Habib Jalib Braving Death

Habib Jalib, London 1985
People Punjab

A Photo Profile
Habib Jalib visited London thrice – first in the summer of 1985. The following year his collected works were published under the title ‘Harf-e-sar-e-dār’ (Words from the Gallows) by Urdu Markaz, a subsidiary of the Third World Foundation. He was in his element. He moved in a 3-piece woollen suit and enthralled his admirers with his poetry sung in style both in private and public gatherings. His second visit was sponsored by Urdu Markaz, and occurred the following year

Three years later, he visited again. He was suffering from what turned out to be his terminal ailment. He was under intensive treatment for various illnesses in Cromwell Hospital and then moved to a hospice before returning to Lahore, where he died a few months later

On both the occasions I took his photographs and recorded his interview in Punjabi, which is now deposited in the British Library Sound Archive.

Disturbing images of Jalib while he was in hospital lay hidden in boxes all these years. Now I have scanned these with some courage and I think I can talk about them in a matter of fact way.

I knew Jalib through his life long comrade Amin Mughal. They both had seen best of times, worst of times together in Lahore. Their photo bears witness to it.

I had seen my father dying with silent pain. Perhaps while photographing Jalib I was coming to terms with my own grief which started quite late.

In no way was I violating his private space. He did not mind me taking his photos. He rather willingly posed. See the child-like expression on his face, of the one who is unaware of the imminent.

To see your loved one with oxygen tubes stuck to his face is certainly not pleasant.

The photo of his hand is haunting. Recently it was published as a portrait in a Punjabi magazine with a simple caption – Habib Jalib. I used the image in one of my poems:
Roots remind me
The hand of father lying dead.
The roots of my poems are in his heart.
I am made in his own image.
He is alive in me.
Amajit Chandan, London 2008

Habib Jalib Braving Death
Habib Jalib
Jalib and Amin Mughal
Jalib 1
Jalib 2
Jalib 3
Jalib’s Hand
Jalib’s Signature

More by Amarjit Chandan at Uddari Art:
People Punjab: Portraits
Haunting Faces: Amarjit Chandan Collection

Web Thekaanay
Amarjit Chandan
Uddari Weblog

Habib Jalib 1

London 1992
Habib Jalib Braving Death
A Photo Profile by Amarjit Chandan
People Punjab

Photo by Amarjit Chandan

Habib Jalib Braving Death
Habib Jalib
Jalib and Amin Mughal
Jalib 1
Jalib 2
Jalib 3
Jalib’s Hand
Jalib’s Signature

More by Amarjit Chandan at Uddari Art:
People Punjab: Portraits
Haunting Faces: Amarjit Chandan Collection

Web Thekaanay
Amarjit Chandan
Uddari Weblog

Habib Jalib 2

Habib Jalib Braving Death

dil kii baat labo.n par laakar ab tak ham dukh sahate hai.n

dil kii baat labo.n par laakar ab tak ham dukh sahate hai.n
ham ne sunaa thaa is bastii me.n dil vaale bhii rahate hai.n

biit gayaa saavan kaa mahiinaa mausam ne nazare.n badalii
lekin in pyaasii aa.Nkho.n me.n ab tak aa.Nsuu bahate hai.n

ek hame.n aavaaraa kahanaa ko_ii ba.Daa ilzaam nahii.n
duniyaa vaale dil vaalo.n ko aur bahut kuchh kahate hai.n

jis kii Khaatir shahar bhii chho.Daa jis ke liye bad_naam hue
aaj vahii ham se begaane begaane se rahate hai.n

vo jo abhii rah_guzar se chaak-e-garebaa.N guzaraa thaa
us aavaaraa diivaane ko ‘Jalib’-‘Jalib’ kahate hai.n

Habib Jalib Braving Death
A Photo Profile by Amarjit Chandan
People Punjab

Photo by Amarjit Chandan

Habib Jalib Braving Death
Habib Jalib
Jalib and Amin Mughal
Jalib 1
Jalib 2
Jalib 3
Jalib’s Hand
Jalib’s Signature

More by Amarjit Chandan at Uddari Art:
People Punjab: Portraits
Haunting Faces: Amarjit Chandan Collection

Web Thekaanay
Amarjit Chandan
Uddari Weblog

Habib Jalib 3

London, December 1992

People Punjab
Photo Profile
Black and White

is shahar-e-Kharaabii me.n Gam-e-ishq ke maare

is shahar-e-Kharaabii me.n Gam-e-ishq ke maare
zindaa hai.n yahii baat ba.Dii baat hai pyaare

ye ha.Nsataa huaa chaa.Nd ye pur_nuur sitaare
taabindaa-o-paa_indaa hai.n zarro.n ke sahaare

[taabindaa-o-paa_indaa = burning bright and eternally]

hasarat hai ko_ii Gunchaa hame.n pyaar se dekhe
aramaa.N hai ko_ii phuul hame.n dil se pukaare

har subah merii subah pe rotii rahii shabanam
har raat merii raat pe ha.Nsate rahe taare

kuchh aur bhii hai.n kaam hame.n ai Gam-e-jaanaa.N
kab tak ko_ii ulajhii hu_ii zulfo.n ko sa.Nvaare

www.urdupoetry.com

Photo by Amarjit Chandan

Habib Jalib Braving Death
Habib Jalib
Jalib and Amin Mughal
Jalib 1
Jalib 2
Jalib 3
Jalib’s Hand
Jalib’s Signature

More by Amarjit Chandan at Uddari Art:
People Punjab: Portraits
Haunting Faces: Amarjit Chandan Collection

Web Thekaanay
Amarjit Chandan
Uddari Weblog

Jalib’s Hand

London 1992
Habib Jalib Braving Death

Ghazal
Habib Jalib
aur sab bhuul gaye harf-e-sadaaqat likhanaa

aur sab bhuul gaye harf-e-sadaaqat likhanaa
rah gayaa kaam hamaaraa hii baGaavat likhanaa

laakh kahate rahe.n zulmat ko na zulmat likhanaa
ham ne siikhaa hii nahii.n pyaare baa_ijaazat likhanaa

na sile kii na sitaa_ish kii tamannaa ham ko
haq me.n logo.n ke hamaarii to hai aadat likhanaa

ham ne jo bhuul ke bhii shaah kaa qasiidaa na likhaa
shaayad aayaa isii Khuubii kii badaulat likhanaa

us se ba.Dh kar merii tahasiin bhalaa kyaa hogii
pa.Dh ke naaKhush hai.n meraa saahab-e-sarvat likhanaa

dahar ke Gam se huaa rabt to ham bhuul gaye
sarv qaamat kii javaanii ko qayaamat likhanaa

kuchh bhii kahate hai.n kahe.n shaah ke masaahib ‘Jalib’
rang rakhanaa yahii apanaa isii suurat likhanaa

Urdu Ghazal by Habib Jalib
Contributed by Sadiq to: www.urdupoetry.com

Habib Jalib Braving Death
Habib Jalib
Jalib and Amin Mughal
Jalib 1
Jalib 2
Jalib 3
Jalib’s Hand
Jalib’s Signature

People Punjab
Photo Profile
Black and White
Photo by Amarjit Chandan
.
More by Amarjit Chandan at Uddari Art:
People Punjab: Portraits
Haunting Faces: Amarjit Chandan Collection

Web Thekaanay
Amarjit Chandan
Uddari Weblog