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Shoonya Palanpuri (Ali Khan Usmaan Khan Baloch) (1922-1987)

Born on 19th December, 1922. in Leelapur village of Ahmedabad district, Ali Khan Usmaan Khan Baloch was known to Gujarati poetry lovers  as ‘Shoonya Palanpuri’. He is truly one of the stars of Gujarati literature (ghazal sahitya).


Ever since his childhood, he often faced pain, depression, frustration and tears, emotions which find a place in his poems and ghazals.


“Kya Sunaaun?

Kya Sunoge?

Daastaane Zindagi?

Ghamzadon Kaa talkh hota hai bayan-e Zindagi.”


“Zindagee mein jeeke mara jaanaa ‘rumaanee’ kuch nahee.
Dar – haqeekat mar ke jee jaanaa hai shaan e zindagee.”


Shoonya’s qualities were apparent from a tender age and he began writing small rhymes as early as when he was studying in Standard 3. By the age of 16, in 1938, he was already writing full ghazals. As he continued writing, his ghazals got more and more mature in form and language.


These have been published in several collections. Shoonya nu Sarjan, Shoonya nu Visarjan, Shoonya naa avashesh, Shoonya nu smaarak, Shoonyanee Smurti, Shoonya no Vaibhav, Khaiyaam nee Rubaiyaat, etc are his collections.


He was a scholar of Urdu and Farsi languages. Apart from being an expert ghazalkar, he was an expert translator, critic, journalist and creative writer. His translation from Farsi into Gujarati of `Rubaiyaat of Oomar Khayyam’ was well appreciated by literary critics.


Generally he wrote on secularism and about respect for all religions -- Hindu Philosophy, mysticism of Vedaant or tenets of Islam often found mention in his poems. He presented complex subjects with obvious simplicity in his ghazals, nazms and muktaks.


“Maanavi  Chhun, mujh kalevar Kendra chhe…………….

Chhe naajar Geeta hruday  Qurran vaani ved chhe.”


Shoonya had the ability to face difficult situations without ever getting frustrated or depressed. He always maintained a positive and lively approach to life



He said:


            “Jeevan maa Koi dashaa ne nahee Kharaab Kaho.

            Kamal ne Pank naa saundarya no jawab kaho.”


After 65 years of eloquent contributions with his pen, Shoonya Palanpuri finally bid farewell to the world on March 17, 1987.

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