May 25, 2013 | 05:27 PM (BD Time)
25 May, 2013 Saturday
Farrukh Ahmad : Poet of Muslim renaissance
M. Mizanur Rahman. :
(From previous issue)
Thereafter, a change of tradition in Bangiya poetical works took place in the hands of the poets of the thirties led by Buddhadev Bosu (1908-1974) and his adherents, like Premendra Mitra (1904-1988), Jibanananda Das (1899-1954), Sudhindranath Dutta (1901-1960), Bishnu Dey (1909-1982), Amiyo Chakravarty (1901-1986) and later poets like Manish Ghatak (1902-1979 Bimal Chandra Ghose (1910-1982), Arun Mitra (1909-2002), Samar Sen (1916-1987) and Subhash Mukhopadhyaya (1920-2003). Meanwhile, Farrukh Ahmad (1918-1974) emerged as a poet of famine that broke out in Bengal in 1943 during the second world war; likewise Sukanto Bhattacharya's (1926-1947) poems on famine were also acclaimed boisterously.
Farrukh Ahmad, however put in stronger and more incisive words on famine in his poem 'Corpse' (Lash). This poem has become a documentary against famine and its creators :
There's no dust on pitch dark colour
Where the wide road takes its bend with one's face downward
but the news of that death seems to create no concern
in the evening crowds.
I know that this is human corpse
lying with the face downward
whose hungry entrails are lifeless now.
By the way, well-dressed devils, women and men
pass the stone-house, death-cells,
While the prostitutes open their doors
and invite clients with sugar-quoted words;
Who are those that rule the people and exploit them?
The evidence of all that remains on the public road
where 5' -3" - grave is being dug
at the end of each one's life.
This dead and fallen humanity is exactly lying
with its face downward.
The sky has gone away
from the vaunter's buildings, domes
and well-fed tummy
while each one of them is lying dead on earth
with the face downward,
These beastly, inhuman, cruel and shameless
robbers destroy the eternal human existence for their inhuman greed:
they have trampled human rights
and took away food from the mouth of each hungry one
and at the cost of human life they hoard
for abnonnal profit, for they are playing with human bones
and building palaces of comfort on human carcasses.
This well-fed tummy and barbaric civilisation,
This inhuman cruelty and its cruel curse are poisoning
the earth of the day and the sky of the night.
What sort of civilisation it is that mocks the human entity?
Why that Iblis laughs at the human death and destruction?
Who's that Azazil that kicks human corpses today?
Who's that fiend with its blood-stained body bursting into laughter?
Human cries rend the sky apart :
Which instinct has made them subservient today?
Who's that Satan that throws garbage and mud
at the petals of the rose?
Do those poisonous clouds overwhelm
the colourful skies?
Who runs the brothel for the business of coquetry?
And what's that civilisation?
Whose hands stab the children at ease?
Who breaks the rib-bones of others
in order to listen to their painful cries and enjoy dancing?
Whose drinking cups are coloured
with the blood of the labourers?
When has man sacrificed his life at your disposal
And you, the devil of materialistic civilisation,
take revenge for that?
You are, drinking the blood of the children at ease.
You are ravishing the raped body of the women.
You kick the people out into quagmire and step up to hold the rungs of their ladder!
You, civilisation-the lump of material substance,
For whom you serve as the slave?
Or your slaves are worst than what the beastly creatures are!
For whose oppressions made peace mere muddy houses
And the living dead with the face lying downward on earth !
(Tr. M. Mizanur Rahman)
Farrukh followed Nazrul's idea in the application of Arabic and Persian words adeptly in his Bengali verses. But the art and the structural forms of Farrukh's poems are not at all identical with Nazrul's verses. He had his own identity and originality in art and structural forms of poetry. In his poems of 'Sat Sagorer Majhi' (The sailor of the seven seas), 'Nowfel O Hatem and 'Hatem' Tayee', he tried to trace out the epic forms but could not fulfil all the traits of epic poems though most of his poems were based on the theme and the episodes of 'Arabian Nights'. Farrukh probably liked the valour and the adventure of Sindbad, the selfless sacrifice of Hatem Tayee and Hatems's unblemished character, honesty and generosity, which attracted him to compose poems for the Muslim renaissance. The former epic poet Michael Modhusudan Dutta used Sanskrit language moulded into Bengali words from the Hindu mythology in his epic 'Meghnad Bodh Kabyo' for the revival of Hindu heroism in Ravana that dismayed Rama. But the last and the successful Muslim epic poet Kaikobad's (1857-1951) epic works 'Moha Shmoshan', based on the episode of the battle of Panipath from the history of India, were portrayals of the Hindu and Muslim heroes in simple Bengali words. He put them in glory and grandeur in all his descriptions.
Similar attempt was made by the Poet Golam Mostafa (1897-1964) in the episode of his 'Boni Adam' which appears to be an indirect image of the 'Paradise Lost and its Regain' by John Milton (1608-1674).
However, Farrukh ventured to revive the Muslim renaissance through his works in the art of poetry. In 'Sindbad' he draws the reader's attention to a new adventure by saying:
"Days of the comfort
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