Arjan Tanwani, famously known by his pen name Arjan Hasid, is an Indian Sindhi language poet who has authored seven collections of poems and ghazals. He achieved the Sahitya Akademi Award in Sindhi in the year of 1985 for his collection of ghazals Mero Siji (1984) and was conferred with the Sahitya Akademi fellowship in 2013, the highest honour of the Sahitya Akademi.
Personal Life of Arjan Hasid
Arjan Hasid was born in Karachi city on the day of 7 January 1930 to a Sindhi family. He engaged in Quit India Movement and was a Secretary of Students’s Union at Kandiyaro High School. In the year of 1947, he completed his Matriculation from Bombay University and married his wife, Parpari. After the Partition of India, the family migrated to Ahmedabad, India where he joined the Post and Telegraph Department. In 1989, he retired from the service as Postmaster General from Gondal, India. He worked as an All India Radio artist and was on the Sindhi Advisory Board of Central Sahitya Akademi for a decade. A book, Arjan Hasid: A Study, was published in 1996 based on his life and works. He was Chairman of Gujarat Sahitya Akademi in 2002. In 2004, he participated in 1st Indo-Pak Writers’ conference at New Delhi and visited Sindh, Pakistan as a member of Indo-Pak conference where he attended the “Shah-Sachal-Sami International Seminar” at Karachi and presented a scholarly paper on 18th-century Sindhi poet Sami.
Arjan Hasid began writing poetry in the year of 1956 and later took on the pen name “Hasid”. He was a member and secretary of Sindhi Sahit Sangat, Ahmedabad. Soon, his poems were started getting published in leading magazines. In 1958, he participated in Akhil Bharat Sindhi Sahit Sammelan at Mumbai and All India ‘Mushaira’. His first published book was Suwasan Jee Surhaan (Fragrance of Breath, 1966), a collection of poems and ghazals. His next publication Pathar Pathar Ka’ndaa Ka’ndaa (Every Stone, Every Throne, 1974) was a collection of ghazals. In the year of 1983, he wrote a musical opera, Umar Marueee, based on Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai’s poetry and was composed by Chaman Tapodan. In the year of 1985, his collection of ghazals Mero Siji (The Soiled Son, 1984) fetched him Sahitya Akademi Award. He edited a book based on life and works of poet Hari Daryani ‘Dilgir’, Hujan Hota Hayaat (1986). His next two publications were collections of ghazals, Mogo (The Dullard, 1994) and Unjna (The Thirst, 1999). Hasid also translated a Hindi book Jaishankar Prasad (1995) by Ramesh Chandra Shah. Hasid’s next collection was published in 2006, Saahee Patje (Relax a While). In 2008, he compiled and edited an anthology Aazadia Khaanpoi Sindhi Ghazal (Anthology of Post Independence Sindhi Ghazals). His latest collection, Na le’n Na (No, Not So), issued in 2009, is based on the subject of Post-Partition migration. He worked as a lyricist for 2012 Sindhi film Halyo Aa Putt Actor Thiyan. Many of his ghazals have been set to tune by various composers.
Hasid’s debut issued work Suwasan Jee Surhaan (1966) was appreciated for being “an eclectic fusion of progressive ideas and traditional romance” and noted for invoking “the sentiment of Srinagar”. The Pathar Pathar Ka’ndaa Ka’ndaa (1974) is considered to have contributed to Naee’n Kavita (new wave movement in poetry). His 1985 Sahitya Akademi Award-winning collection Mero Siji introduced Synesthesia to Sindhi poetry and Hasid was lauded for freeing “Sindhi poetry form its pedantry and lexical shackles by employing a refreshing new idiom which greatly exploited the suggestivity and expressivity of the language”. 1994 issued collection Mogo (The Dullard) further improvised synesthesia by experimenting with the language and the senses. In Unjna (1999), he extensively used personification to create “unique sensual world”. For his latest publication Na le’n Na (2009), Hasid expressed modern sensitivity and concerns using traditional poetry forms like Doha, Batis, and Waais.
His initial work was believed to be a progressive poetry. Soon, Hasid started writing romantic poetry which had “a share of painful mixed metaphors”. He changed his writing style with Mero Siji (1984) and avoided any romantic words which were considered as “a rebellion against oneself”. Critic Param Abichandani noted that Hasid uses “poetry as an anodyne” which is “not a cure, but is certainly alleviating”. He also mentioned that Hasid’s new ghazals “talk about us and they talk about only this day, the painful, dark today, and not the yesterdays. His poems are pure psychic automation expressing our thoughts, our feelings”.
Hasid’s ghazals are noted their baritone with “fastidious language” which is different than “silk-feminine” tones of the ghazals. He mentioned that to him writing is “devout austerity a severe penance. It soothes, gratifies, whimpers, speeches, clenches lists and sews lips”
Arjan Hasid won numerous awards for his literary work. He won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1985 for Mero Siji, the Gujarat Sindhi Akademi Gaurav Puraskar in 1998, the Lifetime Achievement Award by National Council for Promotion of Sindhi Language in 2006, the Tagore Literature Award in 2011 for Na le’n Na, and the Lifetime Achievement Award by Akhil Bharat Sindhi Boli Sabha in 2012. In the year of 2013, the Sahitya Akademi fellowship, the highest honour conferred by the Sahitya Akademi, was bestowed upon him.
Arjan Hasid published the following works under his name:
- Suwasan Jee Surhaan (1966)
- Pathar Pathar Ka’ndaa Ka’ndaa (1974)
- Umar Marueee (1983) (Musical opera)
- Mero Siji (1984)
- Hujan Hota Hayaat (1986)
- Mogo (1994)
- Unjna (1999)
- Jaishankar Prasad (1995) (Translated a Hindi book by Ramesh Chandra Shah into Sindhi)
- Saahee Patje (2006)
- Aazadia Khaanpoi Sindhi Ghazal (2008) (Compiled and edited an anthology)
- Na le’n Na (2009)