Josh Malihabadi: “There Will Never Be Another Like You” (Urdu)

  • Saleem Kidwai


Shabbir Hasan Khan (1896–1982), sometimes described as the Sbair-i inqilab (poet of the revolution), wrote under the pen name Josh Malihabadi (Passion of Malihabad). The British government banned some of his poems. In 1956 he migrated to Pakistan. His last published work is his autobiography, Yaadon Ki Baraat (A Procession of Memories).1 In it he admits to being in love eighteen times, twice with men. Josh wrote his first love poems for S. H., an Eurasian boy, whose tutor, himself attracted to the boy, played go-between. Josh’s second beloved was A. H., a classmate. Josh recalls a train trip they took when they had “a great time” alone in a train compartment. Once, when A. H. tried to test Josh’s love for him, Josh flew into a rage and tried to stab himself.2


Radio Station British Government Great Poet Film Studio Love Poem 
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  1. 1.
    Josh Malihabadi, Yaadon ki Baaraat, (new and enlarged version) (Delhi: Media International, 1997).Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Khaliq Anjum, ed., Josh banam-i Saghar: Josh Malihabadi ke khutut Saghar Nizami ke naam (New Delhi: Monumental Publishers, 1991).Google Scholar
  3. These letters were first published in Z. A. Khan, ed., Saghar 1Vizami; Fan aur Shaksiyat (New Delhi: Saghar Nizami Memor-ial Academy, 1985). All references are to Anjum’s edition unless otherwise stated. I have used this edition because it includes photocopied facsimiles of the letters. The letters as published are not complete. Portions have been censored with the plea that they are “moth-eaten.” The interview, given soon after Josh’s death, was published in installments in Biswin Sadi (1982).Google Scholar
  4. 18.
    Khaliq Anjum, ed., Josh Malihabadi ke Khutut (New Delhi: Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu, Hind, 1998), 34.Google Scholar

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© Ruth Vanita and Saleem Kidwai 2000

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  • Saleem Kidwai

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