Poet’s efforts for awareness of environment praised
KARACHI: Mohammad Jameel Ahsan, a poet and calligrapher originally hailing from Multan and now settled in Sweden, praised on Saturday every aspect of life in the welfare state he has been living for 39 years.
“For instance, a doctor would go to the waiting patient’s seat, shook his hand so warmly that it would cure half of the patient’s ailment, before escorting him to his desk. And when the patient would leave fully satisfied, the doctor would personally see him off through the doorway,” he said.
Speaking at a literary sitting held at the Anjuman-i-Taraqqi-i-Urdu offices to honour him, Jameel went on to praise the sanitation conditions, educational system, housing, transport and recreational facilities there. “Everything is so neat a clean there.”
Jameel, however, could not overcome his nostalgia even after having lived there for so many years as is reflected in his highly emotive and nostalgic poetry. ‘Main hoon pardes mein Jameel magar / Hoslay day rahi hay yaad-i-Watan’, he says in a couplet. In another couplet, he says: ‘Hawa kay haath parindon kay par nahi aatay / Nikal gayay jo watan say woh ghar nahi aatay’.
He has stayed in contact with people back in the country. His poetry collections include Tashna machhli paani main and Rooh ka Samundar.
Urdu language and literature is his bread and butter besides it being a means of expression. “Sweden is a rather small country, but people from 85 countries live there. The government there encourages and financially helps in promotion of their home languages,” he said.
Jameel claimed that after Pakistan, Europe, particularly England and Scandinavia, were the regions where Urdu language and literature were being promoted the most. He said he himself had been publishing an Urdu monthly for a few years and, under a literary organisation, had been holding mushairas, inviting poets from Pakistan and other countries. “Initially the audience there did not know how to appreciate in the subcontinental style [daad dena] a piece of poetry being recited, but gradually they have learned it,” he remarked.
On repeated requests by the audience and speakers, he recited from his poetry extensively.
Speaking on the occasion, renowned poet and critic Prof Sahar Ansari said he wished that the doctors in Pakistan improve their behavior towards fellow beings even if they could not truly emulate their highly caring counterparts in the West.
Prof Ansari quoted the recent example of a doctor in the Umerkot civil hospital whose apathy led to the death of a sanitation worker as the doctor refused to touch and treat the patient for being unclean.
Speaking on the poet’s work, he said although ghazal was the most popular genre of poetry, he preferred his nazms to ghazals.
He said the poet had written on various topics, but writing on the ecology was particularly praiseworthy. He said the West was extremely concerned about how to save the planet and Jameel had echoed those sentiments. He said the poet was playing an effective role in creating awareness of the environment.
Speaking on the occasion, Maeraj Jami said Jameel’s poetry was steeped in homesickness and immersed in homeland’s love. He said immigration was a recurring theme in Jameel’s poetry. “He is away from his homeland, but his heart is here; he can smell the fragrance of the soil.” He said immigration might have turned the poet homesick but he was not despondent. He supported his views by quoting from the poet’s work.
Earlier, Dr Fatema Hassan, honorary secretary of the Anjuman, said her organisation regularly held events to introduce guests from within the country and abroad.
Rukhsana Saba was moderator of the event.