Born on December 14th 1931, Jaun Elia – Syed Hussain Jaun Asghar Naqvi, hailed from a well-off, intellectual family. Amroha the city of literary giants like Raees Amrohvi and Kamal Amrohvi, was where he was born. This city was well known for producing masterpieces in the Urdu language. Jaun too like the rest grew up to be fluent in English, Arabic, Persian, Hebrew and Sanskrit apart from Urdu. His father Shafiq Hassan Elia was a poet and expert in languages. His brothers Rais Amrohvi and Syed Muhammad Taqi were journalists, all three together taught by their very capable father.
It was in 1957 that Jaun Elia moved and settled in Karachi. He married columnist Zahida Hina which unfortunately did not last long. This was part of why his poetry often gave an insight into his tough life and lonely self. He remained a chronic patient of Tuberculosis from the 1950s to the end of his life, which further worsened the situation for him. He spent his last days in a comfortable Haveli in Karachi and that was where he breathed his last on November 8th, 2002.
Prominent Work of Jaun Elia
His life long search did not produce him someone of his equivalent and thus he was a fan of himself only. Apart from being a poet, he is also known to be an editor and translator. Not all of his work received publication, but amongst those that did, ‘Yaani’ and ‘Lekin’ sold thousands of copies after being published worldwide. Other works of his include translations into Urdu from Arabic and Persian such as ‘Tajird’, ‘Masail e Tajrid’ and ‘Masih e Baghdad’ amongst many. His work although simple managed to touch new topics each time and reach out to the youth to relate to.
- Sukhan Meri Udasee Hai
- Tumharey Aur Mere Darmiyan
- Daricha Haye Kheyal
- Jaun Elia Ki Tamam Ghazlain (parts I-III)
- Inshaye aur Mazaameen
- Masih-i-Baghdad Hallaj
- Hasan bin Sabah
- Farnod, Tajrid
- Rasail Ikhwan al Safa
An Inspiration to Young Poets
Today, many young poets aspire to be like Elia or to copy him in his style, to say the least. Therefore, it was rightly said by Raja Asghar in a feature published in Dawn that ‘it appeared that a lifetime of active participation in the literary and cultural life of the City had made Jaun Elia an icon – a symbol of our literary legacy.’
Jaun Elia manages to cease as one of the very few poets of Urdu language who have had a rebirth on social media. However, he talked of death time and again, another proof that his loneliness and separation from the world was all that his poetry was about. In short, Jaun Elia was more than just a poet, his words are something that strikes you on the right place in your heart, alongside managing to shake you up.