Nowhere in the world, poetry has such importance in society as in the Indian sub-continent. After all, where would thousands sit till midnight and after to listen to the poets! There is definitely something magical about Urdu poetry.
The Republic Day mushaira brought back memories of the mushairas of the past. After all, poets of the stature of Shaharyar, Waseem Barelvi, Saghar Khayyami and Zubair Rizvi were present on the stage
chiraaghoN ko bujhaana chaahti hai/havaa bhi aab-o-daana chaahti hai
ameer-e-shahar aaNkheN band karle/Gharibi muskuraana chaahti hai
This couplet by young poet Tariq Qamar set the stage and signalled that new generation of poets is ready to take off. After the Lucknow poet, it was Naeem Akhtar’s turn to wow the audience.
mere tumhaarii baat fasaana to hai nahiiN/hai bhii agar to sabko sunaanaa to hai nahiiN
tum do fareb aur maiN samjhuuN hunar use/itnaa bhii saadgii ka zamaanaa to hai nahiiN
The poet from the historic town of Burhanpur recited his ghazals in ‘tarannum’. And when Navaz Deobandi held the mike, the atmosphere was truly electric. His ghazal with the opening couplets:
jalte ghar ko dekhne vaalo phuus ka chhappar aapkaa hai
aag ke piichhe tez havaa hai, aage muqaddar aapka hai
uske qatl pe maiN bhii chup thaa mera number ab aaya
mere qatl pe aap bhii chup hai, aglaa number aapka hai
And the subsequent ghazals that had couplets like…
sach bolne ke shauq meN nuqsaan to huaa
lekin maiN saare shahar meiN zeeshaan to huaa
Poetesses were also impressive. But the mushaira reached its peak when the prince of Urdu poetry on the platforms of Mushaira, Professor Waseem Barelvi began reciting his ghazals and audiences wanted him to continue reciting his ghazals and geets.
bhalaa ghamoN se kahaaN haar jaane vaale the
ham aaNsuoN kii tarah muskuraane vaale the
hamii ne kar diyaa elaan-e-gumrahi varna
hamaare piichhe bohat log aane vaale the
After him the doyen of Urdu poetry and arguably the greatest poet of Ghazal in the country, Shaharyar, recited his ghazal:
dil meN utregi to puuchhegii junuuN kitnaa hai
nok-e-Khanjar hi bataayegii ki khuuN kitnaa hai
The ageing poet despite his ill health read his ghazal that turned the audience emotional. Elderly poet Saghar Khayyami injected humour into the gathering when he read out his ghazal:
Huuraan-e-khuld husn meN behtar haiN kis qadar
maide kii loii jism hai aur sharbati nazar
har chiiz naazukii meN rag-e-gul se Khuubtar
shab bhar Tatolte raho miltii nahiiN kamar
Above are just a few couplets of selected poets. The Mushaira was organised by Urdu Academy to mark the Jashn-e-Jamhuriyat (Republic Day).
The mushaira organised in Delhi, was a resounding success. Just when you start getting worried about the declining standards of poetry, there is an event that strengthens your belief about the survival of a language as sweet as Urdu and the charm of Urdu shaayri.