Jamal Nazar, 16, a grade-10 student of the Peshawar Public School & College, has brought out his maiden Pashto poetry collection titled ‘Da Zarrah Arman’ (a heart’s aspiration).
Belonging to Inzari village, Nizampur in Nowshera district, Jamal drew his inspiration to compose poetry from his uncle late Nazar Badshah Nazar who was a popular local Pashto poet.
In his early childhood, Jamal used to attend poetry reading sessions along with his uncle and most often would read poems of Nazar Badshah Nazar to a large gathering. This encouraged young Jamal to come up with his own verses and one good day he was able to compose ghazals and short poems.
In his foreword to the book, the young poet writes that most teenagers aspire to become doctor, engineer or join some lucrative profession but his aspiration was to publish his verses collection and the auspicious day was bestowed upon him by Almighty Allah to see his poetic thoughts in printed form.
Once I was convinced that my poetry is worthy of being given shape of a book, I decided to bring it out and my father Anwar Khan, a teacher by profession instantly agreed to fulfill my desire. I was also making preparation for appearing in my 9th grade board examination but I accepted the challenge and went through the crucial process of selection and rejection and finally I came up with my cherished dream being true,” Nazar said.
The first poem that has appeared on page 35 is a tribute to mother, in which the teenage poet says that people should not hurt mothers and those who do so are ignorant because mothers are like honey and a great blessing for us.
In another poem, he says that he is out to search Pakhtunwali — the code of conduct among Pakhtuns — but to no avail as most Pakhtuns today don’t follow it. Also he criticises ministers for being unfair and unjust with poor people. “I am reminded of pharaoh when I see ministers being very dishonest, corrupt and arrogant.”
Interestingly, Zahidullah Ziyad, a teenage poet himself and class-fellow of Jamal Nazar hailing from Bajaur tribal agency, in his mature critical note writes that although Jamal Nazar is a teenage poet like him and is yet to attain a certain level of maturity in content and rhyming but he will make improvement with the passage of time and it is hoped that seasoned poets will overlook his shortcomings if any. “Jamal opines that teenagers should express their feelings and channelise emotions in a positive manner, saying that parents and teachers should provide platforms to youngsters to bring out their latent talent.