by PP Sasindran, published in Mathrubhumi Gulf Feature, July 12 2013
(Online edition – http://digitalpaper.mathrubhumi.com/c/1334112 )
JAIHOON RIVER CONTINUES TO FLOW
UAE-based Mujeeb Rahman aka Jaihoon continue to create wonders with his compassionate words. This Malappuram resident’s English poetry has won readers across continents spread across a variety of technological platforms. This is a journey seeking readership, be it prose or poetry, travelogues or novels, sans the borders of nations and limits of thoughts.
When the young man from Malappuram (Kerala- India) touched the soul of Sufism, his pen-name changed from Mujeeb Rahman to Jaihoon, as he is popularly known now. Jaihoon is the name of a river in Turkistan.
The tales of Sufis never end. And so do the writings of Jaihoon. Jaihoon is now no longer just the name of a river. It also stands for a writer who had embraced the possibilities of Internet much before portals became popular.
Jaihoon crossed the seas from his homeland to Sharjah while still a student. His academic language transformed to English. He translated his Malayalam thoughts into English poems and writing went on to became a meditation for him.
He began publishing his writing on his own website Jaihoon.com. The portal which attracted expatriate Keralites in the beginning later started to become appealing to other communities in Americas, Europe and Middle East.
The influence of Allama Iqbal and Jalaudheen Rumi is easily visible in his first compilation of poems and essays, Egoptics. His second work, Henna for the heart, is a fiery critique on the hypocrisy of modern world where cosmetics and women are brutally commercialized. Jaihoon’s deep investigation and interaction with Allama Iqbal’s thoughts added to Jaihoon’s creative maturity.
His works were subsequently translated to Arabic and Malayalam. Jaihoon also founded an online channel, Jaihoon.tv which contains translations of Friday Khutba and interviews with prominent scholars and leaders.
As readership increased for his website, Jaihoon.com, he recalls an American reader who informed him about cherishing his poems during the Hajj pilgrimage. Jaihoon also remembers receiving a letter from the late sagacious writer, Kamala Surayya, the fragrance of Malayalam literature.
Jaihoon continues his poetic journey; the cool breeze from Jaihoon river whispers a couplet,
O Nightingales who forgot the Garden,
Fall in love once again with the glory of hearts.