Aligarh: Film lyricist Javed Akhtar has released ‘Kharman’ (harvest), a collection of selective poetry of his grandfather Muztar Khairabadi. While releasing the book of poetry at a cultural and literary evening in Aligarh Muslim University recently, Akhtar revealed that he came across his grandfather’s rare collection while shifting flats in Mumbai.
“I found a cardboard box filled with odds and ends among my grandfather’s things. Not knowing what to do with it, I kept it in storage and promptly forgot about it,” he said.
It was much later that the found letters from Muztar’s friends and literary luminaries and manuscripts of Khairabadi’s collection of unpublished poetry, in his own handwriting.
Akhtar further added that the collection then appeared ready for printing, for it had a title, ‘Kharman,’ appended by his grandfather. The contents of the collection have now transformed into a handsomely produced five-volume compendium.
He said while none of Khairabadi’s poems were published in his lifetime, he was nevertheless a bit of an urban legend.
Akhtar said: “A very famous Ghazal of Muztar, ‘Na kisi ki ankh ka noor hoon, na kisi ke dil ka qarar hoon, Jo kisi ke kaam na aa sakey main woh ek musht-e-ghubar hoon’ (I am the light of no one’s eyes, the throb of no one’s heart, I am that fistful of dust that can be of no use to anyone) has been wrongly ascribed to Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal emperor.”