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Qayem Chandpuri

1725 - 1794 | Chandpur, India

Prominent 18th century poet, contemporary of Mir Taqi Mir.

He is one of the doyens of Urdu literature. His real name was Shiekh Qayam-ud-diin alias Mohammad Qayam. Qayam was his pen name. His native town was Chandpur of district Bijnore. Those were the heydays of Urdu poetry and in that era, Delhi could boast of literary pioneers like Meer Taqi Meer, Khwaja Meer Dird and Sauda to its credit. Qayam was quite short tempered so he remained at logger heads with a lot of people. He became the disciple of Khwaja Meer Dird, but his relations could not go on for long. Later on, he presented himself in the service of Mirza. Though it was not an easy task but Mirza trained him well. When Delhi was experiencing trying times during the period of Aalam Geer Saani, he got associated with Nawab Yaar Muhammad Khan of Taanda. Here, he met another towering literary figure of that period, Mushafi. He soon befriended him. He helped Mushafi get employed there. Nevertheless, this good time lasted only for three years. He reached Rampur and stayed there for a long time. Since, his salary was very low, he moved on to Lucknow and got appointed as the Chief Administrator of his region by Raja Ticket Roy, in an effort to establish him again in his motherland. After reaching Rampur, he passed away. Jurrat has published the date of his death, which is known as tareekh in Urdu. Every critic of that period praises the poetry of Qayam. Kareemuddiin writes that he is a unique poet, a master orator and one who has poetry flowing through his blood. Many good poets of this era were not even half as good as him. There are a few, who claim that he is even better than Sauda. And those who deny it, do so only to flatter Sauda. Contrary to this view, Shefta thinks that comparing him with Sauda is not right but, he showers enough praises on his qat’aat and rubaaiyat, though according to his view those are a mere jumbling of words. According to Hasrat, his specialty lies in the compactness of his style, undoubtedly, he is a good poet and worth of reading, but it would be unjust to compare him with Meer and Sauda. He has explored every trait of literature and has composed many rubaai, qat’aat, ghazaliyaat, masnawi, qaseeadas, tarkeebband and tawareekh. He used to compose hajv, a jilted way of satire too and in that field can be compared with his guide Sauda.


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