Dr. Kaleem Ajiz

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People all over the world who are Urdu poetry enthusiast will be familiar with the name of Dr. Kaleem Ajiz, who is currently on a North America and Canada visit. Dr. Ajiz, a very respected world renowned Urdu poet from Patna, is currently in Toronto, Canada. PatnaDaily.Com had the privilege to briefly highlight the great life and work of this scholar and philosopher who most certainly has left an indelible mark in the Indian literary world.

The author of several books and classical ghazals, Dr. Ajiz is a retired professor of Patna University and a recipient of the much coveted Padmashree award for his contributions to Urdu literature.

The poet arrived in Canada from Detroit, USA and is being hosted by Mr. Sayeed Akhtar. There, he will be meeting with his friends and fans and will also be attending some literary sessions to be held in his honor.

Dr. Ajiz, who is very proud to represent India, and Patna in particular, was born in a village in Patna district in the 1920s. He was a gold medalist in BA from Patna College and then earned his Masters degree in Urdu from Patna University. He also got his doctorate from Patna University for his thesis on "Evolution of Urdu Literature in Bihar." This thesis is now available in a book form. He served as a lecturer for decades in the Department of Urdu at Patna University.

In 1976, his first book of ghazals was released by the President of India in Vigyan Bhawan, Delhi. In the '60s and '70s he was the only Urdu poet who represented Bihar in the Red Fort Mushaira held every year in Delhi on the eve of Independence Day.

One of the greatest Urdu poets of all time, Rahgupati Sahay Firaq Gorakpuri was a great admirer of Dr. Kaleem Ajiz. He sent his famous tape recorded words for Dr. Ajiz's first book while he was lying on his deathbed in which he respectfully said he felt jealous of Dr. Ajiz because of the ease in which he could express his thoughts through his verses. He said he loved Mr. Ajiz's poems so much that whenever he heard him reciting his ghazals, he always forgot his own works.

This humble and pious man is loved by every one. Even with his frail health he travels a lot especially to Middle East and North America. He has some close relatives in the United States and Canada whom he visits whenever his health allows him to. Dr. Ajiz avoids any sort of publicity or fanfare despite the fact that he has hundred of thousands of admirers all over the world. For the last 10-15 years, the winner of Padmashree award avoids mushairas as he believes their quality has gone down immensely and has become cheap and mediocre.

Dr. Ajiz is very proud of being from Patna, the city that was also once known as Pataliputra and Azeemabad. He lives in a house on Ashok Rajpath opposite B. N. College. His elder son is a medical doctor in Patna Medical College Hospital, who is considering publishing his father's first book in Devnagri script.

Currently, at least a dozen people are doing their PhD thesis on the works of Dr. Kaleem Ajiz in various universities of Bihar. Since India is celebrating its 54th Independence Day this year, it would not be out of place to say that through his verses, Dr. Ajiz has expressed his innermost feelings about the freedom from British rule and considers our Independence as the greatest event of this era and the partition of 1947 and its repercussions as the greatest tragedy in the Indian history.

A man with such a rich philosophical background, it's not possible for us at PatnaDaily.Com to do justice to Dr. Ajiz's life and literary works in such a limited column. However, Patna should be very proud of this man and there is no doubt that his popularity will keep increasing even after hundreds of years from now.

In the words of this great poet:

"Yeh pukar saare chaman mein thi, woh sehar hui woh sehar hui
Mere aashiyyan se dhooan utha, to mujhe bhi iski khabar hui."

(There was this outcry everywhere in the garden that lo the morning has come, morning has come !!
When smoke started rising from my nest, I also became aware of this.)

Editor's Note: PatnaDaily,Com expresses its sincerest gratitude to Mr. Sayeed Akhtar of Toronto, Canada, for providing material and picture for this article on this Web site.

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