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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mushairas in Delhi: Poets and Urdu couplets

Almost every day there is a grand 'mushaira' somewhere in the country apart from numerous small ones in the towns, however, Delhi being the capital plays host to a number of important mushairas.

The major mushairas in the national capital recently were organised by Urdu Academy, Anjuman Farogh Urdu and Aalami Urdu Trust-Ghalib Institute. It is still not rare to hear couplets that stay with your for sometime and can lift your mood instantly.

Eminent poet Shahid Meer is always a hit among the poetry aficionados and here he struck chord with auidence when he recited in his unique style.

KhamoshiyoN ko rakha hai mizaaj meN shaamil
Ham is tarah bhii hue ehtejaaj* meN shaamil [ehtejaaj: Protest]

Veteran Zubair Rizvi's ghazals and nazms were intense:

visaal paa gaye sab murshidaan-e-kuu-e-juunuuN
malaal ye hai ki dahliz-e-aashiqaaN bhii gayii

Saleem Shahzad's couplets were also liked, especially when his ghazal reached this couplet:

hamaari raah meN hai gar-che Kufa-o-Farat
pukaartaa hai magar shahar-e-Alif Layla bhii
[Kufa=Al-Kufah City, Farat=Euphrates river]

And what would you say about Iqbal Ash'har's couplet:

Use bhii Shah ne musaahib bana liya apna
Ek aadmii se tavaqqo thii lab-kushaii kii
[He, who was expected to speak up, also became the ruler's stooge and sewed his lips]

For decades Shahpur Rasool has been among the most innovative poet.

mujhe bhii lamha-e-hijrat ne kar diyaa taqsiim
nigaah ghar kii taraf hai, qadam safar kii taraf

Sironj-born Khalid Mahmood, who is today a big name in Urdu poetry, recited a beautiful ghazal. Andjustice can't be done to it by producing just a couplet here.

baRaa naadaan hai, bahkaa huaa hai
ye bandaa Khuld ka bigRaa huaa hai

Another veteran poet who is a master in his own right, Bashar Nawaz, avoid popular gatherings but whenever he does attend a mushaira, his presence brings gravity to the programme.

yahii chehraa, yahii aaNkheN, yahii rangat nikle
jab koii Khwaab taraashuuN, terii muurat nikle

Shams Ramzi, about whom Shair recently published a special issue, is a critic and poet in equal measure. One couplet alone can give you an indiaction of his poetic calibre.

farishto! aao merii darsgaah meN baiTho
bayaan-e-rutba-e-insaaN karnaa chaahtaa huuN

However, romanticism isn't dead either though Urdu poetry touches contemporary issues.

basii huii hai yeh kaisii khushbuu mujh meN
shaayad aa kar baiTh gayaa hai tuu mujh meN
[Shams Ramzi]

hazaaroN taare haiN terii hatheliyoN meN magar

tuu mere ghar se magar chaaNd kyuun churaata hai
[Shaista Yusuf]

ham to mustaqbil kii khaatir jab bhii sanjiida hue
zindgii ke masle kuchh aur pechiida hue
[Shahbaz Nadeem]

And a couplet that challenges the self-styled master poets' [read veterans or asaatiza] poetic imagination:

kohna-mashqi hi hasiiN sher kii zaamin to nahiiN
shaaKh-e-kohna pe bamushkil gul-e-tar lagtaa hai
[Irfan Jamali]

Some couplets evoke thunderous applause but are later forgotten. Others are jotted down and travel though emails and SMSs across the globe. You may not like the couplet which I find astonishing or a ghazal which you like may not appeal to me, as it depends on one's mood, mental state and certain other factors, however, poetry regales and relaxes at the same time.

Just a couple of months back, legendary Makhmoor Saeedi rendered a ghazal which brought tears to the eyes of the audience. And today Makhmoor is no longer with us. A few weeks back he also departed, leaving Delhi and Urdu poetry poorer.

bujh gayii dil ki roshnii raah dhuvaaN dhuvaaN huii
subah chale kahaaN se the, shaam hameN kahaaN huii

[Makhmoor Saeedi]