Kaifi Azmi was born as Akhtar Hussain Rizvi in a village Meejwan in Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh on January 14, 1919. His father, Syed Fateh Hussain Rizvi was a landlord. Kaifi wrote his first ghazal “Itna To Zindagi Mein Kisi Ki Khalal Pade” at the tender age of eleven, and he recited this ghazal in a Mushaira, which startled many elders present in Mushaira. He was very much appreciated by the president of the mushaira, but most of the people, including his father, did not belief that he had written the poem. They thought he recited his elder brother's ghazal but when his brother denied his father decided to test his poetic talent. They gave him one of the lines of a couplet and asked him to write a ghazal in the same bahar (meter). Kaifi accepted the challenge and completed a ghazal. This particular ghazal was to become a rage in undivided India and it was immortalized as it was sung by legendary ghazal singer, Begum Akhtar.

Kaifi Azmi's father wanted to send him to a school that imparted English education but because of he stiff opposition from the elders of the family, Kaifi Azmi was sent to a very reputed institution of Lucknow, called ‘Sultan-al-Madaris’. Kaifi Azmi was a radical thinker and this created many problems for the institution. The college authorities were provoked and they expelled Kaifi Azmi out of the college.

Though he could not become a theologian, he got many degrees in different languages and mastered languages like Arabic, Urdu and Persian. He also passed various examinations from the University of Allahabad. Many great writers of Lucknow noticed him and they gave him constant encouragement and support. He started to rise up on the ladder of poetry and rapidly gained fame and recognition. It was a period of intense political turmoil in the history of this country. On one hand was the Mahatma with his philosophy of non-violence, on the other was the rising spectre of communal hatred and violence. And caught in the midst of all this were several brave and idealistic young men and women.
Kaifi, was drawn to the Progressive Writers’ Movement pioneered by Sajjad Zaheer. Romance and the beauty of a hard-hearted beloved were no longer the only subjects that interested the young poet. He wanted to talk about social justice, about oppression and about the beautiful dream of freedom.

Though he belonged to a zamindar family, he left his comfortable life and worked in the textile mills of Kanpur. While he was living in Kanpur, Kaifi happened to see an issue of Qaumi Jang, an Urdu newspaper taken out by the Communist Party of India. The beauty of Qaumi Jang was that even those who politically differed with CPI were appreciative of Qaumi Jang because of its high journalistic standard and honest content. Kaifi also belonged to this vast group. He sent one of his poems to Qaumi Jang, and was very happy to see it published in the journal. Naturally Kaifi felt very happy, but Sajjad Zaheer who played a leading role in organizing the Progressive Writers’ Association felt happier, as he had found the talented young person for whom he had been searching. And then Kaifi landed in Bombay, and got closely associated with the CPI and Qaumi Jang. Ali Sardar Jafri was also writing for Qaumi Jung.

Now there came about a qualitative change in Kaifi. He was no longer the romantic poet of yesteryears. But love and romantic accent is there in his poetry. In Bombay, Kaifi started living with the workers, and used to recite his poetry to them. He used to listen to their problems, write in Qaumi Jang and sell Qaumi Jang on the streets of Bombay.
At the same time, he used to attend Mushairas in different parts of the country. While in a Mushaira in Hyderabad, he met ‘Shaukat’. The two fell in love and married. Shaukat Kaifi went on to become a famous theater artist and also worked in films. They had two children Shabana Azmi and Baba Azmi.

As a ghazal writer, Kaifi Azmi in his early life used a lot of romance and love in his poetry. But as he evolved into much more serious forms of writing, he started to write on the disturbances in the society and what the common man was going through. His poetry began to make people socially aware of their surroundings. He highlighted exploitation of the poor and generated much sympathy for the downtrodden section of the society. His poetry has a powerful and intense form of emotional compassion. Krishan Chander once said about Kaifi: ‘Only a person, whose heart contains the sorrows of the world, is capable of such poetry.’

