The legendry poet of Sindhi language and one of the greatest scholars of twentieth century Shaikh Ayaz (1923-1997) whose original name is Shaikh Mubarak Ali using the pen-name as Shaikh Ayaz, is the author of 75 books, of them more than 50 has been published so far. He composed his fiery, mystic and humanistic poetry and wrote much prose only one of its kinds for almost half of the century depositing enormous constructive mark on Sindhi language and modern Sindhi literature. He composed his verses almost in all literary genres. He not only composed lofty and immortal poems but also wrote in prose so excellently. He brought into play conventional meters of the language in classical genres as well as in modern poetry and formulated new experiences in meters. With regard to theme, Shaikh Ayaz worked less or more almost on all subjects from universal to territorial, from humanism to patriotism; but the bulk of his poetry is composed under the theme of saving life on the earth and awakening humanity towards the welfare and wellbeing of life. He, in this poetic expression and feelings, chanted the slogan to save life of all the creatures created by the God, he brings forward the idea like in the following verse:
Taking no pity, you slung it
Like you, the little one!
The dove, too, has a mom
It is soundly observed that the poets are sensitive in their feelings and sentiments and their message is to feel pain of others akin to one’s own. At this juncture the metaphoric use of mother’s sensitive and subterranean love sensitizes the feelings of the boy. It is for the reason that the love, wistful eyes and compassionate care of mom are incomparable towards her progeny. On the other hand it is verily said that your survival lies in your fellow men’s survival; like the famous dictum ‘جيو اور جيني دو’ (Live and let live others). This is genuine memo of our religion of Islam as well as the message of humanity. No doubt, such kind of feelings and sensitiveness in one’s being if truth be told fetch suffering. It is because this world is full of sorrows and agonies as Goutam Buddha said ‘Surrom Dukham Dukhaum’ (Every thing is a pain), yet continuing committed towards that and enduring the pain of suffering of others for oneself is really the essence of human distinctiveness. Ayaz acknowledges this as;
Tearful tales my talent has given me
I have sung the sorrows of whole country
As mentioned above, the enchanting pain of others’ as one’s own is taking tearful tales and all that come only when one has such capacity and thinking which in its own terminology said as the ‘talent’ which Ayaz accepted and forwarded that accepted responsibility towards singing in his songs, which has lasting effects from this generation towards coming generation.
The responsibility of a sage poet and philosopher is to know the assortment of misleading concepts and darkness spreading all over the world. Ayaz also felt this in his life, which was though the age of leftist thinking and Socialism and Communism. In that particular era and period there were several deceiving concepts not only in the name of humanity but also in the name God and religion, which is also seen in the current age of ‘War of Terrorism’. Ayaz referring to such conceptualization and mistreatment, saying affirmatively regarding God as;
You must be, You must be
After You not I am
But these people who spread
Darkness in Your name
This is obvious confession and understanding of a poet that some people using the name of God serving one’s own vested interests. This understanding today created such an off beam interpretation and understanding of our religion that in the whole world we are looked at with disdain.
Shaikh Ayaz not only portrayed the mind-set of negative thinking in humanity that is harmful for its own existence but also came forward to wage a war against the darkness, frailty, deception, misleading, delusion, cruelty, brutality for human being until one has a breathing in his oral cavity saying;
My dear son!
My fight with old falsehood
Would go on till end
So that you may find ever new truth
May you live long!
I have an interest
In the sorrows of the soil
So that you may enjoy ever new joy
May you live long!
The sorrows of the soil may not end
May be your papa meet his end fighting
May be ever after me
The hungry human beings wander in wonder
And how down for few crumbs
In that case, my dear,
May you live long!
You, too, go on fighting till your end
Falsehood has to leave
It isn’t here forever
The sun of Truth is to rise
The night is to end!
The depiction of the fabrication and darkness in due course to addressing new coming generation ‘sons’ in such a way is both the showing real picture of the worldly state of affairs, showing example of one’s own fighting with that, giving lesson a son to continue that fighting, showing hope in the Truth and defeat of the falsehood is refreshing the faith of humanity in struggle against evil forces. It is verily held, that poets are not only prophets and foreseers of the coming dangers but also are capable to suggest the remedies as well. At this point hungry human being of the third world countries is symbolised thus that way it is reminded to the belly-full people to come to the fore and serve the humanity. In this course of life the new generation of the poetic understanding and ideology would continue that fight to the eradication of the falsehood, deception, frailty and inhuman characteristics.
In all this grim, the poetic inspiration is very valuable and encouraging to come out of the dooms and gloomy feelings. As Ayaz depicts;
In the forlorn town of aspiration
The evening has spread its dusky hair
And come like a widow
The goblet of life is empty
Although drought is all around
I think I should fill new wine
And pour the sun into my pot
Hope has risen in a hopeless town
In the forlorn town of aspiration
The account spreading darkness is no doubt, very horrible to human survival from lowest to highest category and aspiration of life. In such matters myriad thinkers, philosophers, ideologist, revolutionaries all the time came forward to heal the severe and bleeding wounds of human affliction. But here Shaikh Ayaz is going forward to pour the sun into the pot to let rising the hopes. It is the symbolic as well as concrete inspiration of a humanistic poet.
In all the human anguish, though poets having sensitive nature bear on their shoulders, yet don’t walk off from the concept of collectivity and collective efforts and its fruits. Consequently, the poet invites to the collectivism in the words;
Night is all colours
And the wine brewed
Come and let’s drink together
The pain is too brimful
This night is sorrow, grief, and suffering of humanity which is spread all the over world with different shades and colours. Though suffering is one and has a unique consequence and effect but it is in different colours. One may find one’s own grief very tough and unbearable but pain of the other colour and of other nature might be of the same consequence and effects.
Apart of these few examples from his lofty and everlasting poetry, there is multitude of the human welfare, peace and love concepts. He was sung largely in his life time as well as after his death. He is read and respected in
Pakistan and very much along with all over the world. His poetry was translated in all the major languages of the world including English, French, Chinese, and Russian etc. along with Pakistani languages. To this day there is unending need of such humanistic ideals and the poets of life when the world is burning with the fire of hate, conflicts, clashes and opposites. There can at least be promoted a lasting relationship in world on the basis of human welfare and well being. All the things may be relative towards the worldly and local interests but the concept of co-existence can be the solution of the human dignity and survival. Therefore such poets like Shaikh Ayaz can be taken as the guide and patron to promote human awakening towards the coming danger and factors of separation among human beings. Because in Ayaz’s word man came in this world from the heaven for earthly goodness; India
Leaving your heaven, I’ve come for the earth
Need I not nirvana
Make me wander from birth to birth.