Mushtaq Yousufi Entrances His Californian Admirers

A Pakistan Link Report


Pictures above: Glimpses of the Urdu Markaz International function in honor of Mr. Mushtaq Yousufi

Mushtaq Yousufi can ungrudgingly be called one of the greatest humorists in any language today. His writings scintillate with wit and humor. According to a Dawn literary critic a perusal of Yousufi’s work could prompt any discerning reader to pay him a tribute similar to the one Iqbal paid to Ghalib: “You have revealed it to the human intellect how high the bird of imagination can soar.” To the delight of his Californian fans, Yousufi furnished vivid proof of his genius and creative impulse on August 19 at a literary gathering organized by the Urdu Markaz International at the glittering Shalimar Restaurant in Pomona.
The meeting was organized at short notice since the news of the arrival of the gifted humorist was received barely a few days in advance from Mustafa Shahab in London. But the news electrified the Southern California literary circles. “Baqol Nayyar Apa iss khabar ko sunkar tez dhoop bhi unhaen chandni jaesi khushgawar lagnae lagi.”
With due haste and alacrity the local literati and community activists – Naiyar Aapa, Irfan Murtaza, Majeed Akhtar, Samin Faruqui, Ashraf Ali, Mohammad Kalam, Qazi Asad, Saad Shafi, Rashid and Roohi Siddiqui, to name a few – conveyed the happy tidings to community members. An overflowing Shalimar Restaurant Banquet Hall greeted Mr. Yousufi as he arrived at 8 pm on August 19. The gathering gave him a standing ovation. The applause was spontaneous and reverberating.
Three prominent writers from Los Angeles – Irfan Murtaza, Asifa Nishat and Majeed Akhtar – presented their selected works. Mr Yousufi was then presented awards by Urdu Markaz International and Urdu Writers Society.
Naiyar Aapa, Secretaty General, Urdu Markaz International, seemed to voice the feelings of everyone present in the spacious hall when she remarked: “Khab, taabir, aur Yusuf – iss taslis ka bohat purana rishta hae jis kee gawahi sabhi aasmani sahifoan maen mojod hae aur aaj ki shaam bhee iss haqiqat ki gawah hae kae aaj mushtaq ham sab haen aur Yusuf Yousufi sahib haen.”
A picture of poise and grace, the charismatic Mr. Yousufi then addressed the gathering. Like his literary pieces his observations were laced with humor and wit and had an enlivening influence on the proceedings. Time and again the gathering was enraptured by his scintillating remarks. A sampling: “Hum nae America ka Hollywood dekha. Bumbai ka Bollywood dekha. Lahore ka Lollywood dekha. Phir jab apna ghar dekha to khali wood laga…” About Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, he said, “Izzat aur tauqir barhanae ka yeah tareeqaa ham nae America hi maen dekha. Hamarae yahan to jooton sae rondae janae ka matlab kuch aur hi hota hae.”
Mr. Yousufi virtually entranced the gathering. The evening turned out to be a rare intellectual feast.
The food was tasty, the Shalimar Restaurant décor captivating. Rashid and Roohi Siddiqui’s hospitality added to the gaiety of the occasion.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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