Two collections of poetry pertaining to this period, “Jhankar” and “Akhir Shab” were published subsequently. The third collection, “Awara Sijde” came much later. Kaifi was awarded a prize by the Sahitya Academy for this third collection.

Kaifi Azmi was associated with Hindi films also. He worked as a lyricist, writer and actor. Azmi wrote his first lyrics for the film Buzdil, directed by Shahid Lateef in 1952. His early work as a writer was mainly for Nanubhai Vakil's films, like Yahudi Ki Beti (1956), Parvin (1957), Miss Punjab Mail (1958) and Id Ka Chand (1958).

A novel experiment as a writer was done with Chetan Anand’s film “Heer Ranjha” (1970) wherein the entire dialogue of the film was in verse. It was a tremendous achievement and one of the greatest feats of Hindi film writing. Kaifi Azmi also won great critical accolades for the script, dialogues and lyrics of M.S. Sathyu's “Garam Hawa”(1973), based on a story by Ismat Chughtai. Kaifi also wrote the dialogues for Shyam Benegal’s “Manthan” (1976) and Sathyu's “Kanneshwara Rama” (1977). ‘Garm Hawa’ was India's official entry to the Academy Award's Best Foreign Film category, nominated for the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival, won a National Film Award and three Filmfare Awards. In 2005, Indiatimes Movies ranked the movie amongst the Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films.

As a lyricist and songwriter, he wrote for numerous films, but few notable films are “Kaghaz Ke Phool”(1959), “Haqeeqat”(1964), Kohra (1964), “Anupma” (1966), “Uski Kahani”(1966), “Saat Hindustani” (1969), “Shola Aur Shabnam”, “Parwana”(1971), “Bawarchi”(1972), “Pakeezah”(1972), “Hanste Zakhm”(1973), “Arth”(1982) and “Razia Sultan” (1983). He also played a memorable role of Naseem's grandfather in “Naseem” (1995).

After acquiring fame as a poet and intellectual in Bombay, he moved back to his ancestral village of Azamgarh in 1984, away from the glamour and intellectual life of Mumbai. Kaifi continued to live there and built a school for the children of the village. He felt at peace with himself.

Kaifi fell ill seriously. He suffered a paralysis attack also. He passed away on May 10, 2002, leaving behind his wife and two children.

He has been honoured with Doctorates from many universities in India, the most prestigious being from the ‘Vishva Bharti University’ in ‘Shanti Niketan’.
He has had several ‘Jashn-E-Kaifi’s’ in his honor, both in India and abroad, such as in the United States of America, Dubai, Doha and Pakistan.
He was the All India President of the Indian Peoples Theatre Association (IPTA) and an active member of the Progressive Writers Association.
Kaifi Azmi was the subject of a documentary film called Kaifi Azmi (1979), directed by Raman Kumar. In 1997, he recited his own poems for Kaifiyaat, an audio book on his collected works.
‘Kaifi Aur Main’, a play based on his life, his works and the memoir of his wife, Shaukat Azmi - Yadon Ki Rahguzar (Down Memory Lane), was written and performed by Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi, and performed in India as well as abroad in 2006. Another play, directed by Rani Balbir, ‘Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Hasin Sitam’, based Kaifi Azmi’s life and writings was staged in 2005, and received rave reviews.


He was the recipient of Padma Shri one of the Indian Government's highest civilian awards.
He was awarded the Uttar Pradesh Urdu Academy Award and the Sahitya Akademi Award for Urdu for his collection Awaara Sajde,
Special Award of Maharashtra Urdu Academy,
Soviet Land Nehru Award,
Lotus Award from the Afro-Asian Writers' Association,
President’s Award for national integration.
Government of Maharashtra conferred the Jyaneshwara Award on him in 1998.
He was also honoured with the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Fellowship for lifetime achievement.
He was conferred the first Millennium Award by the Government of Delhi and the Delhi Urdu Academy in 2000.
He has also been honoured with a doctorate from Vishva Bharati University, Santiniketan.

