Tilok Chand Mehroom (1 July 1887 – 6 January 1966) was an Indian Urdu poet who was admired not only for his writings but also for his simple lifestyle and evident deep dislike of religious discrimination.
There were no libraries in the schools of North West Frontier Province when Mehroom was growing up. With no formal training or instruction and very limited access to literary works, it is remarkable that he developed a love of poetry and achieved acclaim as a poet himself. He found, read eagerly and was inspired by poetry collections of Mirza Ghalib & Mohammad Ibrahim Zauq during his 4 years in Bannu. He wrote simple couplets whilst still at primary school, but it was in Bannu that he started taking his writing seriously. He composed a nazm entitled Khidmat-e-Validain when he was about 12/13 years old. It earned him the praise not only from the Divisional Inspector of Schools but also from the Director of Education.
By the time he finished his studies at Diamond Jubilee School (Bannu), his poems were being published in Makhzan (Lahore) and Zamana (Kanpur). Once he moved to Rawalpindi, he became a frequent invitee to the annual mushairas organised by Khwaja Abdul Raheem in Lyallpur (now Faisalabad). Regulars to these mushairas included Jigar Moradabadi and Hafeez Jullundhri among others.
After the death of his beloved wife, Mehroom wrote poems reflecting his disenchantment with the ephemerality of life and the instability of relationships. The most famous of these is Ashk-e-Hasrat (part of his collection entitled Toofan-e-Gham).
Mehroom's first major publication was Ganj-e-Ma'ani which contained a rich variety of 175 nazms as well as many rubais, qasidas, sehras, and nohas. Poets and literary critics like Niaz Fatehpuri, Muhammad Iqbal, Firaq Gorakhpuri, Kaifi Azmi, Josh Malsiani and Ejaz Hussain have admired his poetry.
Honours and awards
The annual Sahitya Samaroh (literary convention) of the Government of Punjab, India dedicated its 1962 session to Mehroom for his "services to literature" and presented him with a robe of honour, a testimonial and a purse. (Forty-five years earlier, the contemporary Government of Punjab had awarded him a cash prize for his service to literature.).
Ganj-e-Maani (Latest edition published by Mehroom Memorial Literary Society, New Delhi, India – 1995)
Rubaiyat-e-Mehroom (Latest edition published by Mehroom Memorial Literary Society, New Delhi, India – 1995)
Nairang-e-Maani (Latest edition published by Mehroom Memorial Literary Society, New Delhi, India – 1996)
Karwan-e-Watan (Published by Maktaba-e-Jamia Ltd, New Delhi, India – 1960)
Shola Nawa (Published by Maktaba-e-Jamia Ltd, New Delhi, India – 1965)
Bahar-e-Tifli (Published by Maktaba-e-Jamia Ltd, New Delhi, India – 1965)
Bachchon Ki Duniya (Published by Maktaba-e-Jamia Ltd, New Delhi, India – 1967)
Maharishi Darshan (Published by Aiwan-e-Adab, Lahore, British India – 1937)