Nida Fazli’s demise has left a huge void in the film industry. We spoke to a few film personalities who had the privilege of knowing and working with the late poet.
Sudhir Mishra(director): I have great regard for him as a poet. I worked with him on ‘Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin’ and it was an absolute delight. We worked for almost a month together and went and stayed in Hyderabad where music director MM Kreem is based. I was always awestruck by his knowledge of poetry,history and life in general. The amount of knowledge Fazli saab had of hindi poetry was amazing. There is this artificial distinction in India between Urdu poets and Hindi poets. Nida Fazli blurred that line. He was a voracious reader. One of his greatest qualities was that had an open mind and accepted the greatness of others. He was also incredibly funny and was also self deprecatory in his humour. Most of his sarcasm was directed at himself. He will be really missed. It is a big loss. I feel the industry didn’t give him his due.
Also read: Best Ghazals by Nida Fazli
Anu Mallik (music director): I had worked with him on many occasions and I remember him as a warm, talented and lovely human being. It was an honour to have worked with him. He was very well read and well bred. He always had a smile on his face. I am shocked to hear about Nida bhai’s sudden demise. May his soul rest in peace.
Raza Murad (actor): It was a privilege to have known him. He was a very good friend. Undoubtedly, he was a great poet and was equally loved by Hindus and Muslims and was a symbol of national integration. Whatever he wrote, he was always conscious about the quality of his of work. He never stooped low for any cheap stuff. There was always a Nida Fazli stamp in his poetry. Very few people know that his entire family was wiped out in the communal riots that happened in Gwalior yet I couldn’t feel any bitterness in his heart or heard him complaining about his life or this incident.
John Matthew Matthan (director): It was a pleasure to have worked with him. What I experienced was the immense sense of patience that he had while dealing with me. It took about eight to nine months to write the song ‘Hoshwallon ko khabar’ and believe me he wrote more than 10 songs which I didn’t have the heart to tell him that it didn’t suit me. So I would go back hesitantly and tell him, ‘Sir if you don’t mind can you give me another verse because on second thoughts I didn’t like. So this went on for nine months and then one day out of temper he chased me out. He asked me, ‘Are you sure of what you want.’ I told him that I wanted a full love story to be told in that one song. I want it from the meeting point to the culmination where people know that these actors are in love. Finally after 10 months he came out with a couplet which read ‘Khulti Zulfon Ne Sikhaya Mausamon ko Shayari, Jhukti aankhon ne sikhaya maikashi kya cheez hain.’ I said done and asked him if he could compose the first verse of the song. Within five minutes, he came out with Hosh valo ko khabar kya bekhudi kya cheez hai. I said done again and that is how the song happened. We have no doubt lost a great poet in Urdu. I don’t want to comment on the kind lyrics that are written today. All I would say is it is a big loss and he was poet who would think original.
Amitabh Verma (lyricist): I had a personal association with him. When my daughter was in 2004, we had a function in Delhi and he came there. We will miss him a lot. Apart from being a Nida Fazli fan, I was a big Jagjit Singh fan who was himself a big Nida Fazli fan. He had sung some of Nida’s great ghazals. He will be terribly missed.