Sahitya Akademi Award

Sahitya Akademi Award: Awara Sajde - 1975
Sahitya Akademi Fellowship (Immortals of Literature)- 2002

National Film Awards

National Film Award for Best Lyrics: Saat Hindustani, 1972

Filmfare Awards

Filmfare Best Dialogue Award: Garam Hawa, 1975
Filmfare Best Screenplay Award: Garam Hawa with Shama Zaidi, 1975
Filmfare Best Story Award: Garam Hawa, 1975

Published work

‘Aawara Sajde’
‘Kaifiyaat’- Kulliyat-e-Kaifi Azmi(URDU)), Educational Publishing House
‘Kaifiyaat’ – complete works selected Poems translated by Pavan Kumar Verma in English-published by Penguin Books.
‘Nai Gulistan’, Vol. I & II in Hindi compilation - a weekly column entirely in verse that he used to write in Urdu Blitz published by Rajkamal Prakashan.
‘Meri Awaz Suno’ a selection of his film lyrics in Hindi published by Rajkamal Prakashan.
‘Heer Ranjha’- The Hindi script of Chetan Anand’s memorable film ‘Heer Ranjha’, entirely in verse and hence one of a kind, has been published by Vani Prakashan
‘Kaifi Azmi- Selected Poems and Life Sketch’ has been published by Rajpal & Sons
‘Aaj Ke Prashid Shayar’: Kaifi Azmi-Chuni Hui Shayari (Hindi) - published by Rajpal & Sons
‘Doosra Banwas’ (Hindi) - Diamond Pocket Books
‘Zehr-e-Ishq’ (Hindi) - Vani Prakashan
‘Kaifi Azmi- Fan Aur Shaqsiyat’ (Urdu) - Mayar Publications
A collection of his Nazms & Ghazals ‘Shaguftagi’ set to music by Khayyam has been released by Music Today.


Kaifi: The poet whose heart contains the sorrows of the world.

Kaifi Azmi expressed his feelings in the edition of ‘Akhir Shab’ published from Karachi in August 1977:
‘It is not compulsory for a writer to only produce such literature as is for the future centuries; he should also have the ability to produce literature which is only for the fleeting moment – provided that during that fleeting moment the fate of the nation is being decided.’

Kaifi has to face a period of intense political turmoil in the history of this country. On one hand was Mahatma Gandhi with his philosophy of non-violence, on the other was the rising specter of communal hatred and violence.

In August 1944, Gandhi and Jinnah were to meet. The country was fed up with colonial bondage, and was demanding such a step as would break the shackles; but that would be possible only if the Congress and Muslim League unite. The Nazis had faced humiliation at Stalingrad and the Red army on the offensive. Against this backdrop Kaifi says:

Ek Darya Raat Ki Aaghosh Mein Jalne Laga
Teergi Yaad Ki Kaafoor Hui Jaati Hai
Naakhuda Jod Ke Sar Baithne Waale Hain Idhar
Aur Udhar Saans Ukhadne Lagi Toofanon Ki
Mauj Kashti Ke Tale Choor Hui Jaati Hai

(From ‘Kiran’)

On the news of the meeting between Jinnah and Gandhi he says

Yeh Guftagu Guftagu Nahin Hai, Bigadne Banne Ka Marhala Hai
Dhadak Raha Hai Faza Ka Dil Ke Zindagi Ka Ma’amla Hai
Yeh Teergi Ka Hujoom Kab Tak Yeh Yaas Ka Izdahaam Kab Tak
Nifaaq-O-Ghaflat Ki Aad Le Ke Jiye Ga Mardum Nizam Kab Tak
Rahen Ge Hindi Aseer Kab Tak Rahe Ga Bharat Ghulam Kab Tak
Gale Ka Tauq Aa Rahe Qadam Par Kuchh Is Tarah Tilmila Ke Uthna

(From ‘Naye Khake’)

That was also a moment when the Congress and Muslim League leaders were having a dialogue with Lord Wavell. Both were in the spirit of surrender as if both had faith in Wavell. Kaifi protests:

