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|Mohsin Zaidi |
Saiyed Mohsin Raza Zaidi|
10 July 1935
Bahraich, United Provinces, British India
3 September 2003 (aged 68)|
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Occupation||Urdu poet, Indian Economic Service bureaucrat|
|Education||M.A. in economics|
|Alma mater||Allahabad University|
Early life and Education
Saiyed Mohsin Raza Zaidi (Urdu: سید محسن رضا زیدی ) was born on 10 July 1935 in Bahraich, a town in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. His parents were Saiyed Ali Raza Zaidi and Sughra Begum.
Zaidi attended the Islamia School in Pratapgarh, K. P. Hindu High School, and Government High School through the 1940s. He started writing Urdu poetry in 1950 at the age of 15 while in high school in Pratapgarh. He attended Maharaj Singh Inter College, Bahraich, from 1951 to 1952.
He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature, history and economics from Lucknow University in 1954, and a Master's degree in economics from Allahabad University in 1956.
Zaidi joined the Indian Economic Service in 1956 and worked with the Government of India until his retirement in 1993. He held positions with the Central Government in the ministries of chemicals and fertilizers, labour, agriculture, and in the Planning Commission. He retired as a senior economist in the Senior Administrative Grade of Joint Secretary. As part of government assignments, he toured Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Algeria.
Zaidi was initially impressed by Naazish Pratapgarhi, yet his major inspiration came from Mir Taqi Mir, Momin Khan Momin, Mirza Ghalib, Haider Ali Aatish, Mir Anis, Daagh Dehlvi and Mir Dard. Among the neoclassical and modern poets his favourites were Muhammad Iqbal, Firaq Gorakhpuri, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, and Jigar Moradabadi.
Kumar Pashi said that Zaidi was among the few poets who used traditional ghazal to express new ideas. Makhmoor Saeedi, a contemporary poet and Urdu critic, praised Zaidi's mastery at creating an impression while writing in simple and unadorned language. He noted Zaidi's themes: "integrity of character, opposition to all tyrannical powers, belief in retribution for one's actions, search for virtues in human nature, [and] belief in the victory of truth."
According to Shaarib Rudawlvi, Zaidi's work "had a freshness of thought, intense feelings, and dexterity of expression." He particularly noted the "spontaneity" of Zaidi's poetry which gracefully moved from one idea to another. He wrote that Zaidi's greatest quality was maintaining his unique style instead of bowing to the pressures of short-lived literary movements.
- Shehr-e-Dil (1961)
- Rishtah-e-Kalaam (1978)
- Mataa-e-Aakhir-e-Shab (1990)
- Baab-e-Sukhan (2000)
- Jumbish-e-Nok-e-Qalam (2005)
- Interview of Mohsin Zaidi broadcast on All India Radio in June, 2003, that also appeared in Jumbish-e-Nok-e-Qalam, published in 2005
- Foreword to Baab-e-Sukhan by Gyan Chand Jain, published in 2000
- Review by Kumar Paashi in Rishta-e-Kalaam, published in 1978
- Foreword to Mataa-e-Aakhir-e-Shab by Makhmoor Saeedi, published in 1990
- Foreword to Jumbish-e-Nok-e-Qalam by Dr. Shaarib Rudawlvi, published in 2005
- NewsEvents, The Annual of Urdu Studies, University of Wisconsin
- Muhsin Zaidi 1935 – A Date List of Urdu Literature – by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi & Frances W. Pritchett
- Muhsin Zaidi 1935–2003 – List of Urdu Authors: Urdu Youth Forum
- Mention of 29th issue of Irteqa on life & works of Mohsin Zaidi
- Vichardhara – excerpts from a mushaira
- A Ghazal of Mohsin Zaidi