Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi

Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi
Zia Fatehabadi

1978 portrait, taken by family.
Background information
Birth name Mehr Lal Soni
Born 9 February 1913
Kapurthala, Punjab, India.
Origin Indian
Died 19 August 1986
Genres Qat'aa, Rubai, Ghazal, Nazm, Geet and Sonnets
Occupations Remained in the service of Reserve Bank of India from 1936 to 1971.

Zia Fatehabadi (1913–1986)(urdu: ضیاء فتح آبادی ) (hindi: ज़िया फ़तेहाबादी ), born Mehr Lal Soni (urdu:مهر لال سونی ) (hindi: मेहर लाल सोनी ), was a renowned Urdu ghazal and nazm writer. He was a disciple (shaagird) of Syed Aashiq Hussain Siddiqui Seemab Akbarabadi (1882–1951) who was a disciple of Nawab Mirza Khan Daagh Dehlawi. He took on the takhallus (nom de plume) of Zia meaning "Light" on the suggestion of his teacher, Ghulaam Qadir Farkh Amritsari.


Early life

Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi[1] was born on 9 February 1913, at Kapurthala, Punjab, as the eldest son of Munshi Ram Soni, a Civil Engineer by profession, whose family, it is believed, had some time during the reign of the Mughal ruler, Shahjahan, migrated from Rajasthan to Punjab and settled at Fatehabad ( PIN Code:143407 )near Tarn Taran.

His forefather, belonging to the Kapil Gotra Kshatriya clan, who had then migrated to Fatehabad is yet to be identified, however, according to the available records kept preserved by the Pandas i.e. the Family priests who conduct the Last Rites,at Haridwar the name of Mehr Lal’s great-great-great grandfather, Tansukh Rai Soni, the son of Badri Das and was the grandson of Badal Das Soni, and who had visited Haridwar in the year 1773 has been found documented as also are the name(s) of his son, Amolak Ram, whose son, Mool Raj,was the father of Jyoti Ram, and who was also the grandfather of Munshi Ram. Munshi Ram Soni, the son of Tara Chand Soni, was Mehr Lal Soni’s father.[2] Whereas Munshi Ram Soni moved from one place of posting to another place his only brother, Durga Das, chose to remain at Fatehabad, where latter's descendents still continue to reside retaining possession of the ancestral house and lands.[3]

Located about 25 km. from Sultanpur Lodhi on the Tarn Taran - Goindwal Road or the old Lahore - Delhi Road, historically known as the Badshahi Road that was long ago laid by Sultan Sher Shah Suri and finished by the Mughal Ruler Jalaludin Akbar, is the small town called Fatehabad in the District of Tarn Taran. This town was once the capital of the Ahluwalia Misl prior to the shifting of their capital to Kapurthala. Fatehabad is older than Tarn Taran and Amritsar. This place was originally a garrison station, a border fort that is known to have existed from the time of Mahmud Ghazni. Its name Fatehabad is believed to signify the victory of the Ahluwalia Misl against the Khokhars, the ancient resident clan reputed to have assassinated Muhammad Ghori. The older town which was of strategic importance was frequently visited by the Mughals and the later rulers; it, therefore, housed the Mughal Imperial Serai ( now in ruins the older town having been destroyed by the forces of the Mughal Ruler Jahangir ) was the place where the First Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak had penned the Gurubani in praise of Nature.[4]

At the time i.e. around 9.00 A.M on 9 February 1913, when Zia Fatehabadi was born the horoscope cast according to Jyotisa reveals that Pisces sign was rising in the East i.e. in the Lagna or Ascendant, with Venus and Rahu located therein, Saturn occupied Taurus, Ketu was in Virgo, Jupiter combining with Mars was in Sagittarius, Sun and Mercury were together in Capricorn and the Moon was situated in Aquarius sign; moreover Jupiter was in its friendly Leo Navamsa and Mars was in Vargottama.The major period or Dasa of Jupiter which ran its course when he was a child paved the way for his subsequent fame through Rahu, and Mars supported by Venus, the exalted dispositor of the dispositor of Moon, made him rise in ranks to occupy positions of authority during the course of his service; Venus, the Karaka of Fine Arts, conjoining with Rahu during latter's Dasa made him gain proficiency in a language that was not his mother-tongue. The Moon occupying a sign owned either by Mars or Saturn and aspected by a malefic (papa-graha) generally gives death by fire or a weapon; as ordained Zia Fatehabadi did not survive a surgical operation when the Dasa of Sun afflicted by the maraka Mercury was running its course.

Even when Zia Fatehabadi was a college student his was a respected name in the Urdu world.[5] After the publication of his first book, Tullu, which had invited some disheartening criticism, he had thought of giving up writing but he was dissuaded by his friends and elders alike.[6] Zia Fatehabadi had started composing Urdu sh'ers and ghazals at a tender age when he was studying in a school in Jaipur.