Jaao Chatgaaon Ke Jaanbaz Gunahgaar Sahi
Veer Punjab Ke Bengal Ke Badkaar Sahi
Tha Bhagat Singh Khatawaar Khatawaar Sahi
La’l Kapoor Ke Ghaddaar The Ghaddaar Sahi
Mopla Se To Kabhi Shikwa-E Bedaad Suno
San Bayalis Ke Kashton Ki To Faryaad Suno

The Maharani of Travancore, her Chief Minister, the great loyalist and toady of the British C. P. Ramaswamy Iyer, have started playing Holi with the blood of the freedom fighters. This makes Kaifi restless and says:

Yeh Raja Yeh Angrez Ke Meherban
Hain Bharat Mein England Ke Pasban
Jahan Pai Hai Rehzanon Ne Aman
Woh Deewar Woh Dar Girate Chalo
Baghawat Ka Parcham Uthate Chalo

In Telangana, the toiling people had revolted against the faithful of the British. At this time Makhdoom Moiuddin another Marxist and progressive writer had said: ‘Chamak rahi hai daranti, uchhal rahi hai kudal. Kaifi, along with Makhdoom, is also found in the same spirit, and says:

Yeh Shehr Yaari Yeh Taajdari Wajood Par Baar Ho Gai Hai
Jafa Ki Khoogar Ghareeb Dunya Jafa Se Bezaar Ho Gai Hai
Zameen Har Chhawani Nigalne Pe Aaj Tayaar Ho Gai Hai
Ke Bhook Bedaar Ho Gai Hai

(From ‘Telangana’)

During the turbulent days of 1945, on one side, the workers and the farmers were restless for independence. The waves of freedom are raging in the whole oppressed world. On the other hand, the differences between the Congress and the Muslim League are taking the form of Hindu-Muslim tension. Kaifi begins on this note:

Ghulami Ke Sab Garm Paikaar Hain
Yahan Khana-Jungi Ke Aasaar Hain
Abhi Apne Daaman Mein Kuchh Tar Hain
Abhi Tauq Par Hath Jaate Nahin
Tarapte Hain Apni Hadon Mein Jaanb
Baham Ho Ke Toofan Uthaate Nahin

It is not that India is short of ammunition for gaining independence. It is the dearth of courage amongst the leaders.

Nigahon Mein Durjan Hai Teer Bhi
Hai Qabze Mein Tipu Ke Shamsheer Bhi
Bain Shan Gardan Mein Zanjeer Bhi
Muraqa Yeh Ab Dekhe Jaate Nahin
Qadam Khud Badhata Hai Ab Karawan
Agar Rahbar Rah Paate Nahin

The gallant fighters of the Indian National Army are being tried. Rasheed, Sehgal and Shahnawaz are the ideals of the young. The protest against the injustice of the British is on one side, and on the other side, there is a ‘mercy petition’ to condone the death sentence.

Hai To Bedaad Magar Yeh Nai Bedaad Nahin
Isi Zanjeer Mein Jakde Hue Hain Kitne Rasheed
Naam Bhi Jin Ke Hum Ko Poori Tarah Yaad Nahin
Chadh Ke Phansi Pe Utar Aaya Hai Sehgal, Sad Shukar
Kitne Sehgal Isi Phansi Pe Magar Jhool Gaye
Un Shaheedon Ka Har Qatra-E Khoon Shahnawaz
Rafta Rafta Jinhen Arbab-E Watan Bhool Gaye
Jane Hum Rahem Ki Darkhwast Karen Ge Kab Tak
Kab Tak Ayeen Ki Mohtat Mazammat Ho Gi
Ek Ek Naam Pe Kohram Mache Ga Kab Tak
Kab Tak Is Tarah Bil-Iqsat Baghawat Ho Gi

In the struggle for freedom, several times the revolutionaries lost their lives but the revolution could not be made. Kaifi wished a full and final revolt. He gave the call in his poem ‘Akhri Marhala’:

Abhi Khulen Ge Na Parcham Abhi Pade Ga Na Run
Ke Mushta’il Hai Magar Muttahid Nahin Hai Watan
Pukarta Hai Ufaq Se Lahoo Shaheedon Ka
Ke Ek Hath Se Khulti Nahin Gale Ki Rasan
Yeh Intishar, Yeh Halchal, Yeh Morchon Mein Shagaf
Mazaq Udaate Hain Azm-E Jehad Ke Dushman
Yeh Yaas Kyon? Yeh Tamanna-E Khud Kushi Kaisi
Nau Ba Fatha Hai Qalb-E Awam Ki Dhadkan

(From ‘Akhri Marhala’)

In the initial days of 1945 the scenario of the Second World War is rapidly changing. The Red Army is advancing towards Berlin; and ultimately, the red flag started flying over Berlin in May 1945. In such a moment, Kaifi says:

Dhal Gai Shab, Subh-E Ishrat Ka Payam Aa Hi Gaya
Aftab-E Masko Bala-E Baam Aa Hi Gaya
Jin Ko Chidh Thi Ilm-O Hikmat Se Adab Se Rag Se
Ho Gaye Thande Ulajh Kar Zindagi Ki Aag Se
Jashn Yeh Hawwa Ka Hai Aur Eid Yeh Adam Ki Hai
Kaarnama Roos Ka Hai Fatah Ek Aalam Ki Hai

(From ‘Fatah Berlin’)

During those horrifying days of 1946 and 1947 when the fire of Hindu Muslim riots was blazing.
Those very people, who had participated in the joint struggle of Khilafat and boycott led by Gandhiji and Maulana Mohammad Ali and Shaukat Ali, when the elevating scenes of Hindu Muslim unity were common, were now thirsty of each other’s blood. The ‘Direct Action’ of the Muslim League was clashing with the slogan of freedom of the Congress. The riots of Noakhali in Bengal and Bihar had shaken the country. Kaifi wrote his famous ‘Khana Jangi’. Real national facts were presented in the traditional dress of Masnawi. This poem of Kaifi is very long, and he used to take 40 to 45 minutes to recite this. But when Kaifi used to recite it to the common people, the working people, then they used to get completely engrossed because it is the story of murder of their yearnings and non-fulfillment of their desires.

Jab Se Aa Kar Gaye Hain Ahl-E Mishan
Zindagi Ka Bigad Gaya Hai Chalan
Khun Ro Khun Ae Bana Khali
Ho Gaye Dekh Ghar Ke Ghar Khali
Fitrat-E Shar’a Mein Fasad Nahin
Rehzani Dakhil-E Jihad Nahin

Rast Iqdam Khoon Mein Doob Gaya
Aaj Islam Khoon Mein Doob Gaya

Ai Bahar Un Ko Kuchh Tasalli De
Behnen Roti Hain Bhaiyon Ke Liye
Teri Ruhaniyat Ka Kya Kehna
Tu Ne Bachchon Ka Khoon Choos Liya
Khoon Mazhab Pe, Khoon Imaan Par
Khoon Vedon Pe, Khoon Quran Par
Lash Tipu Se Soorma Ki Lash
Lash Nanak Se Peshwa Ki Lash
Lash Swaraj Ki Khilafat Ki
Lash Har Jehad Har Baghawat Ki
To Mohammad Ali Ki Lash Hai Yeh
To Tilak Se Bali Ki Lash Hai Yeh
To Bhagat Singh Se Jawan Ki Lash Hai Yeh
To Hai Yeh Mopla Kisan Ki Lash
Lash Hai Yeh Alahdiyat Ki
Lash Hai Yeh Akhand Bharat Ki

The third collection of Kaifi’s ‘Awara Sijde’ is indicative of a qualitative change, where the romanticism of Kaifi adopts the new dimension of revolutionary realism and humanism. At this juncture sincerity blossoms further by the maturity of art. Kaifi has himself said that the ‘process of creation’ of the poet is the sub-conscious part of this very struggle. If the difference felt in the poetry of Awara Sijde and Aakhir Shab and Jhankar, represents the poetic evolution of Kaifi on one side, then it is also the masterly expression of the great difference between the times of these compositions.

