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Akbar Allahabadi
--: Biography of Akbar Allahabadi :--


Akbar was born in 1846 in a respectable family at Bara, near Allahabad. In keeping with the prevalent custom, Akbar received his early education at home at the hands of his father, Saved Tafazzul Hussain, who was a man of considerable learning. At about the age of 10 Akbar joined the Mission School atAllahabad.

He was married at the age of 15 to a girl who was two or three years his senior. It was anunhappy marriage which didn't last long, and Akbar was forced to marry for the second time. He had two Sons from each of these two unions. Akbar was an intelligent, persevering boy who always did well in his examinatk)ns. With an eye on his future career he studied law, and worked for a while as a practising lawyer. Later he got into government service, and rose to the high rank of a Session Judge.

He sought premature retirement for reasons of health, and le a quiet, sequestered life in his old age. Akbar was a brilliant, ready-witted, affable man, with a marked sense of humour which, incidentally, is also the hallmarkof his poetry - be it ghazal, nazm, rubai, qita. He treats even the serious themes of love and politics with a touch of humour. He is a social reformer, and his reformist zeal works through the medium of wit and humour. There is hardly any aspect of life which escapes his satirical gaze.

A champion of Eastern values, Akbar is specially opposed to a mindless imitation of the Western ways of life, which he found morally and spiritually sterile. In his approach to life and religion, he gives preferences like the mystic saints, to love over reason, to faith over knowledge. In one of his rubaies, he stresses his affinity with Spenser the poet, as against Mill the philosopher.

He is distinctly riginal in his style too, for he can use any popular word or phrase of English which can convey his meaning, or increase the huimrous impact of his verse This intermingling of Urdu with English vocabulary was a thing uflkfloWfl to his predeceSSOrS nor was his practice adopted by the younger generati° of writers and poets.

Although Akbar is essentially a lively, optimistic poet, his vision of things got clouded in his later life by his experienCe of tragedy athome. One of his sons, and a grandsons whom he dearly loved, died young. This caused him great shock and despair. ConsequentlY towards the end of his life he got considerably subdued, and became increasingly pensive and religious. He died in 1921 at the age of 75.



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