In the era of 1950, the beautiful city of Nawabs would light up everyday after dusk with shayaris echoing inside the walls of Old India Coffee House in Hazratganj. You could feel its intoxicating effect over entire Lucknow. But unlike the rest, one shayar would be showered with both lingering love and stinging loath. Such magical was his pen that many lady lovers did not even know Majaz Lakhnawi by his real name (Asrar-ul-Haq Majaz).
While Majaz would slap his words to drag Lucknow out from its inebriated state, Piyush Mishra, Majaz’s admirer,would allow the city to sleep a little longer only so that it keeps fuelling his muse (his famous play Sheher Humaara Sota Hai).
If words are casting spells, ripping open a healing wound, or making you quit a boring job then it is quite a possibility they are flowing out of Piyush’s pen.
While he left his mark on the film industry with his piercing performance in movies like Gangs of Wasseypur, Gulaal, Pink, and Rockstar; he also stunned the music industry with his beautiful creations like Husna, Aarambh, Ek Bagal me, and Yeh Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaaye. Majaz’s shayari, “Zamaane se aage toh badhiye Majaz, zamaane ko aage badhaana hai” seems fit for our new age artist.
In talks with KenFolios, the musician, lyricist, theatre artist, and also a Bollywood star, shares some experiences of his life.
You are found inside and not outside
“I may not have garnered a lot of fame but what I found in my journey has overshadowed everything else. Discovering my art and talent was like running into an old friend while walking the path of self-realization. For as long as I remember, it has held on to me, helping me grow, and made a better version of myself. It is like that friend who stays with you like a companion, and you don’t feel the need to have anyone else in life. My journey of looking for myself has never stopped.
“When you stop exploring your talent or pushing your limits, you stop growing. This is why many people fail to attain success because they stop understanding their capabilities.”
I found my calling in acting when I was 25. I stepped into the world of music and writing when I turned 30. And since past eight years, I am trying my hands in every field.
However, the flow of current in me is still strong and undying as I am not done looking out for myself. In this journey of many decades, I have arrived to a point where I have finally discovered my identity. Till a few years back, I was exploring my talents but today, my talent is finding my real self. All along the path, every step that I took has made me more strong and efficient.
Old relation with challenges
When I moved from Gwalior to Delhi to get admission in National School of Drama, I was not sure if it would be a stepping stone for me. My aim was to somehow get out my city and then work relentlessly. Like every person, I faced many challenges in life.
There was a time when I didn’t have a clear view of my future. Everything faded away because of worldly problems but I eventually learned the lessons that life taught me on the way.
After completing my course in NSD, I turned toward the maximum city of Mumbai seeking a place for my art and myself. But that was a time when short-budget movies were rarely and scarcely made. Struggling to find my place, I was left with no money and was on the verge of breakdown. With no other option, I went back to Delhi and started performing in theatre plays.
Finally, in 2003, I stepped in Mumbai again, and this time with better preparation. Even though I was scared of what the city will throw my way but I kept holding on to the best of my talents and my zeal to work harder.
One must always remember that challenges are a part of life. What matters is the ability to overcome them and move ahead. I believe that every person can conquer the obstacles to the best of their capabilities if they keeps pushing instead of giving up.
Always be grounded
Pride is like a magnet, it attracts you. And once you move towards it, it sticks to you so tightly that it is difficult to shrug it off. I have been stuck in such a situation and it did not do me any good. My talent also made me condescending but it was not its fault, it was mine.
We often fail to understand that pride is the beginning of dusk. A dusk that will engulf you in darkness.
There was a time when I became a condescending and short-tempered person. I would often consume alcohol and behave inappropriately, but after a point of time, I changed myself for the good. Pride makes a person undeviating and you fail to move ahead and find opportunities.
I found my way out from all those complexities because there is nothing more important than hardwork. It might take time to reap the fruits of it but you will taste them for sure. I always believed in hardwork and waited for a beautiful morning in Mumbai. People like Tigmanshu Dhulia, Anurag Kashyap, and Imtiaz Ali are a proof that all the inputs, all the efforts you put do yield results. Sometimes, it may take a decade but it happens.
I want to tell all the youngsters to walk away from the complexities in life and push their limits. They will reach their goal one day for sure.“
Here is a shaayari by Majaz that might explain his journey.
“Kya-kya hua humse junoon mein na poochhiye,
Uljhe kabhi zameen se toh kabhi aasmaan se hum.”
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