As the literature world and followers fell into gloom learning about the death of noted Urdu poet Rahat Indori on Tuesday, his friend and fellow poet of the past 40 years Anjum Barabanki said, "Hindustani mushaire ka sabse bada sooraj doob gaya (The brightest sun of Indian mushaira has set)."
Indori, 70, who was being treated for Covid-19, died following a heart attack at Indore's Aurobindo Hospital on Tuesday.
It’s a big shock to the entire nation, Barabanki said. "He (Indori) was the pride of all the Urdu poets. I had been associated with him for the past 40 years. I also played an audience to him, listening to his ghazals and couplets and also read out my shayari from stage alongside him. He was a dynamic poet and was matchless. Not only in India, across the globe there were his followers and fans," he said.
Among common people, poets, politicians, etc, Indori had a vast fan base, said Barabanki. "Four or five days ago, I appeared on a TV channel taking part in a mushaira (a poetry symposium) and he called me up, greeting me for my poetry, saying, 'Your poetry was so impressive, I had to call you up and congratulate.' He also informed me that he was unwell of late. He suffered from blood pressure, diabetes, kidney issues, and so on, but at the age of 70, there wasn’t any other who roared like him from the stage and even put the youngsters to shame," Barabanki said. "He was a brave man who never feared death despite his serious ailments. He was a person who polished himself and his poetry with age magnificently."
Half the world was in awe of Indori's dressing sense, his stage delivery and flair, Barabanki noted. "There are numerous people who try to imitate his exceptional style of delivering ghazals and his poetry. He was extremely straightforward and witty. In the past 4-5 years, several prominent politicians recited his famous lines inside Parliament," he said. "He was the pride of India who was equally popular abroad."
One who has come to this world must leave; people like Indori leave but take away the shine with them, Urdu poet Mansoor Usmani said to News18. "They can’t be forgotten by us immediately as we will be remembering him and his poetry for a very long time. The colour of his poetry will be missed by all of us sorely. It’s an immense loss to the literature and social field. He had first recited his famous lines, 'Kisi ke baap ka Hindustan thodi hai (India doesn't belong to anyone's father)’ around 20-25 years ago and people often mistook it to be aimed at a certain party or politician. He had through these lines cautioned the politicians that no one is permanent in power and needs to remain impartial to everyone and think about the welfare of everyone," Usmani said.
Indori himself believed in impartiality and preserving the shared heritage of Indians and named his son ‘Satlaj’ as he believed that this heritage is mutual and does not belong to any particular class or section, said Usmani. "At his home, there was no partiality and he was a great humanitarian in the true sense."