Shahar-e-Sukhan is Dr Malikzada Manzoor Ahmad’s interesting account of the poets who ruled the Mushairas half-a-century ago. Separate chapters on 26 major poets including the likes of Salam Machhlishahri, Fana Nizami Kanpuri, Ravish Siddiqui, Masood Akhtar Jamal, Allama Anwar Sabri, Mirza Ahsan Ahmad Beg, Hindi Gorakhpuri and Salam Sandelvi.
Chapters on poets like Jigar Muradabadi, Nushoor Vahidi, Khumar Barabankvi, Rahi Masoom Raza and Arif Abbasi Baliyavi are also part of this book. It was first published in 1961 and the entire edition had sold out immediately after publication. In 1961, all the poets described in the book were alive.
Now when the book has been re-printed half-a-century later, only two–Malikzada Manzoor Ahmed himself and Natiq Aazmi are alive. Allama Niaz Fatehpuri had lauded the book wholeheartedly, specially Malikzada’s style of description of poets. The book is interspersed with anecdotes and the interesting incidents during Mushairas, that make it a must for any library.
“I asked Fana Nizami Kanpuri, why he never sent his poetry for publication in magazines and literary journals”. He said that once he sent his ghazal and the editor replied that, ‘Ghazal mil gayi hai mutmain rahiye‘ and I stopped sending my poetry to periodicals thereafter. ‘What was so objectionable in his reply?, asked Malikzada. Fana Sahab said, ‘You may not feel it anything in it but it is an affront to a poet, after all when he had received the ghazal he should have been mutmain, rather he asked me to do the same”.
You can order it from Seemant Nagar, Kanchan Bihari Marg, Kalyanpur (Lucknow) for Rs 200.