Khalid Khaja and Asifa
A Pakistan Link Report
Left to right: Consul General
Syed Ibne Abbas, Asifa Nishat, Khalid Khaja and Irfan
The Urdu literary groups
in the Los Angeles area vividly testify to the creative
impulse of the community. An ocean and a continent away
from Pakistan, they work strenuously to produce masterpieces
and excel in the role of poets, critics, novelists and short
story writers. No wonder, their work is critiqued and duly
Recently, the Urdu Writers Society honored two outstanding
literati – Khalid Khaja and Asifa Nishat – for
their literary contributions at the Shahnawaz Restaurant
Khalid Khaja, in the words of Link’s leading columnist
Arif Hussaini “needs no introduction; for, he is undoubtedly
a bright star in the firmament of Urdu literature of North
America.” Based in Southern California, Khalid is
quite well known among Urdu societies and literati throughout
North America. “… As a poet, he cannot be fitted
into any of the traditional slots. He is not a romantic
poet like Jigar or his own mentor, Faraz; he is not a pessimist
like Mir or Fani; he is not a revolutionary like Faiz or
Makhdoom; he is not a philosopher like Iqbal or Rumi, although
one notices glimpses of all these facets in his poetry.
He is a thoughtful writer with thought-provoking verses.
Left to right: Nayyar Jehan Apa, Hadi
Raza Khan, Arif Mansuri and Mohammad Kalam
Mr. Hussaini has also
reviewed the work of Asifa Nishat. He feels: “All
poets are thinkers, as each poetic composition is essentially
the expression of an idea taking form in the mind of the
poet. The difference in the case of Asifa Nishat is that
she is no just an ordinary thinker but a deep thinker. Poetry
in her case serves as a mere vehicle to communicate her
ideas. It is perhaps for this reason that she has adopted
the format of free verse…”
The award winners
The two enterprising
literati received accolades by leading poets and writers
at the literary gathering. Irfan Murtaza and Nayyar Jahan
Apa presented a critical evaluation of the work of Asifa
Nishat and Khalid Khaja respectively. Asadullah Hussaini
Chakkar also reviewed their literary genius.
The proceedings were
divided into two sessions. The first session was presided
over by Hadi Raza Khan and the second by Shamim Rijz.
Hadi Sahib and his wife presented bouquets to Khalid Khaja
and Asifa Nishat. The two literati were also presented presents
and bouquets by Iqbal Shahnawaz and Bilal Qamar.
Above: Poets who participated in the mushaira are
seen presenting their kalam
Arif Mansuri, Vice President
of the Urdu Writers Society, furnished an overview of the
Society’s activities and suggested that its facilities
for learning Urdu must be utilized to the full by the community,
particularly children. CEO Mohammad Kalam thanked the guests
for their participation in the program.
Consul General Syed Ibne Abbas who was the chief guest applauded
the Urdu Writers Society for promoting the cause of Urdu
in the US. He also presented Asif Syed, Hadi Raza Khan,
Farrukh Zia (Angeles Steel) and Saad Shafi (Habib American
Bank) with awards.
Awards were also given to Khalid Khaja and Asifa Nishat.
The Shahnawaz Restaurant food, as usual, was of an exquisite
quality and thoroughly enjoyed by the guests.