|Born||Abbas Abdulali Vasi
22 February 1917
Surat, Gujarat, India
|Died||19 October 1983
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Mareez, born Abbas Abdulali Vasi (Gujarati: અબ્બાસ અબ્દુલઅલી વાસી, 22 February 1917 – 19 October 1983), was a Gujarati poet, mainly popular for his Ghazals. He is popularly known as Ghalib of Gujarat. He left studies in young age and started working in rubber shoe factory. Having interested in poetry, he took up journalism but remained financially unstable throughout his life. He wrote Gazals published in collections but many of his works remained uncredited which he sold during his financial difficulties. His popularity escalated after his death.
Abbas Vasi was born on 22 February 1917 in Pathanwada area of Surat, British India to Abdulali and Amatulla Vasi. His father was a teacher in Madrasah Taiyabiyah School, Surat. His was third among eleven siblings. His mother died of tuberculosis when he was young. He studied only till second grade as he was not interested in studies. He used to go to the railway station and what engines of the trains. His father was a teacher and as he saw that young Abbas is not interested in studies he discontinued his studies and sent him to Mumbai to work.
From young age, Abbas was interested in Marsiyas as his elder sister Rukhaiya used to recite Marasiyas written by Urdu poets, Anis and Dabeer. He wrote his first poem on the first birthday of his cousin when he was fourteen years old. He used to go to Zhapa Bazar in Surat where the group of people interested in Urdu and Gujarati Gazals gathered on regular basis. He met Ameen Azad (1913-1992) there whom he acknowledged as his teacher or Ustad. Amin Azad named him, Mareez.
He went to Mumbai in 1932 and started working at Universal Rubber Works which manufactured rubber shoes. Though his earnings were not good he used to spend them on books. He fell in love with his cousin. His marriage proposal was rejected by her father because of his financial condition and habits of smoking and drinking. He was deeply shocked by the incident.
He left the rubber shoe factory and started working as journalist. He also briefly worked as a salesman of bookseller, Shrafali and Sons, Bhindi Bazar, Bombay. He had edited a special edition of Gulshan-e-Dawoodi. He worked briefly with Vatan and Matrubhumi dailies. Vatan stopped publishing following the Partition of India. He published Azaan, Khushbu and Umeed magazines but they were stalled due to financial constraints. His friend and poet, Asim Randeri helped him and he presented his first ever Mushayara, recitation of Gazals, on All India Radio in Mumbai in 1936. He also worked in Leela, a magazine published by Randeri. He married his wife Sona in 1946 and uncle of his wife, Salehbhai Abdulkader introduced him to Indian Independence Movement and he participated in Quit India Movement in 1942.
In 1960, He joined as an editor of Insaaf, a weekly of Muslim Dawoodi Bohra community which helped him stabilize financially. He was appointed by Sayyedna Taher Saifuddin, Dā'ī al-Mutlaq of the Dawoodi Bohra. After death of Sayyedna, the weekly stalled so he returned to freelance journalism. In 1964, he was infected with tuberculosis and was admitted to Sarvoday Hospital, Ghatkopar for two months with monetary help of his admirer Pravin Pandya. In 1965, a wealthy person who wanted be poet hired Mareez to write poems in his own pen name Tabeeb. The book Dard was published in September 1966 causing uproar in literary circles and his admirers resulting in its withdrawn from the market.
He confined himself to his home in last two years. He was knocked down by speeding auto rickshaw while crossing road just outside his home on 13 October 1983. He had multiple fractures in thigh. He was admitted to hospital in Ghatkopar, Mumbai and underwent successful surgery on 19 October 1983. He died on the same day following heart attack in the hospital. He was buried the next day at Kurla Dawoodi Bohra Kabrastan in Zarimari area.
His pen name, Mareez, literally mean "a sick man". He wrote some Nazm and many Gazals. In his financially difficult times, he sold his creation for which he was not credited. His first collection of Gazals, Nazm and Muktak; Aagman was published in 1975. He dedicated it to Pravin Pandya. His second collection Nakshaa was published posthumously in 1984. Some of his poetry is published in Disha (1980) along with others. His complete works, Samagra Mareez, was published by his son in 2012. It was edited by Rajesh Vyas 'Miskin'. His religious poetry were published in religious and social magazines. Some of them were later anthologized in Akidat (1991) edited by his son Mohsin Vasi and poet Gulamabbas 'Nashad'.
He also partially translated Urdu poetry, Siqva Jawab E Siqva by Iqbal in Gujarati. He had also written two books, Mazloom-e-Karbala and Hurr dedicated to Imam Hussain which are not available in publication.
Raeesh Maniar published his biography titled Mareez : Astitva Ane Vyaktitva. It was later adapted into play directed by Manoj Shah. Jignesh Mevani, a social activist from Gujarat, has done a scholarly work on the life and works of Mareez.
- Raeesh Maniar (January 2001). Mareez : Astitva Ane Vyaktitva : Life Story and selected poems of Mareez (in Gujarati). Ahmedabad: Image Publications. ISBN 978-81-7997-712-5. OCLC 59530879.
- Ramesh Purohit (2008). Mareezni Gazal (in Gujarati). Navbharat Sahitya Mandir. ISBN 978-81-8440-148-6.
- Nitin Vadgama (2006). Gazal Sarjak Mareez (in Gujarati). Navbaharat Sahitya Mandir. OCLC 85765657.
- Chandrakant Bakshi (22 May 2015). "ગુજરાતના વિરાટ ઉદ્યાનનું અભિન્ન અંગ દાઉદી ગુલશન". Khabarchhe.com (in Gujarati). Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- "કદમોથી પણ વિશેષ થકાવટ હતી 'મરીઝ' મંઝિલ ઉપરથી પાછા ફરેલી નિગાહમાં (છપ્પનવખારી)". Sandesh (in Gujarati). 18 February 2015. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- Rahi, Dr. S. S. (April 2016). Parikh, Dhiru, ed. "અબ્બાસ વાસી 'મરીઝ'" [Abbas Vasi 'Mareez']. Kumar (in Gujarati). No. 1060. Ahmedabad: Kumar Trust. pp. 7–10.
- "સવિશેષ પરિચય: મરીઝ". Gujarati Sahitya Parishad (in Gujarati). Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- "Mareez The Poet : Life Sketch". :: Mareez The Poet. 19 October 2009. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- "મુકત મીરાં, મુકત મરીઝ". World News (in Gujarati). 24 August 2009. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- Indian Writing Today. Nirmala Sadanand Publishers. 1967. p. 27.
- Nagendra Kr Singh (2001). Encyclopaedia of Muslim Biography: I-M. A.P.H. Publishing Corporation. pp. 472–473. ISBN 978-81-7648-233-2.
- editorial, MTG. "Mareez Gujarati Play/Drama". www.MumbaiTheatreGuide.com. Retrieved 7 June 2015.
- Kothari, Urvish (2016-08-15). "Jignesh Mevani: An introduction to the brilliant face of the Gujarat Dalit agitation". Scroll.in. Retrieved 2017-04-13.