Dear friends, we have discovered a Poet on Campus. His name is Muhammad Tahir Naeem and he is the author of three books on Punjabi Poetry. He is currently a final year Evening Programme LLB student and he is also working in High Court. We met him and conducted an interview with him in Professor Shabnam Ishaque’s office.We think of him as an inspiration as he is doing so many things simultaneously and at the same time excelling at everything he does which we find quite commendable. Please get in touch with us if you have a talent or an achievement and we will interview you and publish your story here.
The Legal Maxim: Where are you from?
Muhammad Tahir Naeem: I belong to Chorista Mian Khan, Tehsil Depalpur, District Okara while now-a-days I am serving as Personal Assistant in the Court of Hon’ble Mr. Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, Lahore High Court, alongside studying in LL.B.-III in Pakistan College of Law, Lahore.
The Legal Maxim: When did you started writing poetry?
Muhammad Tahir Naeem: I remember writing poetry when I was in the sixth or seventh class and then steadily continued writing from then on. Since 1997 till now I regularly write down ideas which come upon me.
The Legal Maxim: What sort of things did you write about when you began?
Muhammad Tahir Naeem: From the very beginning I remember that I wrote some Ghazals in the Urdu language and thereafter I was attracted towards the Punjabi Language. Since then I have regularly been writing Hamd, Naat, Kafyan, Ghazals, Nazam, Dohra, Songs, Mahya, etc.
The Legal Maxim: Now, after so many years, can you say whether there are any themes which particularly attract you as a poet, things that you feel you would like to write about?
Muhammad Tahir Naeem: Well, it varies. I started off with light topics like poetry for children, but later on I started to become inclined towards expressing myself on bitter realities of life and this trend has continued.
The Legal Maxim: What do you most like writing about?
Muhammad Tahir Naeem: As I said earlier, on every topic from where I feel pain, which can be personal or public suffering.
The Legal Maxim: What is your reason for writing in Punjabi?
Muhammad Tahir Naeem: You see every person tends to analyze in his mother tongue and I am no exception to this. Since I have sufficient command over the Punjabi language hence it pleases me to express my ideas in their most original form for people with whom I grew up and live with. This also helps me to convey my feelings as a poet to them.
The Legal Maxim: And as a poet, do you have a great and keen sense of the historic?
Muhammad Tahir Naeem: Yes. It is often reflected in my verses as such.
The Legal Maxim: Do your poems tend to come out of books rather than out of your own life?
Muhammad Tahir Naeem: Of course, a genuine work tends to arise from a poets personal experience coupled with observations. However, work of other poets does also inspire.
The Legal Maxim: What about writers who have influenced you, who have meant a lot to you?
Muhammad Tahir Naeem: I feel I am inspired by Syed Waris Shah, Syed Sher Muhammad Gillani, Malik Ghulam Farid Shaukat, etc. They are legends.
The Legal Maxim: Do you think it is an essential ingredient of a good poem that it should be able to be read aloud effectively?
Muhammad Tahir Naeem: Yes. It is an essential ingredient of a good poem that the same must be read aloud because reciting makes far more of an impact than reading.
The Legal Maxim: Or to sing to a group?
Muhammad Tahir Naeem: Yes, as I said a good poem has this feature as well. Most of my Ghazals, songs and Kafyan have been sung by different singers in a recording form.
The Legal Maxim: Setting aside poetry for a moment, are there other things you would like to write, or that you have written?
Muhammad Tahir Naeem: Other than poetry I have not written anything so far but one never know what will come later in ones life.
The Legal Maxim: Do you find yourself much in the company of other writers, or poets?
Muhammad Tahir Naeem: Yes.
The Legal Maxim: Is there anything else you would rather have done than writing poetry? Because this is something, obviously, which takes up a great deal of one’s private life, if one’s going to succeed at it. Do you ever have any lingering regrets that you didn’t do something else?
Muhammad Tahir Naeem: No, by grace of Allah Almighty, I am successfully employed with the Lahore High Court and persuing my legal studies.
The Legal Maxim: But is it the writing of poetry which has been a great satisfaction to you in your life?
Muhammad Tahir Naeem: Yes a lot.
The Legal Maxim: Do you read your poetry out to your children and your family?
Muhammad Tahir Naeem: Yes. Since they know my interest sometimes they do ask me to read it to them and sometimes I do it on my own as well.
The Legal Maxim: How many publications do you have so far?
Muhammad Tahir Naeem: Up till now I am author of three books. My first book is “Tahng Mahi Di” which was published in the year 2001 and consists of “Kafyan” in respect of my “Murshad” Saeen Syed Muhammad Arif Shah Gillani, Khoh Pak Sharif, Distt: Okara. Thereafter my second book consisting of Punjabi Ghazals namely “Kandyan Wich Gulab” was published in the year 2003. And now my third book namely “Sochan De Wanjaray” has been published in September, 2013 which also consists of “Punjabi Ghazals”.
The Legal Maxim: Have you received acknowledgments from literary circles?
Muhammad Tahir Naeem: Yes. My book “Kandyan Wich Gulab” was given an Award by “Ahle-Harf-e-Nawa (Pakistan), Renala Khurd, Distt:Okara” and another Award was presented to me by “Idara Zoq-e-Sukhan, Basirpur, Distt:Okara”. My present publication “Sochan De Wanjaray” has been circulated amongst the Hon’ble Judges of the Lahore High Court, Lahore including Hon’ble Chief Justice with an appreciating letter of His Lordship Mr. Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah for which I am highly indebted to His Lordship. Most of my Ghazals have been published in the daily “Khabran Ikhbar” and also in the monthly “Tarinjan”, Punjab Institute of Language, Art and Culture, Lahore.
The Legal Maxim: Coming to your professional work, how did you start your working career?
Muhammad Tahir Naeem: During my study, I was appointed as a Stenographer in the Sessions Court, Pakpattan Sharif and then transferred to Sessions Division, Okara. At present I have been serving as a Personal Assistant in Lahore High Court. In the intervening period of my daily work I am also completing my law degree.
The Legal Maxim:Best things about studying at Pakistan College of Law?
Muhammad Tahir Naeem:This institution has been declared as a “Centre of Excellence” in legal education in Pakistan by Asian Development Bank and after experiencing it I feel this status has been rightly bestowed. I can see that choice of an institution does play an important role in one’s life. Pakistan College of Law has not only great and highly qualified faculty but also courteous support staff. Here I would like to express my gratitude to all my teachers particularly Prof. Hamayoun Ihsan Sb., Anwaar Hussain and Adil Aftab Kashmiri. The period which I have spent in Pakistan College of Law in the company of faculty, as well as, my class-fellows is a memorable time in my life.