Aali  Jee's  Poetic Framework


  By: Professor Dr. Saadat Saeed

 Urdu Chair Ankara University Turkey

What is special in Jamil-ud-Din Aali's poetry? Nothing else but its pensive outlook! The effervescent brook of his passion has earned him a celebrated rank in the history of modem Urdu poetry.

His long and stirring dramatic poem "Insaan" is based on profound probing into the meaning of man's life on earth. Its concrete dimensions doubtlessly belong to his ethical, social and metaphysical experiences. This poem could be called an imaginary dialogue between his own self and the objective world.  In this poem, the character named Borrah (old man) is the symbol of poet's own rational self.

 Aali Jee artistically is fully equipped with the modern techniques of poetry writing. He has depicted his universal and local experiences in various disciplines of knowledge as varied as history, anthropology, philosophy, politics, art and literature.  We can find essentials of his life experiences in his poetic collections named "Ghazlain, Dohay, Geet" and "La Ha'asil".

Aali Jee`s insight of times is fully based on cognitive approach, humanitarian passion, patriotic sensibility and a wary observation.

 His love for life and humanity at large is above question. The strictly limited domain of traditional poetic expressions did not suit with the artistic experiences which he wanted to portray. So he looked for new avenues of creative discourse and struck upon novel strands in Ghazal. Again, he developed an essentially different approach in exploiting the potential of Doha, an almost forgotten genre as a living instrument of poetic expression. The existence of such experiences and reflections can be acknowledged without the fear of refutation which cannot be reduced into rather stringent limits of Ghazal. In order to reflect his individual being, Aali Jee chose the genre of Doha and free verse besides breaking new grounds in Ghazal writing. Despite honoring the primal role of prosody and rhyme in poetry, Aali Jee has employed these artistic tools in a highly individual way.

Aali Jee has the courage to use new words and phrases in his poetry. He accepts the principles of new linguistic formations and emphasizes upon communicative expressions. His love for music has forced him to shape up a fresh style which coordinates with his, as it were, athletic craftsmanship. The over-riding passion behind his toil is to reach and feel the soul of his reader.

Herbert Read in his famous opus, The Meaning of Art" writes,

 "Only the composer of music is perfectly free to create a work of art from his own consciousness and with no other aim than to please".

 The musical expressions in Aali jee's poetry has augmented the force of his thought and emotions. His interest in music has given him freedom to utilize eloquently the internal and external rhythms of poetry. Aali jee belongs to that type of poets known for melodious bent of temperament.

Aali holds an expansive outlook of life and a cursory analysis of his pensiveness indicates that his sensibility is rooted in his consciousness. To under-rate the instinctive and imaginative requirements of man is not palatable to Aali Jee. He has picked up the intricate story of contemporary times and garbed it in his masterly technique to win the hearts of Urdu poetry lovers all over Sub-continent; nay over all continents.

In his poems myriad cities and places demonstrate his strong emotional affiliation with different imageries as well as peculiar social fabrics. In this context, his love for his friends and even people not directly known to him, seems to have substantiated his art. Reading his ghazals and poems, a reader truly feels that Aali praises the loveliness of all the countries and cities even if his first love remains rooted in his own.

    In his columns and travelogues at first place we are struck by various issues of ethical, social, economic, international, national, metaphysical and literary importance, bringing forth the real situations of contemporary life. His artistic and biting satires on the prevailing human situations in different lands are highly effective in exposing present-day contradictions. We develop an instant feeling that the writer is burning with hatred for feudalism, capitalism, the misuse of industrial and scientific chains, dictatorial rule, individual and collective sufferings and national degeneration. Aali Jee himself has served various departments as a bureaucrat or an administrator. However, in his poetry, his criticism of this queer lot, better known as bureaucrats, is charged with disdain. He is fully aware of inherent intricacies of this class.

He attacks the bureaucratic ways fiercely. He tells the story of Chutt Bhyas (riff raff) in their own language. He thinks that this class is itself suffering from a strange disorder. The luxurious lives led by the officers are a major source of their alienation from the serious conditions of lower classes. Aali Jee also criticizes national leaders who are engaged in collecting money and fulfilling their interests in the name of national welfare.

Aali Jee himself is a main spokesman of freedom of expression and desires from other writers to write according of the dictates of their conscience.

In portraying the feminine beauty, Aali has employed concrete sensuous imagery. In old literature, the poets having a partiality for Hindi modes of expressions wrote in the form of Doha, Amir Khusro is the foremost among the poets who used the potential of this form to the fullest.

By choosing Doha to reflect the socio-political scenario of his age, Aali has added a new dimension to its mystic mood. In his poetry, Aali Jee has resurrected countless obsolete words. Aali suggests the search for houses lilting with love and a sky with drizzles of indulgence for the down-trodden. He hates the society where persons of rank have gone deaf and the common man speechless. Aali jee doesn't believe in withdrawing from the developments taking place in the society; he would rather face the changing with an inherent belief in the ultimate victory of love and justice. Aali is alive to the fact that our nation is desperately in search of its intellectual guru. He feels his responsibility. His poetic collection, Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan, contains some of the most beautiful national songs written during the last two and a half decades.

In a society where the new born cultural popularization and the threats inherent in the autocratic imposition of certain ideas are creating confusion, only a towering intellectual with global perception can lead towards the salvation.

Aali Jee wants to see Pakistan prosperous. Therefore, he is yearning for the industrial development. He is against linguistic and cultural prejudices.

Aali Jee writes :

Someone calls me Nank's follower, another labels Kabir`s slave.

This is only for honouring me, there is nothing to my credit.

I have served, Sur, Kabir, Bahari, Mira, Rehman and Tulsi Das

in my own waft, but my soul is still thirsty