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Hakeem Manzoor
--: Biography of Hakeem Manzoor :--


 Renowned Kashmiri poet, journalist and writer Hakim Manzoor Ahmed born on January 17, 1937 at Srinagar, he had written more than 15 books. Some of his famous books in Urdu are Na Tamaam, Barf Ruton Ki Aag and Lahu Lamas Chinar. Died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi 21st December 2006 after prolonged illness.
He was suffering from acute kidney problem since a long period of time.

Ahmed also served in the state administration in various capacities. He headed the Education Department and worked as the District Development Commissioner and the Custodian General besides the Jammu and Kashmir Resident Commissioner in New Delhi. 

Hakim Manzoor’s poetry reflects a unique richness of a vivid imagination – of Kashmir, its natural beauty, its pain and its fragrance – often with a pervasive effect. Somehow, however, his poetry hasn’t received the recognition it deserved in Kashmir – the centre of his writings. That is perhaps why he dedicated his seventh collection of poems – Subah Shafaq Tilawat – to the people of Jammu, whom he said ‘appreciate and understand Urdu better.’

Just like his poetry,
Hakim Manzoor’s sharp wit and great sense of humour were awe inspiring. To me those moments were perhaps the best in his company, when he would be sitting with his poet friends like Zarief Ahmed Zarief and talk politics and literature. Almost the whole conversation would be in poetry, dressed in mischievous humour.

Hakim Manzoor was deeply sensitive about the environmental changes happening around him. He took to heart even the variance of rains between the times of his youth and those which turned to be his last years. He nurses a grievance to the Almighty for empowering the autumn winds to take away the charm of the Chinar tree. He grieved at the ebbing of Jhelum waters, questioning the wisdom of those supposed to preserve our water bodies. He grieves:

Lambey thei kis ke haath, nazar kis ki tang thei
Jhelum se koan merey rawani le gaya

Uss ne bas itna hi poocha sabz chinar ab kitne hain
Sar se pa tak tadap utha mein, dil pe gira ek shola sa

He knew he is able to slake his imaginative restlessness with great adeptness but he was aware that in the world of Urdu Ghazal he is seen as a poet who has deviated from the tradition. And dared pioneer a new style. Something he so eloquently describes:

Pathar per agar phool si aayat ne likhoon
Phir chupp hi rahoon aur koyee baat ne likhoon

Haan! Junoon mera hi gul rang khayaloon ki talaash 
Haan! Mere jaisey khud aazar kahan se aayein

In one of his books - Baraf rutoon ki aag – he takes his imagination of the inter- linkages of snow, climate, the Almighty, nature’s balance even further:

Chuwa nehi ki nazar zakhm ban ke phaile gi
Hai dhoop paidh ki shakhoon pe kachche yakh ka samar

Sheher maidaan, loag lashkar aur mein tanha hareef
Dhoop ke saye ki chadar, sar pe hai darya hareef

Hakim would set a challenge for all to write the pain of fragrance. In his poetry he has recreated a virtual world of Kashmir’s cultural and historical essence – but with fragrance.

Even if he was to address his critics or adversaries, he says it all with words as if created of scent. Be it the silence of falling snows, he says it all with his mystique words, stretching imagination too far. Be it the whispers of falling autumn leaves he has inks them with the eloquence of silence. Fragrance was his passion and he creates a whole new world of poetry around it. His thoughts are heavily fixed around the finer elements of nature. His seventh collection of poems – Subah Shafaq Tilawat –
Hakim spread a new fragrance of thoughts and imagination.

Hum apne hissey ka koye gunah kaise karein?
Ki hum ko purkhoon ne miraas mein khatayein dein

Hakim’s love and sensitivity for Kashmir knows no bounds. What a better way to express those latent feelings?

Mujh ko amrodoon se ragbat aur aamoon se bhi pyar
Zikr tedha saib ka aaye toa jazbati bhi hoon

Aey mere Kashmir aankhon mein tere 
Sajawoon mein arsh ke aagey ke khwaab

Har taraf hain behte darya magar 
Har taraf ek iltija aab! aab!