Zia Fatehabadi’s education began in Khalsa Middle School, Peshawar (1920 to 1922), however, he completed his schooling from Maharaja High School, Jaipur, Rajasthan (1923 to 1929), whereafter he obtained his B.A.(Hons) degree in Persian in 1933 and M.A.(English) degree in 1935 as a student of Forman Christian College, Lahore. He was an above average student. As the then editor of the Urdu section of the college house magazine Zia Fatehabadi was instrumental in having got published in the year 1932 the first ever Urdu short story, "Sadhu", written by Krishan Chander who was at that time more interested in English writings of his own and edited the English section.[7] It is also in evidence that Zia Fatehabadi infatuated by a Bengali girl named Meera who was also then studying in the same college, addressed almost all his love-poetry to her. Her name figures unreservedly in several of his writings. In an interview he had once disclosed that she was that very Meera who had actually inspired Meeraji[8](1912–1949) to write superb poems and adopt her name as his takhallus.[9] Krishan Chander, Meeraji and Zia Fatehabadi were good friends. It was during his college days that Zia Fatehabadi came into contact with Shabbir Hussain Josh Malihabadi and Samdayaar Khan Saghar Nizami and there developed a very close lifelong relationship with them, both influenced as also helped shape his literary life.[2]

In the year 1936 Zia Fatehabadi joined the service of Reserve Bank of India, from which institution he finally retired in July,1971. In 1942 he had married Raj Kumari (1919–2003),daughter of Murli Ram Berera of Lahore.

Literary life

The poet in Zia Fatehabadi surfaced in the year 1925 under the supervision of his mother, Shankari Devi, with the help of Moulvi Asghar Ali Haya Jaipuri who used to teach him Urdu at home and who also imparted the knowledge of Urdu poetry composition.[2] By the year 1929 itself Zia Fatehabadi had become a familiar name in the Urdu literary circles of those times.[10] He became Seemab Akbarabadi’s disciple in the year 1930 and remained true to his ustaad till his own death all the time working for spreading Seemab’s methods and instructions. He never gave a thought to his own name or fame and sought no favours, honours or public or state recognition. He did not believe in these exercises.[11] He believed that the real worth of a poet's creativity is to be eventually gauged by those who looked into his works in their eagerness to know him better. " Tullu ", meaning Dawn, was Zia Fatehabadi’s first collection of Urdu poems which collection was published from Meerut by Saghar Nizami(1905–1983) in the year 1933 when Zia Fatehabadi was as yet pursuing his college studies. Zia Fatehabadi wrote from the heart. He effectively dressed his feelings, emotions, thoughts and his experiences with simple, delicate, sweet - sounding, lyrical, meaningful, easily understood words and phrases, which quality set him apart from the rest and gave him a distinct identity.[12] Therefore, his writings simultaneously touch one’s heart and mind making one feel all that he had himself felt. He was equally at ease in the use of various kinds of prose and poetical formats. However, he did not succumb to the practice of uninhibited expression of ideas in open forms as was being done by some of his noted contemporaries who had introduced symbolism in Urdu Poetry.[13]

While remaining true to the classical style Zia Fatehabadi did not ignore the changing trends as is reflected in his rubiaats, qataas, geets, ghazals, nazms and sonnets.[14] These compositions exhibit his extraordinary mastery of and command over Urdu language.[15][16][17] Zia Fatehabadi's contribution to Urdu language extends over 60 years and is voluminous. The first major collection of Zia Fatehabadi titled Noor-E-Mashriq[18] was published from Delhi in the year 1937 in which his couplet

" Woh dekh mashriq se noor ubhara liey huey jalwa-e-haqiqat "
" Majaz ki tark kar ghulami ke tu to hey banda-e-haqiqat "
((Come hither and have a) look at the yonder light shining in the East emerging as the glowing Truth
(Now it is time that you too) cast aside your fetters temperamental for you are that very Truth.)

got quite famous.[19]

Though he did not identify himself with any particular group Zia Fatehabadi appears to have belonged equally to all groups that were and his works are a noteworthy contributions. As an essential part of his literary activity Zia Fatehabadi when ever invited did attend poetic symposia and conferences many of which he also happened to preside,[20] a collection of some of his presidential addresses was published titled " Masanad e sadarat se " in the year 1985. However,he did not believe in the theory that poetry is spontaneous for poetry is an amalgam of words and thoughts and thoughts are seldom spontaneous.[21]

Zia Fatehabadi died on 19 August 1986 after a prolonged and painful bout with illness. But then, he had once said

" Kyaa gham agar qraar–o–sukun kii kamii rahii "
" Khush hoon ke kaamyaab merii zindagi rahii "
(I grieve not for the lack of unrest or for the lack of peace (in my life).
I am (gratefully) happy to have led (a contented and) a successful life.)