Kabhi Aage Kabhi Peechhe Koi Raftar Hai Yeh
Hum Ko Raftar Ka Aahang Badalna Ho Ga
Zehan Ke Waste Saancha To Na Dhaale Gi Hayaat
Zehan Ko Aap Hi Har Saanche Mein Dhalna Ho Ga

(From ‘Dawat’)

He saw that the same communist movement, which had taught him the lessons of struggle, which had taught him to sing the songs full of life in favour of revolutionary forces, as becoming a victim of disunity and disintegration. The agony that he then felt is somewhat represented by his poem ‘Awara Sajde’.

Tum Bhi Mehboob Mere, Tum Bhi Ho Dildar Mere
Ashna Mujh Se Tum, Tum Bhi Nahin, Tum Bhi Nahin
Khatm Hai Tum Pe Masiha Nafsi, Chara-Gari
Mehram-E-Dard-E-Jigar Tum Bhi Nahin, Tum Bhi Nahin
Jin Se Har Daur Mein Chamki Hai Tumhari Dehliz
Aaj Sajde Wahi Awara Hue Jaate Hain

But Kaifi had not lost hope of a revolution and a bright future; and this is the point from which his poetic compositions take off. At times in the face of the offensives of the environment, Kaifi is also to be found in this mood:

Chand Rekhaon Mein, Seemaon Mein
Zindagi Qaid Hai Seeta Ki Tarah
Ram Kab Lauten Ge Maloom Nahin
Kaash Rawan Hi Koi Aa Jaata

Then by 1969 Kaifi says this:

Hum Woh Rahi Hain Jo Manzil Ki Khabar Rakhte Hain
Paanv Kaaton Pe, Shagoofon Pe Nazar Rakhte Hain
Kitni Raton Se Nichoda Hai Ujala Hum Ne
Raat Ki Qabr Pe Buniyad-E-Sehar Rakhte Hain
O’ Andhere Ke Khuda Shamma Bujhaane Wale
(From ‘Pehra’)

On January 26, 1974, on the occasion of the Republic Day celebrations, Kaifi also lit lamps, but said like this:

Ek Diya Naam Ka Azadi Ke
Chahe Jis Mulk Se Gehoon Mango
Hath Phailaane Ki Azadi Hai
Ek Diya Naam Ka Khush-Hali Ke

But, how bad is the condition

Pet Khali Hai Mera Jeb Meri Khali Hai
Ek Diya Naam Ka Yak-Jehti Ke

And the wife alerts the poet to this situation

Door Se Biwi Ne Jhalla Ke Kaha
Tel Menhga Bhi Hai Milta Bhi Nahin
Kyon Diye Itne Jala Rakhe Hain
Aaya Ghusse Ka Ek Aisa Jhonka
Bujh Gaye Saare Diye
Han Magar Ek Diya Naam Hai Jis Ka Umeed
Jhilmilata Hi Chala Jaata Hai

The best poem of Awara Sijde is ‘Ibne-Maryam’. Kaifi sees a statue of Jesus Christ by the roadside and he sees Christ as a symbol of sacrifice. Kaifi sees the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in this light.

Aur Kharish-Zada Se Kuchh Kuttey
Lete Rehte Hain Be Niyazana
Dum Marode Ke Koi Sar Kuchle
Katna Kya Woh Bhaunkte Bhi Nahin

And, there in the jungles of Vietnam, the ‘readers of the Bible’ have ‘crucified’ cities and wounded and bulldozed the countryside. Kaifi addresses the statue of Jesus Christ thus:

Tum Yahan Se Hato Khuda Ke Liye
Jaao Woh Vietnam Ke Jungle
Us Ke Masloob Shehr, Zakhmi Gaanv
Jin Ko Injeel Padhne Waalon Ne
Raund Daala Hai, Phoonk Daala Hai
Jaane Kab Se Pukarte Hain Tumhen
Jaao Ek Bar Phir Hamaare Liye
Tum Ko Chadhna Pade Ga Sooli Par

Kaifi has also written ghazals, and these ghazals also have the confluence of romantic tradition, contemporary realities and enlivening struggles of life. Now see these couplets of a Ghazal.

