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Urdu Foundation’s Mushaira Magic in the Silicon Valley - II

Ahmar Shehwar pointed out that not only North America has an indigenous crop of talented Urdu poets but a number of prominent Urdu poets have migrated from India and Pakistan. However, these poets, who commanded high esteem and respect in their native land don’t get that much attention in their adopted homeland. Urdu Foundation will endeavor to highlight these personalities to the Urdu lovers in North America. Shehwar said that his Foundation’s mushaira was a first step in this direction.

Ahmar Shehwar went on to say that there are a number of major organizations here which occasionally hold international mushairas and invite poets from India or Pakistan but poets from North America are often neglected. He pledged that the Urdu Foundation would try to fill this gap.

Poetry is usually considered a light entertainment but a poet/poetess cannot remain indifferent to  the serious incidents happening in the society. This was best reflected in the poetry of Humaira Rehman and Nasim Farogh which subtly portrayed the strife and target killings in Karachi.

Humaira Rehman says:Mushaera 9-26-2010 Humaira Rehman

Kisi bhee sane,he ke muntazir reh,ne lage heiN
Ye ham taareekh ke kis mod par rehne lage heiN

Purani ek hijrat ke taqa,azouN ke mutabiq
Musafir umr saari dar-ba-dar reh-ne lage heiN


Nasim Farogh says:Mushaera 9-26-2010 Maseem Farogh

Kab-tak-Aazaadi-ki qeemat ham adaa karte raheiN
Aur sadqa kitni naslouN kaa utara jaega

Khatm kardo naf-ra-touN ko, warna mit gaega sab
Surkh ho jaaega parcham, chand-tara jaega


Perhaps, Sarfraz Abd also hints to the same situation:Mushaera 9-26-2010 Sarfraz Abid2

Kitni nas,louN ka khoon baqi hai
Qarz hijrat ka kab adaa hoga

Interestingly, when Sarfraz Abd recited the following ghazal, it refreshed my memories of a Dubai mushaira where he had amused the audience with his melodious voice:

Sabza ZaroN me jaa ke kiya hoga
Zakhm-e-dil aur bhee hara hoga

Aaj izhaar-e-mudda’a hoga
Jaan jaegee aur kiya hoga

I will digress here to recall that the late Salim Jafri was the one who started the mushaira craze abroad in the 1980s. He brought famous Indian and Pakistani poets to Dubai and introduced to Gulf audiences the old tradition of mushaira. The Dubai mushairas soon became the rage and mushaira-mania spread from there. When Salim Jafri died in 1997, the Dubai mushairas died with him. There was no one after him who was able to organize them with his inimitable style. I watched Salim Jafri’s mushairas keenly from Kuwait where I was working for electronic and print media.

Going back to Sarfraz Abd, his following verses touched the audience:

Who kis ke dar pe heiN sajda guzar kiya ma’loom
Jo muntazir heiN mere khoon se wazu ke liye

Aur aaj ke mufti-o-waaiz se jo suntan houN khitab
Dastras-se meri Islam nikal ja-ta hai        Continued on next page

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