In a way this one couplet (verse), taken from his book "Gard-e-Raah" (Urdu) published in 1963, very briefly sums up what was Zia Fatehabadi in person and in his life. He had himself led a life filled with hope and contentment and he certainly wanted others to do so likewise. These sentiments won for him many admirers.[22][23] Amongst those who appreciated as well as influenced his poetry were Firaq Gorakhpuri (1896–1982)[24] and Josh Malihabadi (1898 - 1982).[25]


Beginning with the first publication " Tullu " in the year 1933 in all nineteen works of Zia Fatehabadi have come to light. These works include eleven collections of his poetry, one of his short-stories, two of his essays, one of his presidential addresses, three of letters and one biography. Much of his work, including Naats,[26] scattered in various magazines and papers remains unpublished. He certainly was a romantic who spoke about his own love as well as about the limitless eternal universal love spread everywhere[27] but his poems, which are heartfelt and filled with purpose, are set in the ordinary - man's language. Easily understood they compel one to shed the afflicting stupor, pessimism and despondency.They compel a person to look deeply inwards more than outwards, overcome individual inner conflicts and fears, thus gain strength and the confidence needed to bravely face the vagaries of the outer world.[28] His poems invariably provide the much needed and difficult to find solace and simultaneously infuse confidence. This, they do with a soothing touch.[29] His three books -" Noor e Mashriq "," Gard e Raah " and " Meri Tasveer ", include Urdu Sonnets that were penned by him influenced more by the many English poets he had had the occasion to study for his M.A.(English literature) Degree than by few of his fellow Urdu poets such as Akhtar Sheerani and Noon Meem Rashid who had also composed Urdu Sonnets.[30]


  • A biography of Zia Fatehabadi titled - " Budha Darakhat " (Urdu) (1979), meaning, The Old Tree, was penned by Dr.Zarina Sani M.A.Ph.D. (1936–1982) of Nagpur.
  • Previously a very comprehensive critical appraisal and interpretation of Zia’s literary works was ably conducted in the year 1977 and published by the renowned Urdu scholar, critic and author of " Zikr-e-Ghalib ", Malik Ram (1906–1993), which appraisal titled - " Zia Fatehabadi Shakhs Aur Shair " (Zia Fatehabadi - the person and the poet), proved to be one more valuable addition to the field of Urdu literary criticism.
  • In 1989, under the guidance of Dr.Adam Sheikh M.A.Ph.D.,the then Chairman of the Board of Studies in Urdu, and Dr.Farid Sheikh M.A.Ph.D. of Anjuman-e-Islamiyaa, Mumbai, Dr.Shabbir Iqbal M.A.Ph.D. of Dhulia,[31] Maharashtra, obtained his Ph.D. degree from Bombay University based on his thesis in Urdu - " Anjahaani Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi – Hayaat Aur Kaarnaame " (Late Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi - Life and Works).
  • The National register of doctoral dissertions accepted and in progress Vol.3 reveals that Mohammad Ameenuddin Mohammad Idris of Nagpur University had presented his thesis in Urdu titled - " Zia Fatehabadi-personality,life and works " to the Nagpur University for its acceptance.[32]

Other interests

Zia Fatehabadi was a man of many tastes and abilities. He was not a professional poet. For over thirty-five years he had served Reserve Bank of India with great distinction. He was a keen observer of economic trends, development and change. Zia Fatehabadi was also very good at Mathematics, proficient in Persian, English and Sanskrit language and grammar. He was a keen student of Hindu astrology i.e. Jyotisa,and was deeply interested in the study of the Upanishads and the Rig Veda.[33][34] He subscribed to the Advaita School promoted by Adi Sankara. Zia Fatehabadi imparted this part of his knowledge and exclusive experience to his eldest son, Ravinder Kumar Soni, as is reflected in the latter’s two books titled In Search Of True Happiness and The Illumination Of Knowledge.

In his aforecited book,In search of True Happiness, on page 215 Zia Fatehabadi's son writes that a comparative study of the horoscopes belonging to the male members of his branch of Soni family has revealed (a) that all those individuals who did not have the lords of the 9th and the 10th houses occupying a quadrant or a trine from the Ascendant or Natal Moon did not prosper regardless of their efforts and levels of education nor those who had the lord of the 4th or of the 7th afflicted experience domestic peace, and (b) that Munshi Ram Soni, his eldest son, Zia Fatehabadi,and the latter's eldest son, eldest grand-son and the eldest great grand-son, all five, had at their time of birth Venus situated in its exaltation sign Pisces in a quadrant from the Ascendant with the lord of the 9th house also in a quadrant in a friendly or in its exaltation sign either aspected by or conjoining Jupiter. He is of the opinion that such like studies of family horoscopes are bound to open new grounds for research in the field of Jyotisa.


