By Abdus Sattar Ghazali
Perhaps the new revival of the mushaira is happening neither in India nor in Pakistan but in North America and the Middle East, because of affluent expatriates yearning for poetic connections to the homes they left behind. Interestingly, a new crop of poets are emerging in these Diaspora communities
For many Urdu enthusiasts, the format and structure of the mushaira is a wonderful social and literary device. Interactions between poets and audience adds dimensions to the understanding and appreciation of the artistic expression of a poet who uses nature's language to interpret the world for society. A poet benefits greatly from imagination, "a very high sort of seeing," as Emerson said. A poetic rendition may not always have realistic details, but, by using imagination, the poet depicts an inner reality, a poetic expression that often seems wild.
Italian Nobel Laureate poet Salvatore Quasimodo believes that poetry is the revelation of a feeling that the poet believes to be interior and personal which the reader or listener recognizes as his own. Mushaira gives an opportunity to wander into another life and yet does not detach one from the reality. It is just an extension of the real life. It allows us to dream and only those who can dream can see the truth or grasp the imagination of a poet.
The Urdu Foundation of North America gathered a galaxy of eminent Urdu poets from across North America to regale the Urdu enthusiasts at the Chandni Restaurant, Newark/Fremont on September 26, 2010. About six hours Mushaira featured Ashfaq Hussain and Zamin Jaafi from Canada, Eshrat Afrin, Sarfraz Abd and Parwaz Jaafri from Texas, Humaira Rehman and Maqsat Nadeem from New York, and Fayyaz Sahib and Naseem Farogh from Maryland.
Tellingly, almost all these poets are sahib-e-deewaan/sahiba-e-deewaan. Zamin Jafari: Gul Afshani-e-Guftaar; Sarfaraz Abad: Wo Zulf Pareshan Hai Abhi; Ashfaq Hussain: Aitbaar, Hum Ajnabi Hain, Aashian Gum Karda; Ishrat Afreen: Dhoop Apnay Hissay Ki; Arif Imam: Kashkol; Muqsit Nadeem: Gudaaz, Khuda Bhi Roya; Humaira Rahman: Indemaal, Intesaab and Faiyaz Uddin Saeib: Mom Ke Shehr MeiN Dhoop
Local poets included: Tashie Zaheer, Naseer Humanyoun, Farooq Taraz, Lubna Manzar, Fayyaz Saba, Arshad Rasheed, and Wiqar Khan.
Zamin Jaafri chaired the event while Ashfaq Hussain was the chief guest. Master of the Ceremony was Ahmar Shehwar, President of the Urdu Foundation of North America which organized the grand mushaira.
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