A 19TH CENTURY POET OF LAHORE
FIDAI BAIG (MUKUND LALL) KNOWN AS FIDWI LAHORI
Hidden gem of history of Lahore
A Hindu researcher came across a portion of an important Urdu manuscript which listed many poets of that period. Unfortunately the portion was left only with 10 Urdu poets. The rest had been wasted with time. But the unique aspect was that the manuscript was illustrated with actual portraits of the 10 poets. Our concern was with Lahore and we saw the poet Mukund Lall Fidai Baig known as Fidwi Lahori in it. Portraits of Lahoris of the past are very rare in all ways.
In the tradition of Shah Husain of Lahore whose unnatural love for Madho became a cult here for the common people, here too we see Fidai Baig sitting with a male beloved. The nature of that young boy is very apparent. In all ways it looks like a homosexual relation, but then poets were famous just to crow young boys as images for their imaginary passions. The poet had to have a MASHOOQ to vet his talent for love.
Somehow or the other there was demand for images at the end of last century and we see portraits, both real and imaginary being made by a lot of people. But the nature of this portrait, shows it to be a real representation. Perhaps we may carry images of some other poets too. In same period books with Mughal figures abounded too. We look towards a book published in Lahore with a sketch of Baba Hiyadatullah, a Punjabi poet of Lahore on its cover. But then I have seen a thesis of PU with a photograph of the said man, who lived right in front of the house of M.A. Rahman Chughtai artist. Poets galore all the time!
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Lahore bares its soul with the poet Mukund Lall who converted and chose the name Fidai Baig.