Hakim Manzoor’s passion for snow sometimes defies the limits of normal human imagination. He detests the winter sun, for to him it snatches snow’s inner peace. He writes about the fire that he sees hidden in snow’s chest. This couplet of his makes it clear:

Jis ne who lamhe ne tapey mein usey samjawoon kya
Mein ne kab jalti baraf ko aag se thanda kiya

Hakim Manzoor mostly wrote in the times which were tumultuous. Those were the times when the thoughts and the pen of thinkers like him were caged. Those were the times when thoughts would be countered with bullets alone. He lamented:

Raaste bhi chalne lagte magar mere pavoon mein
Zanjeer ban ke shourish-i-halaat reh gayee

Tere hawale ko raaz kaise mein rakh sakoon ga
Mutalbah ab ke shaher mein hai shinakhatoon ka

His dreams for a Kashmir – which is unchained and dignified – are narrated by his passion only – fragrance. He prays very often:

Ek mausam-e-khush kamat, khushbu ki bulandi se
Utre meri waadi mein kuch uss ko bahana de

Yeh mera maqdoor agar ho sab soye huyein ho mein chup ke se
Ghar ghar ke aagey rakh aavoon naye naye pholoon ka aangan

Through his poetry, Hakim Manzoor has often re-created the mesmerising effect of virgin snows, the smell of the winter mist, and the pain of the autumn sun to his friends outside Kashmir. He was proud of his Kashmiri identity and often reflected his deep emotional bond with this land.

Pathhar mein shola ne dekh payein unn ke liye
Akhrotoon se hina ka rishta jaise ek tamasha sa

Baraf shagufein jab khilte hain, uss mausam mein aavo toa
Mere khatoon ki khushboovoon ka hoga kuch andaza sa

Hakim Manzoor’s poetry has captured Kashmir’s charm in a blend of many things. It has a deep sprinkle of mysticism. There are environmental prophecies. There is a brilliant use of words and an imagination stretched to great limits. All of that creates a unique mystic aura, which looks like a masterpiece. He hasn’t talked much about Kashmir’s body or symbols, he touches its soul.

Sher-i-be-zehan ka baasi hoon mein Manzoor yahan
Sher kehna mera aijaz nehi hai koyee

Kisi tegh-o-tishnah lahoo ko mein nehi likh saka hoon ki phool hai
Yeh saleeqa jis se mein ne seekha who sabak hi mein ne padha nehi

Hakim’s poetry reflects a restlessness which is not difficult to fathom. Perhaps that is best summarised in this couplet:

Mein ne poocha tha ki rishta hai mera kya mujh se
Lafz ke lafz thei maujood magar mein kya likhta?

The family of renowned Urdu poet, scholar and bureaucrat late Hakeem Manzoor have donated a huge collection of his personal books to Allama Iqbal Library of the Kashmir University.

 Confirming it, the chief librarian, Riyaz Rufai said the collection comprise books, some pamphlets and newspapers counting more than 2000. These were received by the Allama Iqbal Library through Hakeem Afaq Manzoor, son the late poet, he added.  
 Rufai said KU plans to carve out a separate section of these books which shall be named as Hakeem Manzoor Corner. The rich collection mainly comprises books on Urdu language and literature, Rufai added.
 It is worthwhile to mention here that in view of the appeals to Bibliophiles issued by the KU Vice-Chancellors from time to time, the varsity has received good response from the civil society and many people are coming forward to donate books for use by the posterity, the chief librarian said.
 The University of Kashmir has thankfully acknowledged such donations from time to time. The Bibliophiles are once again requested to donate their books to Allama Iqbal Library for use by the students and scholars, Rufai appealed.
 Pertinently Allama Iqbal Library at present has more than six lakh books in its collection. The library uses the modern Information Tools to disseminate the information to needy students and scholars of the university. Besides thousands of online journals are made available to them which has brought name to this library in India and abroad.


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