Lyricists, musicians take into account that 'prolific, powerful' poet Rahat Indori

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Mumbai, August 11

Remembering the power of his words and saluting his courage to never hold back, several poets, songwriters and musicians like Javed Akhtar, Gulzar, Shankar Mahadevan, and Varun Grover paid tributes to Urdu poet Rahat Indori, who passed away following a heart attack on Tuesday.

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Lyricists, musicians remember 'prolific, powerful' poet Rahat Indori

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The 70-year-old poet-lyricist was admitted to a hospital on Tuesday morning in Indore after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Gulzar said Indori’s demise is “more than a big loss” which cannot be quantified.

Lyricists, musicians remember 'prolific, powerful' poet Rahat Indori

“He was one of a kind. It’s as if somebody has left a void in our Urdu mushairas which can never be filled,” he told PTI.

He remembered Indori as someone who would steal the thunder at mushairas (poetry symposium).

“Wo toh lutera tha mushairon ka,” Gulzar said.

Gulzar said Indori was in total rapport with the new generation and times.

“People of all ages used to wait for his turn at mushairas. One mostly comes across romantic shers in mushairas, but all his work that he read was about the sociopolitical and contemporary climate,” he added.

Akhtar took to Twitter and remembered Indori as a fearless poet whose passing away was an “irreparable loss.”

“Rahat Saheb’s demise is an irreparable loss for contemporary Urdu poetry and our society at large. Like Habib Jalib, he was from the fast disappearing tribe of poets who are never short of courage to call a spade a spade,” Akhtar tweeted.

With a 50-year career in poetry, Indori was known for penning lyrics for hits songs like “Dekh Le” from “Munna Bhai MBBS” (2003), “Tumsa Koi Pyaara” from Govinda-starrer 1994 “Khuddar”, “Chori Chori Jab Nazrein Mili” from Kareeb (1998) and “Neend Churai Meri” from “Ishq”.

Lyricist-CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi said Indori was a poet with a unique voice and signature style.

“He will be missed. In his words: ‘Ek hi nadi ke ye do kinare doston, dostana zindagi se maut se yaari rakho”,” Joshi told PTI.

Music composer Shankar Mahadevan of the trio Shankar Ehsaan Loy, said Indori was among the top lyricists of the country.

Recalling his experience of working with Indori on Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s “Mission Kashmir” (2000), Mahadevan said he was “prolific poet” who captivated the audience with his style.

“In ‘Mission Kashmir’, he wrote beautiful songs like ‘Bumbro’, ‘Dhuan Dhuan’ and a couple more. ‘Dhuan Dhuan’ was about the whole war situation, the lyrics were simply beautiful.

“What a prolific poet. I would regularly watch him during mushaira that he used to conduct, he was amazing on stage, the way he would render a simple poetry. I have seen young college students would go gaga over him,” Mahadevan told PTI.

The composer said Indori didn’t depend on Hindi films for an identity.

“He was a true poet, not just Bollywood lyrics writer. He was not dependent on writing for Hindi films, he had his own identity as a poet, a person who would narrate his own poems.

“He was a great poet, his knowledge about poetry, literature, lyrics was amazing,” Mahadevan added.

Grover said Indori was a true legend: “a rockstar of the Indian literary world and a prince of the mushaira tradition”.

“His range, sharp political commentary, and love of language combined with his impeccable craft inspired generations of Hindustani poets in India. And will continue to do so. Mushaira generally used to end with his act as a showstopper – and today, the show has taken a long, painful pause,” he told PTI.

Singer Anuradha Paudwal, who lent her voice to some of the songs penned by him, including “Zindagi Naam Ko Hamari Hai” and “Mere Khayal”, recalled Indori as a humble artiste.

“It is a sad thing, he was a very soft-spoken person and a nice human being. He would write such beautiful lines, there was so much depth in what he wrote,” Paudwal told PTI.

In a video message, singer Anup Jalota said whenever Indori recited poetry on stage, no one would muster the courage to go after him. 

“His poetry and his style would enthrall the audience. His passing away is a huge loss to Urdu poetry. It’s also a personal loss as he was a friend. Poets like him aren’t born every day,” Jalota, 67, said.

Lyricist Kausar Munir, known for penning for films like “Gunjan Saxena” and “Meri Pyaari Bindu”, told PTI, “All I can say is writers like me stand on the shoulders of giants like him.” Several actors from the industry, including Farhan Akhtar, Jaaved Jaaferi, Pankaj Tripathi, Manoj Bajpayee, also mourned the loss of the poet.

Jaaferi said Indori was one the most “powerful, prolific and inspiring poets of India”.

“Inna lillaahe wa inna elaihi raaje’oon (from God we have come and to Him is our return) Salaam and RIP #RahatIndori sahab. You will be missed. Heartfelt condolences to the family,” the actor tweeted.

Bajpayee said he was extremely saddened by Indori’s passing away and quoted one his famous poems, “Aandhi Se Keh Do Aukaat Mein Rahe”.

“May he rest in peace! What a poet,” the “Family Man” star tweeted.

Tripathi said Indori would continue to live in people’s hearts and memories.

Indori did his schooling from Nutan School in Indore and his graduation from Islamia Karimia College Indore.

Indori passed his MA exam in Urdu literature from Barkatullah University, Bhopal in 1975 and was awarded a PhD in Urdu literature from the Bhoj University in 1985 for his thesis titled ‘Urdu Main Mushaira’.

While teaching Urdu literature at IK College, he also became busy with ‘mushairas’ and started receiving invitations from all over India and abroad. — PTI