Jeddah Mushaira depicts glory and melody of Urdu poetry


Saudi Gazette

Urdu poetry stood tall with all its glory, majesty and melody during a Mushaira (Poetry session) organized by the Indian Pilgrims Welfare forum (IPWF) under the aegis of Consulate General of India, Jeddah at the International Indian School (Boys’ section) Sunday evening, It was a fine fusion of romance and sublime faith that took the audience to a unique height of fancy, metaphors and similes. This year’s Mushaira was part of the 69th Indian Republic Day celebrations.

The packed IISJ auditorium reverberated with thunderous applause and traditional wah wahs (expressions of approval or bravos) and Subhan Allah (All praise be to God) for the poets’ presentations on stage.

Interestingly this Mushaira was more like a road show that Indian Embassy organized in the cities of Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah. Same poets regaled enthusiast in all the three cities and in some cases same poetry and recitals were presented. But this repetition did not dampen the enthusiasm of the people in all the three cities.

The Jeddah session started with an inaugural welcome speech from Yousuf Azmi, member of the IPWF. He thanked the sponsors for their support. He then introduced the 10 participating renowned poets to the audience amid thunderous ovation and invited them on stage.

Veteren poet, Professor/Dr. Muzaffar Hanafi from Haswa Fathepur in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh presided over the proceedings of the evening while Abrar Kashif, another poet from Amravati, conducted the Mushaira.

Indian Consul General Noor Rahman Sheikh, impressed one and all with his address in chaste Urdu. He said although his mother tongue was Manipuri but the purity and sweetness of Urdu compelled him to speak in Urdu. He lauded the efforts of all those associated with Mushaira. He said that this annual gathering is a true embodiment of Indian ethos of unity in diversity. He then recited two couplets to huge applause from the audience.

He said over the years, Mushaira has become an annual cultural mega event of Jeddah. He said the event was not just a literary event to entertain people but also an event to help a noble cause.

The Consul General paid tribute to the famous poet Anwar Jalalpuri, who died few days ago. He has hosted several Mushairas all over the world had even hosted the annual mushaira organized by the Indian consulate.

Noor Rahman then lit the traditional candle along with his wife Dr. Nazneen Rahman, marking the opening of the Mushaira.

Kashif, who conducted the Mushaira with his usual pun and literary verve, invited Dr. Nadeem Shad who recited a Naat (poetry in praise of Prophet Muhammad, (PBUH) and took the audience to spiritual heights.

Kashif then recited couplets of his ghazal, paying tribute to the Urdu lovers of Jeddah on behalf of all the participating poets.

After Nadeem Shad, Nayeem Faraaz from Akola, Maharashtra, enthralled the audience with his Nazm. The audience applauded and praised his couplet on father.

Sardar Saleem of Hyderabad then took centerstage and virtually had the audience on the feet with the renditions of his ghazals that were laced with metaphors.

Dr. Liyaqat Jaferi, from Jammu & Kashmir, next presented his ghazals, which also received huge appreciation from the crowd. His ghazal on rivalry in love broke the auditorium into rapturous applause and his ghazal on national integration immensely moved the crowd, which asked him for several encores.

Punjab Inspector General of Police, Fayyaz Farooqi, poet from Chandigarh too had the audience in splits and was applauded when in good humor he urged people to take him as a poet and not a policemen. He carried the same thought and feel as Dr. Liyaqat Jaferi. It would have been tough for any poet to retain the tempo created by Jaferi. But Farooqi received equal appreciation for his ghazals.

One of his couplet created near pandemonium in the auditorium as frenzied crowd kept shouting “Once more: amid too many “wah wahs” and thunderous applause from Jeddah Urdu lovers

Dr. Nadeem Shad, from Deoband, then took the Mushaira to altogether different level with his Ghazal and captured the evening by winning the audience hearts in the Mushaira. He presented another ghazal that virtually mesmerized the audience who never wanted spell to break. Had he continued to recite whole night, the audience would have been glued to their seat all the time. His melodious voice virtually hypnotized the audience which listened to his recital in rapt attention.

Host of the evening Kashif too did not disappoint the audience with his rendition, and the only poetess in the session Alina Etrat also regaled the audience with her ghazal.

As night moved into wee hours of Monday Iqbal Ashar was entrusted the task sustaining the tempo and he did not disappoint with his couplets laced with sarcasm, humor and reality of present day life. He also spoke on crowd psychology and blind belief and was prescient in his observations.

The audience was now in total connect with the Mushaira and to retain this mood Kashif invited legendary poet Prof./Dr. Waseem barelvi to the stage. Before reciting his Ghazal he appreciated the crowd’s patience and understanding of Urdu poetry and said Urdu language is flourishing because of such people. In his ghazals he used unique imagery and metaphors to drive home his point.

Earlier all the poets were given gifts, mementos and shawls by the Sheikh and his wife. This year’s Mushaira was mainly sponsored by Al Abeer group and co-sponsored by Abdullah Hashim Company Ltd, DPS, Luna, Heat Universal Coil Exchangers, IGNOU, NATCO, RC Group, TATA, 360 relators and Hyundai. Yousuf Azmi proposed the vote of thanks.