List of books by Zia Fatehabadi :-

Urdu Poetry:

  1. " Tullu " (Dawn) - published by Saghar Nizami, Adabi Markaz, Meerut in 1933.Foreword by Saghar Nizami.
  2. " Noor-e-Mashriq " (The light of the East) - published by Jyoti Prasad Gupta, Jyoti Printing Works, Esplanade, Delhi in 1937.Introductions by Josh Malihabadi,Editor, Kaleem, Delhi, Hakim Azad Ansari (1871–1942)[1] and Manzar Siddiqui, Editor, Kanwal, Agra.
  3. " Zia Ke Sau Sher " (A hundred verses of Zia) - published by Gajender Lal Soni, Mohan Building, near Lloyd's Bank, Delhi in 1938.
  4. " Nai Subah " (The New Morn) published by Adaaraa Seemab,Daryaganj, Delhi in 1952. Forewords by Munnawar Lucknavi)(1897–1970)[1] and Prof. Mubashshir Ali Siddiqui M.A.( Died-1987))[1]
  5. " Gard -e- Raah " (The Road-dust)- published by Maktaba Shola aur Shabnam, Daryaganj, New Delhi in 1963. Foreword by Abr Ahasani Gunnauri (1898–1973)[1] and Khushtar Girami (1902–1988)[1]
  6. " Husn -e- Ghazal " (The beauty of Ghazal) - published by Miraj Mittal, Ambala in 1964.
  7. " Dhoop Aur Chandni " (The Sunlight and the Moonlight) - published by Radha Krishan Sehgal, Bazm-e-Seemab, J 5/21,Rajouri Garden, New Delhi in 1977.
  8. " Rang-o- Noor " (The Colour and the Light) - published by R.K.Sehgal, Bazm - e-Seemab, J 5/21, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi in 1981 (prize awarded by U.P.Urdu Academy).
  9. " Soch ka Safar " (The Journey of Thought) -published by R.K.Sehgal, Bazm-e-Seemab, J 5/21, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi in 1982.
  10. " Naram garam hawain " (The soft warm air) - published posthumously by R.K.Sehgal, Bazm-e-Seemab, J 5/21, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi in 1987 with the aid of Delhi Urdu Academy.
  11. " Meri Tasveer " (My Portrait)- published by GBD Books,I-2/16, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi in 2011, ISBN 978-81-88951-88-8.

Urdu Prose:

  1. " Zaaviyaha-e-nigaah " (The view - point) - published by R.K.Sehgal, Bazm-e-Seemab, J 5/21, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi in 1983.Foreword by Jagdish Bhatnagar Hayat - (essays) (prize awarded by U.P.Urdu Academy)
  2. " Suraj doob gayaa " (The sun has set)(short-stories) - published by R.K.Sehgal, Bazm-e-Seemab, J 5/21, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi in 1981.
  3. " Masnad-e-sadaarat se " (From the Podium)(presidential addresses) - published by R.K.Sehgal, Bazm-e-Seemab, J 5/21, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi in 1985.
  4. " Seemab baanaam Zia " (Seemab to Zia)(letters of Seemab to Zia) - published by R.K.Sehgal, Bazm-e-Seemab, J 5/21, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi in 1981.Foreword by Rashid Hasan Khan.
  5. " Zikr-e-Seemab " (About Seemab)(Biography of Seemab) - published by R.K.Sehgal, Bazm-e-Seemab, J 5/21, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi in 1984.
  6. " Sher aur Shair " (The Verse and the Poet)(essays) - published by R.K.Sehgal, Bazm-e-Seemab, J 5/21, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi in 1974.
  7. " Muzaameen-e-Zia " (The Essays of Zia)[35][36]
  8. " Zia Fatehabadi ke Khatoot " (Letters of Zia).

Select Reading:

List of books in Urdu on the life and works of Zia Fatehabadi :-

  1. " Budha Darakhat " (The Old Tree) - Biography of Zia Fatehabadi written by Dr. Zarina Sani M.A.Ph.D.of Nagpur and published by R.K.Sehgal, Bazm - e - Seemab, J 5/21, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi in 1979.
  2. " Zia Fatehabadi - Shakhs aur Shair " (Zia Fatehabadi - The Person and the Poet) - Critical appraisal of Zia Fatehabadi's life and works conducted by Malik Ram and published by Ilmi Majlis, 1429, Chhata Nawab Sahib, Farashkhana, Delhi, in 1977.
  3. Editorial write up on Zia Fatehabadi's life and works in the Feb.1985 issue of " Aaj Kal " Vol.43 no.7 published by the Govt. of India,Publication Division Urdu,Patiala House, New Delhi.
  4. " Zia Fatehabadi Number " Oct.1986 issue of " Hamaari Zabaan " Vol.45 no.37 published by Anjuman - e - Taraqi Urdu Hind (Delhi),Rouse Avenue, New Delhi, it contains articles and views of noted Urdu writers on the life and works of Zia Fatehabadi.
  5. " Zia - e - Urdu " - Special issue of Nov.1985 by Saphia Siddiqui on behalf of Adara - e - Adab, London (U.K.) it contains articles and views of noted Urdu writers of U.K.
  6. Editorial write up in the Oct.1986. issue of the " Monthly Biswin Sadi " Vol.50 No.10, published by Biswin Sadi Publication (P) Ltd., Daryaganj, Delhi.
  7. " Anjahaani Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi - Hayaat aur Karnaame " 1989 Doctoral Dissertation on the life and works of Zia Fatehabadi presented by Dr. Shabbir Iqbal M.A.Ph.D.of Bombay University.

