Thursday, May 28, 2015

Comic Relief

Reviewed by Asif Anwar Alig 


Ajnabi Shahar (Unknown City), Poetic Collection, by Zubairul Hassan ‘Ghafil’, pp164, Bazm-e-Hassan Publishers, Kamaldaha, Araria (Bihar), Indian Rupees 100/-, Hard. 

J
Poetic Collection Ajnabi Shahar
udiciary and literature has parting of ways. The jigsaw between law and poetry, particularly comic is bound to differ. Both have uniqueness in approaches to define life that never ever synchronizes anyway in treatment while defining gloom and progresses of human history. 

In contrast to literature, judiciary looks into life cycles with genuineness in their respective treatments to look into objectivity on the conjugative issues of human experience and its existence. Both law and poetry, particularly comic don’t even prefer to go along in one go being streams of different connotations. Judiciary has menial ways to hypnotize its own predefined subjects in the social spectrum of human races world over because it contours issues on the lines of established idealism. 

Law and literature have remained unbiased for each other since time immemorial on the grounds that both have nothing to work out for each other.

The poetic collection Ajnabi Shahar, a book of poetry breaks this myth assenting that the author Zubairul Hassan Ghafil is not a professional poet. Neither had he intended to be a poet enlisting rather commenting on the social arbitraries in poetic fashion – like he intends to give us comic relief out of the crisis that our society is undergoing. Mr. Ghafil served in Bihar Judicial Services as Additional District & Session Judge for years.

Reviewer Asif Anwar Alig
The poetic collection guffaws this humane feeling, emotional pitches, close encounters, compromises in tackling issues, confessions and un-uttered fringes that he had have with political circles, hypocrisies and deep rooted political analogues that couldn’t be expressed while he served in Judicial department. But he never leaves any stone unturned to express unfinished anger through this poetic collection.

Writing comedy is rather a serious task that needs more pains to express anger into unique language felt with satirical or ironical expressions. This book justifies such literary anecdote. It is summed up into seven broad sections comprising of eighty-five sub sections. 

Poems on political bigotries, social trends, communal dis-harmonies, comments on society, commenting political system and last but not the least comment on self besides in-camera feelings of litterateurs, intelligentsias and his near and dear ones—a life sketch of a Judicial Magistrate cum poet.

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rdu poetry has, no doubt, come out of the dogmatic trends of indigenous proprietors of literature. The approach Ghafil has is out of the pretext of earlier trend instead he redefines poetry in his own unique style, though this approach seems novice, what he has seen and faced is beyond the thinking level of “progressive process of thought” that has now confined to the ivory tower literature.

This poetic collection is a compilation of poems that Ghafil wrote in his long span of judicial career. Though he kept poetry aloof of the purview of media, some of them were published in the newspapers on the insistence of his friends, which he never intended. Each poem has different approach in treatment and style and appeals all without any reservation of thought, ideology, logic or community bashing.

Kashmir Times 
The collection of poems is comic but its message is true like what Keats said, “Beauty is truth; truth is beauty.” Some of them as much small as of a few lines makes us laugh but instantly comply to think on the other ugly side and weep. Of course the issues give one comic relief; full of laughter and go deep into situational irony from where truth is understood and poems are born.

From Bihar to national politics to social conditions to so called progress to the condition of educational institutions to professors to lingua franca to judiciary to self—the reality byte of travesty and agonies remain prevalent in our society. 

They are brought into our notice by the medium of poetry. How poet sings a song that has lots for us to laugh and weep afterwards because we pay for laughter when we are happy we should also expect, obviously, to welcome sorrow because Indian subcontinent is diverse and its countrymen has got that much of patience that it leads life happily in same pace it encounters pogroms. This collection of comic poetry is a must-read for every sensitive reader.


This book review first appeared in Kashmir Times newspaper, Jammu on 1o June, 2007.

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