Urdu Poetry Fest Carries Forward Bonhomie Between India and Pakistan

Syed Faisal Ali, Arab News
Publication Date: 
Tue, 2005-05-31 03:00

JEDDAH, 31 May 2005 — Cutting across geographical boundaries, poets and audience from India and Pakistan participated in a show of solidarity for the cause of Urdu. They in the process carried forward the bonhomie between the two nations to the field of poetry as the poets celebrated peace and brotherhood in Urdu couplets.

Four “shayars” (poets) from India and three from Pakistan, including one woman, rendered choicest couplets at the mushaira organized by the Khak-e-Taiba Trust here on Thursday night.

The group had an “unlikely companion” in Pakistani Consul General Masood Akhtar as a poet, who recited one of his compositions.

However, two prominent Pakistani poets, Peerzada Qasim, Professor Anwar Masood and three others, Jauhar Kanpuri, Shabina Adeeb and Mukhtar Yusufi did not attend, disappointing the audience.

Ghazal, the traditional genre of Urdu poetry, was the main feature of the mushaira. Rais Ansari, a senior Indian poet of considerable standing, received singular appreciation when he recited his ghazal, “Ab ghazal ki koi taqdeer nahin ho sakta; tu sukhanwar hai magar Mir nahin ho sakta.” Rais’ recitation of “jo dekh ker hansta tha hum jaise faqeeron ko; shohrat ki bulandi se utra to bahut roya,” set the tone for the evening.

An emerging voice in contemporary Urdu poetry Tariq Sabzwari from Pakistan read some striking poems. His couplet “Aya to bar-bar bulawa amir ka; humse magar ho na saka sauda zamir ka,” was well-received by the audience.

The compositions of the poetess from Pakistan, Najma Khan, also evoked good response. Her couplet “jinhen mujhse yahi gila raha ke main beniyaz-e-khuloos hoon; mere gird rasm-o-riwaj ka daira bhi to dekhte,” was impressive.

Well-known name in Urdu poetry from India ­— Munawwar Rana, stole the thunder on the night with his impeccable content and delivery. “Samaji bebasi shehar ko maqtal banati hai; kabhi Naxal banati hai; kabhi Chambal banati hai,” was the mirror of today’s social inequality and injustice seen in India.

His another ghazal, “kayee gharon ko nigalne ke baad aati hai; madad to shehar ke jalne ke baad ati hai,” spoke volumes about the failure of the government apparatus during communal riots.

Professor Sehr Ansari, a well-known critic and poet from Pakistan, made an impact with his varied compositions. “Yahi hai waza hamari; yahi hamari shanakht hai; kabhi suna hai parindo ko per badalte huye,” highlighted the simplicity and pride of a poet.

Sehr’s ghazal “Jise guzar gaye hum bare hunar ke sath; woh zindagi thi humari; hunar na tha koi,” reflected his genius.

The mushaira reached its cresendo when Qaisar-ul-Jafri, a living legend of Urdu poetry in India, came up to render some of his best ghazals. “Dhoondhti phirti hain maazi ke khandhar mein ankheen; kisi pathar pe tera naam bacha ho shayd,” was reflective of his romanticism.

Jafri, who presided over the session, recited his all-time hit and mesmerizing ghazal “deewaron se mil ker rona achcha lagta hai; hum bhi pagal ho jayenge aisa lagta hai.” On demand.

The expatriates were touched deeply when Jafri recited “akhri waqt mein yaad ayeen watan ki galiyan; aao dekhen koi darwaza khula ho shayad.”

The couplet brought to voice the feelings of hundreds of expats who yearn for their motherland while earning their livelihood in foreign lands.

Sikander Hyat Gadbad, a humorist from India, lent some light moments to the evening.

Majid Deobandi, who anchored the evening’s proceedings, reached out to the audience with his ghazal “lakh khauf tari ho zalzaloon ke aane ka; silsila na chorenge hum bhi ghar banane ka.”

Earlier, India’s Consul General Ausaf Sayeed lit the candle to open the mushaira and KTT Secretary Badr Ansari welcomed the guests.

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