब से, फ़ुरसत से, चैन से
मेरा ये ख़्वाब मुझको लिये दर-ब-दर गया
इक रोज़ ले लिया जो तेरा नाम राह में
चलता हुआ ये शह्र अचानक ठहर गया
Piyush Mishra: Can we call Piyush Mishra a contemporary poet? Yes, we can. However, when you read his verse, you cannot stop yourself from calling him one of the peers of those traditional poets who could stir your heart and mind with the power of poetry… Piyush adds weight to his lines with his imagery, carefully picked words and style which make things emphatic and forceful. At times sarcastic, Piyush is a must-read… do read his poems on the internet or in one of his books.
So, friends, this was one of the many lists that I have been preparing for Featured Books for a few years now. I will bring more when I prepare more. All the best with your poetic adventures.