External links


  1. ^ a b c d e f Urdu Authors:Date list as on May 31, 2006. National Council for Promotion of Urdu, Govt. of India, Ministry of Human Resource Development. 
  2. ^ a b c Zia Fatehabadi (2011). Meri Tasveer. New Delhi: GBD Books. 
  3. ^ In search of True Happiness. p. 213. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Dr.Zarina Sani M.A.Ph.D. (1979). Budha Darakhat. New Delhi: Bazm - e - Seemab. p. 140. ""is waqt teen shair hain. ek ahsan danish,doosra saghar nizami, teesra zia fatehabadi.saghar,danish aur zia jadeed daur ke darakhshan sitare mein zia ko kaii baaton mein tawafuq aur maqbooliyat haasil hai."(Presently there are three poets.One-Ahsan Danish,second-Saghar Nizami and third-Zia Fatehabadi.Saghar,Danish and Zia are the three bright stars of the modern era; amongst them for many reasons Zia commands more attention and renown.- Yusuf Hussain, Editor, Nairang-e-Khayal, Lahore, August, 1937 issue. - Acknowledgement of early acceptance of Zia Fatehabadi as a poet of note" 
  6. ^ Malik Ram (1977) (in Urdu). Zia Fatehabadi - Shakhs Aur Shair. Delhi: Ilmi Majlis. pp. 114. "" gharaz unhon ne mere zauq-e-shayari ko majrooh karne ki paiham koshishen kiin. us maahol kaa mere naukhez zahan par bahut asar hua aur mujhe apnii shayari par shak hone lagaa.chunanche maine seemab saheb ke bade saahebzaade manzar siddiqui ko khat likhaa ki main shergoyi tark karnaa chaahataa hoon. unhone shiddat se meri mukhaalafat kii aur mujhe shergoyi jaarii rakhne kii talqqeen kii."-(They (the critics) tried hard to undermine my poetic urge and talent.This had an adverse effect on my young mind and I began to doubt my abilities. Therefore, in a letter to Manzar Siddiqui, the eldest son of Seemab saheb,I expressed my intention to give up writing which intention was strongly opposed and I was asked to continue writing as before.)- A part of an interview. - Zia Fatehabadi's reaction to criticism and the result of dissuation)" 
  7. ^ Malik Ram (1977) (in Urdu). Zia Fatehabadi - Shakhs Aur Shair. Delhi: Ilmi Majlis. pp. 116–117. "" hamaare mushhoor afsaanaa nigaar krishan chander marhoom bhii isii college mein padhte the. mujh se senior the aur ghaaliban college magazine ke angrezi hisse ke editor the.un kaa ek afsaanaa maine apne urdu hisse mein chaapaa. ye ghaaliban 1932 kii baat hai. us afsaane kaa unwaan sadhu thaa. merii daanist mein yahii unkaa awaleen afsaanaa thaa."-(Our famous short-story writer Late Krishan Chander was also studying in the same college, he was probably my senior and edited the English section. In those days he wrote mainly in English. In 1932 I got his Urdu short-story titled "Sadhu" published in the Urdu section. So far as I recollect this was his first Urdu short-story.) A part of an interview.)" 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Malik Ram (1977) (in Urdu). Zia Fatehabadi - Shakhs Aur Shair. Delhi: Ilmi Majlis. pp. 116. ""chalte chalte ek dilchasp baat suniye - hamaare college mein meera naam kii ek bangali ladkii padhtii thii. uske husn aur ghamzon kaa bahut shuhraa thaa.hamaare mushhoor taraqii-pasand shair meeraji ne usii ke naam par apnaa sherii naam rakhaa."-(By the by, pay heed to this one fact.There was a Bengali girl named Meera studying in our college who was very beautiful and attractive. Our famous progressive poet Meeraji had adopted her name as his nom de plume. -A part of an interview.) - First-hand confirmation of the fact much discussed in Urdu literary circles)" 
  10. ^ Malik Ram (1977). Zia Fatehabadi - Shakhs Aur Shair. Delhi: Ilmi Majlis. pp. 79. ""zia fatehabadi kaa naam 1929 mein hii ubharne lagaa thaa..."-(... Zia Fatehabadi's name had come into prominence in the year 1929 itself...) - From an article by Aijaz Siddiqui (1913 - 1978), Editor,Monthly Shair,Mumbai.- An acknowledgment of Zia Fatehabadi's early renown." 
