Poets regale Urdu lovers at TUF mushaira

Poets, guests and organizers pose for a group photo at the poetry evening in Jeddah on Thursday.

Poets, guests and organizers pose for a group photo at the poetry evening in Jeddah on Thursday.

Two moving poems, capturing the pain and pathos of the Muslim world in the face of the Israeli onslaught in Palestine, were the highlights of an interesting poetry evening organized by the Telangana United Forum (TUF) in Jeddah on Thursday.

Both poems — one by Aalami Urdu Markaz President Athar Nafees Abbasi (“Jinke bache lahu me nahaye huwe … Raushni likhte likhte abhi so gaye”) and other by veteran writer and journalist Muhammad Mujahid Syed (“Koyi to dasht-e-haulnaak me meri sada sune”) — drew loud applause from the select gathering of Urdu aficionados.

Through his evocative and powerful lines, Abbasi talked of the killing of innocent Palestinian children and the historic and religious importance of Jerusalem, the holy city that contains the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site which is referred to as Qibla Al-Ula or Qibla-e-Awwal because it was, in the earliest days of Islam, the original place which Muslims faced when praying.

The evening saw an interesting blend of serious and humorous poetry. Some of the lesser-known poets, such as Faisal Tufail, Sharafat Chandpuri, Afsar Barabankwi and Abdul Rahim Shad Bijnori, garnered fulsome compliments with their meaningful lines. Afsar Barabankvi, in particular, was very impressive.

Among the serious poets, the experienced Anwar Ansari and the seasoned Mahtab Qadr, were very
popular. They were frequently asked to repeat their couplets. One particular couplet by Ansari — “Jitne bhi tere gham hain wo sab baant le mujh se/Kab tujh se bichad jaaun ye andaza nahi hai” — delighted everyone because of its universal appeal.

Mujahid Syed chaired the session. In addition to his fine poem on Palestine, he delivered a beautiful ghazal whose last couplet, called “maqta,” became a great favorite. It was centered around the tragedy of expatriates who yearn all their lives to return to their homeland only to realize that the foreign land is far better than their own. “Watan me aake pachtaayen hain Saiyyed/Kabhi pardes ko kosa tha pehle.”

The special guest at the event was Kaleem Zia, an academic and a poet from Mumbai, India. His couplets were received with full attention. His four lines on why he considered teaching a passion and not a profession drew massive approval.

Amid the serious poets was Iqbal Bailan, from Nizamabad, India. He was an instant hit with his humorous couplets. His light and punching takes on a man’s bittersweet relationship with his wife and his in-laws sent the audience into peals of laughter.

For instance, Bailan said we should pray for the safe return of a man because he is going to visit his in-laws! Then he requested the listeners to pray for the safety of his maternal uncle. Why? Because he is getting married for the fourth time! “Ja rahe hain wo susuraal ko/Lautne ki duwa dijiye; Dard sar ka badha dijiye/Ek ghazal phir suna dijiye; Aqd chautha hai maamu ka aaj/Zindagi ki duwa dijiye.”

Dr. Irshad Ahmad, consul, press, information and culture, at the Indian Consulate in Jeddah, was the chief guest. He congratulated the organizers, especially TUF President Siadath Ali Khan, Vice President Mahtab Qadr and General Secretary Farooq Ahmad, for organizing such a memorable event.

Nasir Burney Beg, himself an accomplished poet, did an admirable job of anchoring the event in keeping with the best traditions of mushaira.

Prominent among the attendees were well-known Urdu-Persian literary critic Fizaur Rahman, Urdu Academy President Syed Jamal Qadri, Khak-e-Taiba Trust President Ahmed Abdul Hakeem, community leaders Bader Ansari and Syed Sharique Ali, Saudi-Indian Business Network’s Memon A. Kader Sait and Urdu enthusiasts Asimuddin Ansari Razi, Khaled Kidwai and Aseem Haneef.

Launched two months ago, TUF is a nonpolitical, nonprofit forum of and for expatriates from the newly-created state of Telangana. The organization’s primary aim is to act as a bridge between the state’s new government and non-resident Indians from Telangana.


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