A Memorable Book-Launching
A Pakistan Link Report
to R: Prof Jazib Qureshi, Irshad Ahmed Siddiqui, Irfan
Murtaza, Dr. Rana Noor, Khalid Khaja and Anwar Khaja
The Urdu Markaz International
and the Urdu Writers Society joined hands to organize the
book-launching ceremony of Irshad Ahmed Siddiqui’s book
Rakhtae Dil Bandhlo at the spacious Shahnawaz Restaurant Banquet
Hall on August 12.
Nayyar Jahan Apa, President of the Urdu Markaz International
who has played a leading role in promoting the cause of Urdu
in Southern California, described the event as a historic
occasion. And a historic occasion it truly turned out to be
with Professor Jazib Qureshi from Pakistan, Dr Rana Noor from
India, Nayyar Jahan Apa, Irfan Murtaza, Tabish Khanzada, Khalid
Khaja, Anwar Khaja et al. making insightful observations about
the genius of Irshad Siddiqui and the Urdu literary scene
in North America. They appeared humble, forthright and honest
in their summation and vividly displayed regard and respect
for one another. Propriety of conduct was the hallmark of
the evening with Irfan Murtaza, President, Urdu Writers Society,
ably conducting the proceedings and enlivening them with his
cheerful disposition and humor.
Awards presented to Prof Jazib Qureshi and Irshad Ahmed
Siddiqui. On extreme right is Nayyer Apa
Tabish Khanzada sketched
out the literary career of Siddiqui who made his promising
debut as a writer in Peshawar and after a stay of several
years in Europe landed in the US to make his mark on the American
Urdu scene. “Aap likhtae rahaen aur hum parthae rahaen,”
he exhorted Irshad Siddiqui.
Khalid Khaja referred to the contents of the book spread over
190 pages. It could be described as a novel, a compilation
of short stories, or a travelogue. The characters are commonplace
Pakistanis whose life experiences in Europe and America are
described in the book. Khalid felt the author should have
focused more on the characters’ life in Karachi and
Lahore. He concluded his succinct address with the observation,
“Khoobsarat kitab hae. Mubarakbad daeta houn.”
Anwar Khaja recalled his 30-year-old association with the
author and complimented him on his choice of words and use
of specific diction. Siddiqui “alfaz ki fazoolkharchi
ko jurm samajhta hae. Dilkash, purkashish tasnif hae,”
he remarked in chaste Urdu.
and prominent community members who attended
the book-launching ceremony and mushaira
Professor Jazib Qureshi
made a scholarly presentation and made several incisive points
as if he was a scientist and was referring to his experimental
findings and analytical data. He complimented Irshad Siddiqui
on the publication of Rakhtae Dil Bandhlo. He also paid glowing
tributes to Nayyar Apa. “Nayyar Jahan ka naam bara naam
hae,” he said.
In his remarks on the occasion, Irshad Ahmed Siddiqui recalled
his stay in Los Angeles. He now lives in New Mexico where
literary activities are far too few. He misses Los Angeles
and its adbi mehfils. He was unhesitant in praising the Urdu
writers and poets who continue to make sincere strivings to
promote Urdu in this part of the world. He also read out excerpts
from his book.
Arif Mansuri, Vice President, Urdu Writers Society and Nayyar
Jahan, President, Urdu Markaz International, presented an
award to Professor Jazib Qureshi on behalf of the two organizations.
CEO Mohammad Kalam of the Urdu Writers Society and Nayyar
Jahan also presented an award to Irshad Ahmed Siddiqui.
The invitees to the book-launching ceremony were enraptured
time and again by the witty and well-meaning remarks of Irfan
Murtaza and some of the other speakers. They also enjoyed
the delicious Shahnawaz Restaurant food served on the occasion.
The mushaira too turned out to be a stimulating literary treat.