  11. ^ Malik Ram (1977) (in Urdu). Zia Fatehabadi - Shakhs Aur Shair. Delhi: Ilmi Majlis. pp. 113&115. "" khaamosh tabeh aur tanhaii pasand hone ke sabab main aksar alag thalag rahtaa thaa. khushaamad karne kii salaahiyat ya aadat mujh mein kabhii paidaa naa ho sakii...main naa to kisii giroh mein shaamil huaa naa kabhii coffee-house ke hangaamon mein shareek huaa...ek khuddaarii sar par sawaar rahii aur merii zindagii mein kabhii mulaaqaaton kaa sailaab bhii nahin aayaa."- (By nature preferring quietude and solitude I often stayed aloof. I could not adopt sycophantic means nor ever form such a habit. I never joined any group nor did ever become a part of coffee-house gatherings...A strange kind of ego kept me captive and in my life there never was any overflow of visits and meetings. - A part of an interview.- Confirmation of Zia Fatehabadi's general attitude)" 
  12. ^ Hamari Zabaan - Zia Fatehabadi Number - Obituary special issue Vol.45 no.37. New Delhi: by Anjuman-e-Taraqi Urdu Hind (Delhi). 1986. p. 8. ":" zia ne bhii zubaan kii saadgii ko apnii shayari kaa zevar banaayaa.apne jazbaat-o-ahsaasaat-o-tassavur aur tajurbaat ko purasar andaaz mein alfaaz kaa jaamaa bakshaa."
    ((like his ustaad Seemab) Zia too has embellished his poetry with simplicity while expressing...he has dressed his feelings ,emotions,thoughts and experiences in an effective manner with very meaningful words.)- From an article by Dr. Shaarab Radolvi M.A.Ph.D.- An observation regarding Zia Fatehabadi's writings" 
  13. ^ Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi (1977). Dhoop Aur Chandani. New Delhi: Bazm e Seemab. "Zia Fatehabadi's couplet here cited to tell about his support of the traditional methods of writing.-
    " Ghataa badhaa ke bhii dekhaa magar na baat banii "
    " Ghazal kaa roop rivaayat pasand hai yaro "
    (In vain have thus far been all kinds of modifications attempted,
    (But)the format preferred by the ghazal (here meant all forms of poetry), my friend, is the traditional one.)" 
  14. ^ for sampling Zia Fatehabadi's nazms and ghazals but in Hindi script
  15. ^ - Herein use and meaning of the Urdu word Qand has been explained by citing Zia Fatehabadi's couplet.
  16. ^ Herein use and meaning of the Urdu words Biim and Rajaa has been explained by citing Zia Fatehabadi's couplet
  17. ^ Malik Ram (1977) (in Urdu). Zia Fatehabadi - Shakhs Aur Shair. Delhi: Ilmi Majlis. pp. 138. "-" zia kii shayari mein woh tamaam ruhjaanaat aur mailaanaat jo mulk mein jaarii aur saarii rahe paae jaate hain. un kii nazmon mein jadeed leheren karvat badaltii hain magar rivaayat ke ahtraam ke saath. un ke kalaam mein baghaawat kii chingaarian hain magar takhriibii ravish se hat kar aur jiddat aur taazgii liye hue." - (The poetry of Zia reflects all trends and changes that the nation had then experienced. His poems depict the modern changes but in line with the traditional ways. His works do exhibit sparks of rebellion but without the display of usual open ferocity, instead his works are tinged with a welcome freshness and sincerity.) - From an article by Dr.Zarina Sani M.A.Ph.D.- An observation regarding Zia Fatehabadi's writings)" 
  18. ^ Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi (1937). Noor e Mashriq. Delhi: Jyoti Printing Works. 
  19. ^ "Zia Fatehabadi (Real name Mehr Lal Soni)". Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  20. ^ Link: Indian newsmagazine Vol.23 of 1981 reporting one such conference that was inagurated by the Urdu poet and jurist Anand Narain Mulla (1901 - 1997) and presided by Zia Fatehabadi. LINK:Indian newsmagazine. 
  21. ^ Nilanjan Mukhopadhayay " Zia Fatehabadi's Thoughts " article on P.3 of the Sunday 17.08.1986 issue of The Statesman, Delhi.-
    " But he (Zia) does not believe in the theory that poetry is spontaneous, (he says) How can it be ? Poetry is not words,it is also thought.And thoughts are seldom spontaneous."
  22. ^ e.g.Zia-e-Urdu-special issue published in Urdu by Saphia Siddiqui on behalf of Adara-e-Adab, London, Halqa Ahal-e-sukhan and India International Club,UK and released on 28.11.1981 in a function held in Swedenborg Hall, London WC1, to commemorate Zia Fatehabadi's visit.
  23. ^ Hamari Zabaan - Zia Fatehabadi Number - Obituary Special issue Vol. 45 no.37. New Delhi: Anjuman Taraqqi i Urdu Hind (Delhi). 1986. ":" mujhe unkii shayari mein ek aisii gahraaii aur vusat mahsoos hotii hai jo sirf samundaron aur aasmaanon mein hii mil saktii hai."
