Book Review: Behte Pani Pe Tasveer (Image on Waterfall), Arshad Saeed’s second book of poems.

Inherently all human beings are curious and prone to explore in pursuance of knowing the unknown. This infinite chase in the finite ecology, evidently, inspired various mediums of expressions in order to portray the intricacies of, collective and/or individual, spiritual-intellectual journey of humankind.

As we are aware that the level of cognitive intelligence varies from person to person, simultaneously the capabilities of creation, innovation, thinking, analysing and transmutation the data into knowledge differ.

A collage of above-mentioned characteristics along with sociocultural environment sets the extent of curiosity in oneself, consequentially the ones with disruptive level of curiosity often use art as a medium of expression.

Language artists build on their sub-consciousness to understand and recognize their divinity by words that have both obvious and implied meaning.  Arshad Saeed is one of those extra-ordinary human beings whose inquisitive minds made him a distinguished Urdu language artist, a poet. He writes poems (Nazms), Ghazals, Stanzas and Essays.

Arshad Saeed belongs to a noble and literary family. He is a grandson of a prominent poet and litterateur of Urdu language, Arman Shahjahan Puri. Moreover, during schooling he was fortunate to have teachers like Hafiz Muhammad Zahoor Ul Haq Zahoor, a scholar of high repute, who authored numerous books in Persian and Urdu language.

In a nutshell, literature is in Arshad’s blood. His first book ‘Hadood-e-Shaam Se Agey’ was well-received and appreciated by both readers and litterateurs. His second book ‘Behte Pani Pe Tasveer’ is in front of me and it is truly a Gleaming Flare in Hazy Skies of contemporary Urdu literature.

Arshad Saeed is people’s poet. He feels and experiences the life with a greater detail. This is why his poetic inspirations come from his major life events, nature, social cosmology, romanticism, patriotism and the ache of saudade while living away from motherland. Arshad says:

Khamosh Falak Ab To Dikha Mujh Ko Sitara خاموش  فلک اب تو  دکھا مجھ  کو ستارا                                 

Is Shehr  MeiN  Phirta He Koi  Hijr  Ka  Maraاس  شہر میں  پھرتا  ہے کوئی ہجر کا مارا


Ta’Alluk   ToR    Dena To   Bahot     Aasaan     Hota   Hai تعلق  توڑ  دینا   تو  بہت   آسان  ہوتا   ہے

MeiN AasaaN kaam Ko Aksar Bahot Dushwar karta HuN    میں آساں کام کو اکثر بہت دشوار کرتا ہوں


Ab  Koi  Khauf  Nahi  he  Mujhe   Shetano  Se  اب کوئی خوف نہیں ہے مجھے شیطانوں سے

Aye Khuda Tu Hi Bacha Le Mujhe  Insanon Se  اے خدا  تو ہی  بچا  لے  مجھے انسانوں سے                            


Arshad’s major literary contribution is in the form of Ghazal and Nazm, however, his trial of genius in other forms is also noticeable. Other forms include but not limited to Blank Verse (Azad Nazm), Canzone (Musaddas) and Quatrain (Qata). Also his Elegies on the death of his mother, brother and other people, who were close to him,  leave deep lasting impressions on readers’ heart.

Apne AshkoN  MeiN Tri Yaad  Saja Kar DekhuN اپنے اشکوں میں تری یاد سجا کر دیکھوں                          

Behte Pani Pe MeiN Tasveer Bana Kar DekhuN بہتے پانی  پہ  میں تصویر بنا کر دیکھوں                            


Arshad’s deliberative reflexive sophistry in Ghazals is a pure reflection on his innocent emotions. This behaviour or mood attracts the readers towards him. In real life this sincere straightforward demeanour has brought about a wealth of friendships for him. See some of his couplets below:

MeiN Tishna Lub Tha Magar Aik GhoonT Pee Na Saka میں تشنہ لب تھا مگر ایک گھونٹ پی نہ سکا

Ajab   Tarah   Ki   Koi   Pyaas   Os   Glaas    MeiN    Thi  عجب طرح کی کوئی پیاس اس گلاس میں تھی


Kitab-E-Zehn  MeiN  Tehreer  Ik  Purani Thi                               کتابِ ذہن  میں  تحریر اک  پرانی  تھی             

Waraq Ulat Ke Jo Dekha To Nau Jawani Thi                              ورق الٹ کے جو دیکھا تو نوجوانی تھی


MeiN Garche Sukhan Gooi MeiN Sultan Nahi HuNمیں گرچہ سخن گوئی میں سلطان نہیں ہوں                 

Per Ye Bhi   Haqeeqat  He  Keh  Darban Nahi  HuNپر  یہ   بھی  حقیقت  ہے  کہ دربان نہیں  ہوں                 


Ye Jo Hum Apne Liaya Shehr e Khutan Mangte HeiNیہ  جو  ہم  اپنے   لیے  شہرِ ختن   مانگتے  ہیں           

Dasht Se Tang Huay  Hein to Chaman  Mangte HeiNدشت سے تنگ ہوئے ہیں تو چمن مانگتے ہیں            


Oska Milna Jo Dhiaan meiN rakhaاسکا ملنا جو دھیان میں رکھا

Phool Ik Phooldaan MeiN Rakhaپھول اک پھول دان میں رکھا


Zindon Pe Bhi Saya He Na LashoN Pe Kafan Heزندوں پہ بھی سایہ ہے نہ لاشوں پہ کفن  ہے

Aye  Ahl-E-Khirad  Dekh Lo Ye Kesa  Watan He اے اہلِ خرد !  دیکھ  لو یہ کیسا وطن  ہے                            


I conclude by congratulating Arshad Saeed for his valuable contribution to Urdu literature and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.