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Obituary: Kavish Badri, the Urdu poet

By V. M. Khaleelur Rahman,

Kavish Badri, the renowned Urdu poet is no more. He passed away on Thursday, 28th May 2009 in his native place of Ambur in Vellore district of Tamil Nadu. He was 84. May his soul rest in peace!

The Urdu adage “Ghar ka peer maskhara” meaning our own saint has no value is more applicable to Kavish Badri, the mercurial, self respecting and emotional Urdu poet who did not seem to have “double standards”. He was straight-forward in his approaches and called a spade a spade. He never minced words. In other words he appeared what he was, which is a rare quality of head and heart. In the present materialistic world there is dual standard everywhere.

He was in Ambur after his retirement from the Madras University library near the Marina Beach. He was a great admirer of everything good and a strong critic of everything bad. His arguments were issue based. He was doodh ka doodh paani ka paani.

Kavish Badri was not only an excellent poet but also a good singer. He used to keep the audience under his spell with the powers of his pen and tongue. Urdu lovers were very particular about his participation in mushairas. However we missed him in a grand all India mushaira in Ambur held sometime ago.

Kavish Badri had many awards and laurels to his credit and one of them is the prestigious Hazrat Ameer Khusro National Award which was bestowed upon him in 2006. He rose to the limelight after he had written a long epic “Shradhanjali” on the demise of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1965 which received appreciation from both Urdu and Hindi scholars including Firaq Ghorakpuri. His another book “Kaviyam” was also popular receiving both bouquets and brickbats from the people and it was discussed even in the Tamil Nadu assembly. His other books were “Kunfayakoon” and “Qibla Numa”

Kavish Badri wrote a poem in praise of the late journalist A.A. Ravoof and recited it in the mushaira held on 3rd October 1976 in his memory in Ambur. I borrow the following verses from it to adore the poet.

Kitne insan zinda rahkar pathar se bhi badtar hain

Kitne murde gal sadkar bhi gauher se bahtar hain

Naam uska zinda hoga kaam jo sab ke aaya

Phir bhi tera gham taza phir bhi tera gham taza