    ( I have felt in his (Zia Fatehabadi's) poetry the depth and the flight which is to be found only in the oceans and in the (vast) sky.) - Ram Lal(1923 - 1996), renowned short-story writer and literary critic.
    (An admiration).
    " aap kii adabii kaavishon kaa main sirf qaayal hii nahin rahaa,unkii roshanii mein apnaa adabii safar tey kartaa rahaa hoon." -
    (I have not only admired his (Zia Fatehabadi's) literary works,I have been traversing my own literary journey in the very light of their brightness. )- Nida Fazli, renowned lyricist and Urdu poet.
    (Another admiration)." 
  24. ^ Souvenir " Jashn - e - Zia Fatehabadi " (Urdu) 1978 P.20 published by the event organizing committee and released on 27th Feb. 1978 by Arif Beg, the then Minister of Commerce, Govt. of India,>
    " keii muqaamaat par mufakkiraanaa aur shairaanaa andaaz ke imtizaaj ne bahut lutf diiyaa. aap kii shairii mein khaloos hai aur kahin rangeen saadgii hai.kahin saadaah aur dilkash rangeenii hai aur ek hasaas salaamat ravii is kii khaas sifaten hain."
    (At many places his (Zia's) poetic flight of imagination has given me immense pleasure. In his poetry there is affection and colourful simplicity, there is simple delightful brightness, music and flow,and there is controlled expression of his feelings as its distinct qualities.)- Firaq Gorakhpuri in an undated article
  25. ^ Urdu Quarterly Tahareer Vol.11 no.3 1977 issue P.5 published by Ilmi Majlis, Delhi>
    " hazrat zia mere qadeem ahbaab mein se hain.un kii shairii mein sanjeedgii hai.un ke tarz - e - bayaan mein ras aur ghulaavat paii jaati hai. "
    (Mr.Zia is one of my very old acquaintances. I have always been impressed by his personal qualities and poetry. There is to be found in his poetry a distinct earnestness and maturity as also a rhythmic flow and sweetness in the manner of his expression.) - Josh Malihabadi in an article dated 24th May 1965
  26. ^ One naat reproduced in urdu at S.No. 70 in a selection of Naats written by non-muslim Urdu poets
  27. ^ Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi (1963). Gard e Raah. Delhi: Maktaba Shola aur Shabnam. "Zia Fatehabadi's couplet from " Gard-e-Raah " -
    " Mohabbat hai insaan kii aabroo "
    " Bagair-e-mohabbat bashar kuch nahin "
    (Love is the pride ( or the true essence) of man,
    Without love there is no reason for him to live.)
    -Here cited in support of what has been just stated in the article." 
  28. ^ Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi (1963). Gard e Raah. Delhi: Maktaba Shola aur Shabnam. "Poem of Zia Fatehabadi -
    " Angdaaii "
    gudgudii dil mein huii ,
    valvale jaag uthe ,
    aarzuuon ke shagufe phuute ,
    ufak-e-yaas se paidaa huii umiid kii betaab kiran ,
    shabnamistaan-e-tamannaa mein har ek simat ujaala phailaa ,
    khol dii der se soae hue jazbaat ne aankh
    khirman-e-dil mein phir ik aag sii bhadkii , chamkii ,
    ik tadap , ek sharaar __
    is pe hai anjuman-e-dahr kii garmii kaa madaar ,
    khuun rag rag mein ravaan ,
    is se harkat mein hai aalam kaa nizaam !
    (The Awakening)
    A pleasant feeling filled the heart,
    Excitement came alive,
    Nascent desires flowered,
    Along with the rising of expectations emerged the uneasy rays of hope,
    (And)in the dark room of yearnings did light spread everywhere,
    (And)the long asleep emotions and sentiments opened their eyes,
    (And)once more deep within the heart a fire arose and leapt;
    (As) a painful craving, an acute sensation __
    On it (that fire) depends the warmth which is in all existing things,
    Blood flows in each vein,
    (And) the intricate system that governs (our) existence (continues)to move and operate.)
    - here cited in support of what has been just stated in the article" 
  29. ^ Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi (1952). Nai Subah. Delhi: Adaara Seemab. "-The opening two stanzas from Zia Fatehabadi's poem titled - " Baatein " meaning " Talks "-
    " Chhodo ye duniya kii baatein " " Aao pyaar kii baatein kar lein "
    " Khaalii hai muddat se jholii " " Us ko aas ummeed se bhar lein "
    " Aas ummeed na ho to insaan " " Jeete jee hi mar jaataa hai "
    " Takkar kyaa toofan se lega " " Jo ik mouj se dar jaataa hai "