Mere Junoon-E Parastish Se Tang Aa Gaye Log
Suna Hai Band Kiye Ja Rahe Hain But-Khane
Jahan Se Pichhle Paher Koi Tashna-Kam Utha
Wahin Pe Tode Hain Yaaron Ne Paimane

Pattharon Ke Khuda Wahan Bhi Paye
Hum Chand Se Aaj Laut Aaye
Hai Jahan Zamin Ka Ghusl-E Sehat
Jis Dil Mein Ho Jitna Khoon, Laye

Sehra Sehra Ho Ke Kheme
Phir Peyase Lab-E Firat Aaye

Khar-O-Khas To Uthen Rasta To Chale
Mein Agar Thak Gaya, Qafla To Chale
Belche Laao Khodo Zamin Ki Tahen
Main Kahan Dafn Hun Kuchh Pata To Chale

Aaj Tuten Gi Tere Ghar Ki Nazuk Khidkiyan
Aaj Dekha Gaya Diwana Phir Tere Shahr Mein
Jurm Hai Teri Gali Se Sar Jhuka Ke Lautna
Kufr Hai Pathrao Se Ghabrana Tere Shahr Mein

Main Dhoondta Hun Jise Woh Jahan Nahin Milta
Nai Zamin, Naya Aasmaan Nahin Milta
Nai Zamin, Naya Aasmaan Bhi Mil Jaaye
Naye Bashr Ka Kahin Kuchh Nishan Nahin Milta
Woh Tegh Mil Gayi Jis Se Hua Hai Qatl Mera
Kisi Ke Hath Ka Us Par Nishan Nahin Milta

Kaifi has loved and also written poetry of love. Kaifi has stirred these strings of love in this way:

To Kya Tum Mujhko Jala Hi Lo Gi, Gale Se Apne Laga Hi Lo Gi
Jo Phool Joode Se Gir Pada Hai, Tadap Ke Us Ko Utha Hi Lo Gi
Bhadakte Sholon, Kadakti Bijli Se Mera Khirman Bacha Hi Lo Gi
Ghaneri Zulfon Ki Chhaanv Mein Muskura Ke Mujh Ko Chhupa Hi Lo Gi
Ke Aaj Tak Azma Rahi Ho
Yeh Khwab Kaisa Dikha Rahi Ho
Nahin Mohabbat Ki Koi Qeemat, Jo Hoti Qeemat Ada Karo Gi
Wafa Ki Fursat Na De Gi Dunya, Hazar Azm-E Wafa Karo Gi
Mujhe Jeene Do Ranj-O Gham Se, Sahare Kab Tak Diya Karo Gi
Junoon Ko Itna Na Gudgudao, Pakad Loon Daman To Kya Karo Gi
Qarib Badhti Hi Aa Rahi Ho
Yeh Khwab Kaisa Dikha Rahi Ho

(From ‘Tasawwur’)

Kaifi fell ill seriously. But for Kaifi the candle of hope always keeps burning and no strong wind has been able to blow it out till date. He says:

Raat Jo Maut Ka Paigham Le Ke Aayi Thi
Biwi Bachchon Ne Mere
Us Ko Khidki Se Pare Phenk Diya
Aur Jo Woh Zehr Ka Ek Jam Le Ke Aayi Thi
Us Ne Woh Khud Hi Piya
Subh Utri Jo Samandar Mein Nahane Ke Liye
Raat Ki Lash Mili Pani Mein

(‘From Zindagi’)

This is Kaifi and his poetry. Kaifi holds aloft the candle of revolutionary poetry and is a reality that walks in the caravan of progressives.

Based on an article by Dr. Raj Bahadur Gaur published on revolutionarydemocracy.org

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