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Urdu Academy’s date with laughter

July 2001-C July 2001-A

By Abdus Sattar Ghazali

Laughter is the best medicine. Mr. Tashie Zaheer, President of the Urdu Academy North America , strongly believes  in this conventional wisdom but adds: Laughter is the only medicine that needs no prescription, has no unpleasant taste and costs no money. Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects and a laugh a day keeps the psychiatrist away. To share this wisdom with friends and acquaintances, the Urdu Academy held a special evening with one of the most prominent humorist poet of the South Asia, Mr.  Ghaus Mohiuddin Khuwa Makhuwa Hyderabadi on July 18, 2001 at the  Village Center  of  Stanford University in Palo Alto.

Mr. Abdur Rehman Siddiqi, President Jahan-e-Urdu Foundation, specially flew from Los Angeles to preside over the colorful evening that was hurriedly arranged on two day’s notice because Mr. Khuwa Makhuwa was returning home at the weekend.

At the outset, Mrs. Annie Akhter, host of Watan Ki Awaz Radio program, welcomed Mr. Khuwa Makhuwa on behalf of the Urdu Academy.  Before presenting his humorous poetry, Mr. Khuwa Makhuwa pointed that it was a wrong impression that a humorist cannot write serious poetry. “Rather it will be difficult for a serious poet to compose humorous verses,” he added. To make his point, he recited one “hamd” and one “naat.”July 2001-Ba

In his humorous poetry, Mr. Khuwa Makhuwa’s  method is to take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then to say it with the utmost levity. He believes that a man with a sense of humor doesn’t make jokes out of life; he merely recognizes the ones that are there.

He says:

Me-re ghar me aa-sud-gi is li-ye hai
Koi cheez zorurat se ziyada nahin hai

Khuwa Makhuwa jo har mehfil ki jaan tha
Ae-k arsa hog-ia biwi ko piyara hog-ia

He is also a master of parody:

Bivi ko saut de ya mojhe maut de khuda
Uth-te nahin hain haath mere is dua de baad

Another parody on Bahadur Shah Zafar’s  famous verse:

Umre daraz maang ke la-e the chaar baal
Do aar-zoo me jhar ga-i do intezaar main

On inter marriages the great humorist poet says:

Who jab English main hansti hain
Main Urdu main rota hoon

Mr. Khuwa Makhuwa believes in making the world laugh because it already has enough to cry about. But laughter costs too much when it is purchased by sacrificing decency that is why he laughs with people – not at them.

Zamane ke sata’e hain jo lo-gon ko hansa-te hain
Kureda dil jab unka to dil me hazaro-n gham nikle

Commenting on the “humorous evening”, Mr. Tashie Zaheer, Realtor with Coldwell Banker, and a renowned poet, said “imagination was given to man to compensate for what he is not, and a sense of humor to console him for what he is.” He added that Mr. Khuwa Makhuwa provided us ample opportunity to laugh, laugh and laugh so that we could forget our problems for a while at least.

The colorful evening ended with a special vote of thanks for Ms. Samina Faheem for her extraordinary efforts to make the “instant mushaera” a memorable event. She also presented gifts to Mr. Khuwa Makhuwa, Mr. Abdur Rehman Siddiqi and Mr. Tashie Zaheer in appreciation of their services to the community and the Urdu language.

President of the Urdu Academy, Mr Tashie Zaheer, thanked all the guests for gracing the occasion at this short notice. He announced that the Academy will hold mushaeras every month and the next mushaera will be held on August 10 at the Village Center of Stanford University in Palo Alto. Mr. Fayyazuddin will be the chief guest.

Meanwhile, on July 19th the Urdu Academy North America held a special evening with Mr. Abdur Rehman Siddiqi, President Jahan-e-Urdu Foundation to pay tribute to his efforts to promote the Urdu language in the USA. The evening, held at the residence of Mrs. Annie Akhter, was presided over by Mr. Khuwa Makhuwa Hyderabadi.

In his brief speech, Mr Siddiqi warned that  “our children will be deprived of our rich cultural heritage if they are not taught Urdu.” He said the Urdu Foundation has been established to launch a systematic campaign in California, that has a substantial Urdu speaking population, to teach Urdu to children.

Mr. Siddiqi presented his kalam that drew warm applause for the simplicity of language in presenting his message.

Apne alfaaz tol-ye sahib
Bol un-cha na bol-ye sahib

Lafz ka zakhm bhar nahin pata
Bol methe he bol-ye sahib

Mr. Khuwa Makhuwa thrilled the audience with his farewell verse 

Phir miloon-ga aap se me
Aap ki gar zingagi baaqi ra-hei                                              
(Courtesy Pakistan Link)