    ((For once) leave aside all this worldly talk - Come, let us talk about love.
    For too long have our hearts remained empty - Let us fill them with expectations and hope.
    (You know) if there are no expectations and hope,then man - Even though living is no longer alive.
    How can one brave the (rage of a) storm - In whose heart a single wave can strike great fear.)
    - Here cited in support of what has been just stated in the article" 
  30. ^ Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi. Meri Tasveer. New Delhi: GBD Books. p. 206. "Sonnet-
    " Dubkani "
    Pas e parda kisii ne mere armaanon kii mehfil ko
    Kuchh is andaaz se dekha, kuchh aise taur se dekha
    Ghubaar e aah se de kar jilaa aainaa e dil ko
    Har ik soorat ko maine khoob dekha, ghaur se dekha
    Nazar aaii na woh soorat, mujhe jiskii tamanaa thii
    Bahut dhoondaa kiyaa gulshan mein, veeraane mein, bastii mein
    Munnawar sham e mehar o maah se din raat duniyaa thii
    Magar chaaron taraf thaa ghup andheraa merii hastii mein
    Dil e majboor ko majrooh e ulfat kar diyaa kisne
    Mere ahsaas kii ghahraiion mein hai chubhan gham kii
    Mitaa kar jism, merii rooh ko apnaa liyaa kisne
    Jawanii ban gaii aamaajagaah sadmaat e paiham kii
    Hijaabaat e nazar kaa sisilaa tod aur aa bhii jaa
    Mujhe ik baar apnaa jalwaa e rangiin dikhaa bhii ja.
    (Staying concealed, from behind a curtain someone has watched
    The congregation of my longings and desires (grow),
    Have done so in the manner that has caused my sighs
    To bring alive my heart wherein I have frantically sought to find
    Reflected that face which I have failed to locate anywhere else
    Be it in a garden or in a desolate place or a crowd.
    Even though the Sun and the Moon keep alit this world day and night
    Yet my own world stays surrounded by pitch-black darkness
    (I ask) who has forced my helpless heart to lose faith?
    Who has deeply wounded my feelings pricking them with sadness?
    Who has after obliterating my body come to own my soul?
    That my youth has caused me to suffer endless grief.
    Come, end this game of hide and seek and reveal yourself
    And show me for once your bright and radiant self.)" 
  31. ^ Notes:- Shabbir Iqbal, son of Dr.Iftikhar Ahmed Fakhar (see Seemab Akbarabadi),was born on 31.5.1948 at Dhulia. He obtained his M.A.Degree from Pune University and thereafter joined National High School and Junior College, Dhulia,where he taught Urdu Literature.Beside his research work on Mehr Lal Soni Zia Fatehabadi he has also penned the Literary History of Khandesh which work titled " Muntashar Khake " was published by Nazma Publications, Dhulia,in the year 1984.He is a regular contributor to News Papers and periodicals,and also associated with many educational and social organisations.
  32. ^ National register of doctoral dissertions Vol.3. 1979. 
  33. ^ Ravinder Kumar Soni (2005). In search of True Happiness. Delhi: Soni Parivaar. p. 110. "" My father taught to me astrology with a purpose. He wanted to enable my mind to penetrate the darkest recesses of the unknown, enable it to look far deep in time and space and go beyond the three states of time and consciousness." - Cited to tell about Zia Fatehabadi's expertise in Hindu Astrology" 
  34. ^ Ravinder Kumar Soni (2008). The Illumination of Knowledge. Delhi: M/S GBD Books. pp. 295. "" The place about which Rishi Kashyapa speaks thus and prays to occupy, know that to be the place where we all actually always belong; we have only to recognise it by the marks we seem to have forgotten."-Zia Fatehabadi’s statement to his son in respect of Sukta 9.113 of the Rig Veda cited to tell about former's deep study of the Rig Veda" 
  35. ^ Aaj Kal Vol. 43 no.7. the Govt.of India Publication Division Urdu. 1985. "Detailed write up on Mehr Lal Zia Fatehabadi's life and works" 
  36. ^ The Encyclopedia of Indian Literature, Volume Two, by Amresh Datta, Mohan Lal P. 1444 (2006 Edition). Name of Zia Fatehabadi cited as a contributor to the collection of articles, titled - Gopal Mittal (1909 - 1993)) - Shakhsiyat aur Funn, edited by Kumar Pashi (1935-1992)

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