شاعر پروفیسر محمد سلیم احسن —میانوالی سے پہلا قومی صدارتی ایوارڈ یافتہ شاعر
SALEEM AHSAN: A SERAIKI POET OF CONTEMPORARY TASTE
BY PROFESSOR MUNAWAR ALI MALIK
“Chaitey Chintey” (Seraiki po etry) by Muhammad Saleem Ahsan. Published (1993) by Seraiki Adabi Board, Multan.
Chattey Chintey is Muhammad Saleem Ahsan’s second volume of Seraiki verse. The first, Jakkhar Jholey, published almost a decade back, wa shalled as a breath of fresh air, as it brought Seraiki verse abreast of the contemporary trends in literature. Hitherto Seraiki letters had little to boast of, save the richly musical ecstatic outpourings of Khawaja Ghulam Farid. The tradition founded by the good old pioneer had held exclusive sway for well over half a century. Love was considered to be the sole theme worth poetic attention. Kafi and Geet were regarded as the best forms of poetic expression. Experiments with newer Verse forms were ruthlessly cried down Seraiki poetry, so to speak, had a past, but no present and, therefore, no future
Saleem Ahsan came up as the first Seraiki poet of con temporary taste. He broke the ice to show what wealth of meaning lay buried underneath; what a rich treasure of realities had so far escaped notice, and what a plenteous variety of expression had hitherto remained unexploited. Seraiki, the book demonstrated, was as good as any other language for any form of poetic ex pression. No wonder, the work caught a shower of honours, ending up with the highest national award Khawaja Ghulam Farid Award of the Academy of Letters, Pakistan.
And so Saleem Ahsan is already a byword in the world of Seraiki letters. His second volume of verse is no surprise. Actually, people were looking forward to it. A long walt, some of his fans complain. The book might well have come out earlier, but then it would not have been quite the thing it is. Saleem Ahsan had to work hard and long to keep up the reputation jakkhar Jholey had won him. His honest labour did not go waste. A discerning comparison of Jakkhar Jholey and Chaitey Chintey easily reveals that the latter is definitely a remarkable advance.
A product of the poet’s maturer years, Chaitey Chintey shows a greater sureness of touch and candour of expression. The ecstasies of younger years have given way to a sober self-restraint. Saleem Ashan has an eye for paradoxes. See how meaningfully he points them out:
*It was the summer that ruined me. And yet it is the winter I hate.
Mark the various connotations of summer and winter. The latter, representing age, death and want of human feeling, is surely the more detestable
Note the suggestion implied in the following lines:
*Why not condemn the t lamp for its weakness? Why curse the wind that blew it out?
Helpless against the tyranny of feudal overlords, the Seraikis can only wait for things to change
“I waited and waited till the end of my days. My turn never came, but I had something to live for, you see.
Yet sometime waiting gets on the nerves:
*Why doesn’t the spring arrive? I’ve kindled every thorn with my blood to light her way hither.
Spring got the hint, perhaps, and did arrive, but the spring too had nothing to give, except those beggar’s bowls held out by plants in the shape of flowers
Was the spring to blame, after all? Perhaps its bag of gifts had run empty by the time it got here:
Why blames the clouds?
Isn’t the desert of Thar too far away?
Yes, it is the irony of location far out of the way – that accounts for most of the privations of Seraiki people. Yet hope revives with every wind of change that happens to come this way. But see what the wind brings:
“The wind is the postman;the dead leaves letters of sorrow.
But the ever-hopeful poet is not dismayed. Viewed from a different angle the arrival of the wind did mean something, after all:
“The wind gave tongue to the oppressed. The dead leaves rustle in protest. Now, isn’t that encouraging? Things may warm up eventually, it looks.
The candle is afraid of the wind, and the night is afraid of the candle. So, it is not a question of strength or weakness, you see, but a question of who strikes first.
The verses cited above illustrate some of the salient aspects of Saleem Ahsan’s poetry. But that is not all. There is a lot more to it. A lot more than the limited space of these columns allows
The book is well produced and fairly priced. Its attractive cover is a speaking index of the contents.
تجھے مشکل منانا ھو گیا ھے
ترا ساتھی زمانہ ھو گیا ھے
آج میانوالی بلخصوص سرایکی شاعری کے حوالے سے جس مقام پر ھے اس میں سب سے مضبوط حوالہ ھمارے مرشد سلیم احسن ھیں آج جو ھم پورا منہ کھول کے کہھتے ھیں کہ ھماری زبان سرایکی ھے تو یہ کمال سلیم احسن کا ھی ھے
سلیم احسن نے صرف خود شاعری نھین کی بلکہ ھم جیسے آوارہ مزاج لوگوں کو پکڑ پکڑ کے شاعری کے گر سکھانے
ھماری گزارش ھےکہھ وہ شاعری کی طرف پلٹ آیین
شاعر اور صوفی ایک ھی ھوتے ھیں
سلیم آحسن کی سرائیکی شاعری میں مظاہر قدرت کرداروں کی صورت جلوہ گر ھو کر میانوالی کا وہ خوبصورت منظرنامە بناتے ہیں جو سندھ ساگر کے پاک اور میٹھے پانی سے گندھے ماحول میں مادی اور اخلاقی ھر طرح کی آلودگی سے پاک ھے – سلیم احسن بہت عرصے سے تصوف کی پگڑی باندھ کر شاعری کی دنیا سے الگ رھے هیں جبکہ تصوف کے میدان میں آکر ان پر شاعری کی رسم کو صوفیا کی رسم سمجھ کر انہیں نسبتا” زیادہ وقت دینا چاہیئے تھا –
ان کی شاعری کے تازہ جھونکے کو میں ایک خوشگوار تجربے کی حیثیت سے دیکھتا هوں
Jhakar Jhulay (1984 Hamza). .. .. . . Nashir : Myanwali Akidimi Myanwali
• Cheetay Chunte (1993 Hamza). .. .. .. . . Nashir : Saraiki Adbi Board Multan Tareekhi, Tehqeeqi Aur Saqafati Mazameen:
• Mianwali Ki Zabaan. .. .. .. .. .. . . • Mianwali Sindh Kinare. .. .. .. . • Mianwali Ka Tareekhi Pas Manzar. . • Mianwali Ka Tehzibi Manzar Nama • Rokhrhi Ke Khandarath. .. .. .. . . • Mianwali Mein Daynosar. .. .. .. . • Sir Hind Ya Tra. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . . • Viachra Watan By Hrish Chand Nickra Ki Tasneef Ka Urdu Tarjuma Ki Nazarsani Olay Gholay. .. .. .. . ( Saraiki Naat ) Khawab Kachaoy ( Saraiki Hayiko ) • Sur Saoni ( Saraiki Geet )
AWADS AND HONORS
* Khawaja Ghulam Farid National Award – 1984
* Gold Medal – District Council Mianwali – 1984
* Sargodha Higher Secondary Board Award. 1984
* Zahoor Nazar Award, Bahawalpur 1985
* Bakht Award (Outstanding Performance) – 1991
* Literary Award, Neelab Academy Mianwali – 2004 ۔ Weekly “Zarb Qalandar” Mujahid Millat Award-2011