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The True Legacy of Kaifi Azmi: Poetry of Romance and Revolution

Kaifi Azmi was a child prodigy who wrote his first couplet at the age of 11.

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On 14 January 1919, Urdu poet Kaifi Azmi was born into a family of zameendars of Mizwan – a small village in the district of Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh.

While the usual worries that grip every child’s heart are either about what, where or with whom to play, Kaifi’s anxieties lay elsewhere. One of the couplets from the first ghazal he wrote at the age of 11 shows the genius of a child prodigy that he was.

Itna toh zindagi mein kisi ki khalal pade,
Hasne se ho sukoon na rone se kal pade

With his deep understanding of the tragedy of human life and its expectations, Kaifi became the voice of the voiceless – of the marginalised. His poetry talked about social justice, equality of opportunities, and gender justice. Here are some vignettes from the poet’s treasure trove.

On his death anniversary on 10 May, we remember the progressive writer, who was both a revolutionary and a romantic. Tune in to listen to the new episode of the podcast series – Urdunama!

(This podcast has been republished from The Quint’s archives to mark Kaifi Azmi’s death anniversary.)

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Topics:  Shabana Azmi   Javed Akhtar   Kaifi Azmi 

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