Dil Se Jo Baat Nikalti Hai, Asar Rakhti Hai
Par Nahin, Taaqat-e-Parwaaz Magar Rakhti Hai
Iqra Khilji’s poem Khabees, which has set internet on fire, is not just straight from the heart but a cry of rebellion against societal norms set for a women and an assertion of khudi (self) of a confident millennial girl who has ego, desires, flaws but she refuses to adhere to yardsticks made for a woman by the male-dominated society.
Iqra, who has left her hometown Bhopal to pursue a law degree in Gujarat, is neither Gloria Gaynor, who after being betrayed by her man, cryingly says “I Will Survive” nor a hapless Parveen Shakir lamenting “Main sach kahungi magar phir bhi haar jaungi, Woh jhooth bolega aur lajawab kar dega”. In fact, she is a quintessential young Muslim girl who has heeded to Asrarul Haq Majaz’s advice – “Tere mathe pe ye anchal to bahut hi ḳhuub hai lekin. tu is anchal se ik parcham bana leti to achchha tha” – and broke all the shackles that had enslaved women for long.
The reason why she has become the latest rage on internet is that she speaks from her heart, which the girls of her age had always wanted to say but somehow did not know how articulate those thoughts. Urdu, which Iqra has learnt under the feet of her grandfather, became the medium and what added power punch to it is her fiery style of recitation and the confidence she oozes.
Iqra, who is deeply into classical Urdu, says the poem was written on a spur-of-the-moment triggered by a misogynistic comment by someone in the class, and the dormant volcano inside her erupted.
The poem can called be ‘azad nazm’ (not following traditional Urdu shayari metre) but the message it conveys has struck a chord with people because it is in your face without pretension.