First an astonishing Urdu couplet:
talaaq de to rahe ho ataab-o-qahar ke saath
meraa shabaab bhii lauTaa do mere meher ke saath
While Classical Urdu ghazal was called ‘Rekhta’, the poetry written in woman’s voice by men was termed as ‘Rekhti’. In the late 18th and early 19th century, in a deadent sultanate of Oudh, poetry in woman’s voice was penned by poets as a form of protest.
It was promptly dubbed Rekhti (opposed to Rekhta). Sa’adat Yaar Khan Rangin is credited as its creator. Though Insha, Jurat and Jan Sahib were other exponents.
In this genre, men wrote poetry in a feminine voice, using the idiom of women (begumati zubaan) and addressed another woman (bhabhi, baaji, aapa, ammi, saheli et al).
It gave a voice to women to express their grievances in their own language, except that it was written by men. Later it degenerated and was never recited in genteel soirees or homes. The genre died in the middle of 19th century
But Sajid Sajni revived it and refined it. He gave it a healthy direction apart from his sharp wit, satire and humour. Sajid Sajni was born in Lucknow in 1922 and settled in Bhopal in 1946.
[Article courtesy: Nasir Kamaal]