Symbolism is not a new trend in Urdu poetry. Metaphors like "gul-o-bulbul", "jaam-o-sharaab", etc were very popular amongst the classical poets.
Modern poets also use symbolism to great penetrating effect. Many a time, a simple, day-to-day situation is described in a manner that provokes the listener to think of it in a new light. The following sh'er by Aslam Kolsari exemplifies this.
सारे मुसाफ़िरों से त'अल्लुक़ निकल पड़ा
गाड़ी में एक शख़्स ने अख़बार क्या लिया
saare musaafiroN se ta'alluq nikal paRaa
gaaRi meN ek shaKhs ne aKhbaar kyaa liyaa
त'अल्लुक़, ta'alluq: connection, relationship
अख़बार, aKhbaar: newspaper
What an interesting study in the dynamics of human relationships!
For those of us who have travelled in trains or buses in our home country, this is a common sight to see. One traveller buys the newspaper in a train, and everyone sitting around him borrows different parts of it, even before the buyer has himself had a chance to peruse all sections of it. Not only that, if you have ever been in the position of the newspaper purchaser, you know that you are expected to share your paper with your co-passengers. Otherwise you are an uptight snob. After all, you can only read one page at a time, so what are you going to gain by "hoarding" the rest of the paper?
However, no sooner has the paper been read, than everyone goes right back to being strangers to each other!
ASAD _also_ stands for "A Sher A Day" !
[(c) Abhay Avachat. Editor: U.V. Ravindra]