By Abdus Sattar Ghazali
Laughter is the best medicine to combat harsh realities of life since, to borrow Mark Twain, against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand. Lord George Gordon Byron advised that always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine. Laughter is now a recognized medical therapy in which a trained person uses laughing techniques to relieve both psychological and physical pain. Laughter Therapist, Enda Junkins, believes: “Laughter helps us roll with the punches that inevitably come our way. The power of laughter is unleashed every time we laugh. In today's stressful world, we need to laugh much more.”
To share this wisdom with friends and acquaintances, Syed Sarwat, an entrepreneur and staunch promoted of Urdu language suggested to the Urdu Academy of North America to hold a special evening with one of the most prominent humorist poet of the South Asia, Ghaus Mohiuddin Ahmed Khamakha who happened to be in the SF Bay Area. The hurriedly arranged event was held on December 4, 2012 at the ornate Chandni Restaurant in Newark/Fremont.
Tellingly, this was Urdu Academy’s second laughter event with Khamakha. The first event was held more than 11 years back in July 2001 at the Village Center of Stanford University in Palo Alto.
At the outset, Tashie Zaheer, President of the Urdu Academy North America, welcomed the distinguished poet and the Urdu enthusiasts who gathered at a very short notice. He also took the opportunity to thank Syed Sarwat for his dedication to the cause of Urdu in America.
Before presenting his humorous poetry, Khamakha 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.”
In his humorous poetry, Khamakha’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.
On his blog Khamakha writes: “I have been writing poetry for the past 65 years and my mission in life is to bring happiness to my fellow human beings who have been through life's ups and downs and wish to release their stress by reading my books, watching my DVDs or Video Streams on the internet, listening to my CDs or by watching me perform live on stage.”
Khamakha, who has published three books, is well known internationally as he has performed in the United States Of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Sultanate Of Oman.
Khamakha, 83, entertained the audience for more than one hour with full rapport with the audience. Humor is not always about what you say but how you say it. Not only Khamakha’s poetry is humorous but his style of delivery is also very eloquent and witty.
Dakhni poetry of Khamakha is also very popular and one of his Dakhni poem - Nai Bole to Sunte Nai - is these days very popular on You Tube. On popular demand he recited this poem: