33rd Anuual Sir Syed Day
Mushaira in Washington
By Zafar Iqbal, PhD
of the mushaira
The annual mushaira organized
by the Aligarh Alumni Association of Metropolitan Washington
(AAA) has become a literary and cultural icon of the area.
This event attracts a large number of Urdu connoisseurs from
Maryland, Virginia and nearby states.
More than 700 people came to listen to their favorite poets
from Pakistan, India, and North America at the 33rd annual
mushaira held in spacious auditorium of a High School in Gaithersburg,
Maryland on November 3, 2007. It must be very pleasing for
the AAA workers to see the growing popularity of the Washington
The poets who participated in this year’s mushaira included
Haneef Akhgar, Rahat Indori, Khwamakhah Hyderabadi, Zakia
Ghazal, Akhtar Shumar, A. Abdullah, Shoeb Qidwai, Shahida
Kazmi, Akram Mahmood, Qamar Kazmi, Razi Raziuddin, and Zaheer
Parvez. Himayat Ali Shayer and Sabiha Saba could not come
due to unavoidable circumstances.
The AAA president-elect, Dr. Fazal Khan invited Dr. Ayub Yusufi
to start the program with recitation from the Holy Qur’an.
Dr. Rahat Khan, Association's president welcomed the poets
and the audience. Chief guest Professor Masoom Ali Tirmizi,
former vice-chancellor of Karachi University, reminisced about
his days as a student and then a teacher at the Aligarh Muslim
University. Ever green nazim, Dr. A. Abdullah, conducted the
mushaira with Janab Haneef Akhgar presiding over it.
Haneef Akhgar, a very well-known and senior poet in North
America, writes classical poetry and recites it with a mesmerizing
voice. A sample of his presentation:
Is tarah ahed-e-tamanna ko guzare jaeey Unko khamoshi
ke lahje meiN pukare jaeey
Dekhiye ruswa na ho jae kahin rasm-e-junooN Apne deenwane
ko ek patthar to mare jaeey
ChaRhte sooraj ke pujari, kal key sooraj ko na bhool Who bhi
sooraj thaa, utrs, chaRha, utra gaya.
Rahat Indori has been participating in mushairas at international
level for long time. He senses the pulse of the audience and
knows how to convey the message with voice and actions.
Yeh qainchian hameN uRne se khaak rokeiN giN Ki ham paroN
se nahiN hausloN se uRte haiN.
Khusk daryaon mein halki si rawani aur hai Ret ke neeche abhi
thoRa paani aur hai.
Jo dar badar the who deewaroN ke maalik ho gaye Mere sab darban,
darbanoN ke maalik ho gaye
Jo aaj sahib-e-masnad haiN, kal nahiN hoN ge Kirayedar haiN
zaati makan thoRi hai
Sabhi ka khoon shamil hai yahanN ki miTTi meiN Kisi ke baap
ka Hindustan thoRI hai
zindagi kiya hai khud hi samach jaao gey baarishoN maiN patangen
khauf bikhra hai dono simtoN main teesri simt ka dabaao hai
Humor and satire are an integral part of Urdu literature and
Khwamakhwah Hyderabadi knows it well how to keep the audience
involved and still convey the trials and tribulations of life.
Hamari zindagi go ranj aur gham se ibarat hai Magar khushioN
se moonh moR lena himaqat hai
Zarafat khwamakhwah fun hi nahiN hai, ek saadat hai Hansa
kar gham kisi ke baanT lena bhi ibadat hai
Na hoti gar naee tahzeeb to kitna maza aata Jo chal jaati
meri tarkeeb to kitna maza aata
Meri qismat meiN eik biwi aur do saaseN haiN Ulat jaati joy
eh tarteeb to kitna maza aata
Zakia Ghazal’s poetry is as appealing as her voice.
The audience enjoys her style of recitation with interest.
Woh dosti meiN Ghazal hadd se gir gae lekin MaiN dushmani
ko nibha kar bhi apni hadd mein hooN
PaRh likh kar mere des ke beTe des meiN the bekaar Apne des
meiN jo roTi milti kyoN aate is paar
Akhtar Shumar participated in AAA mushaira for the first time
and he impressed the audience with his poetry.
Yaa apne paoN par mujhe girne se rok de Ya meri laghzishoN
ko ibadat shumar kar
Kaash umr-e-rawaN Thaher jaey Koee muR muR ke dekhta hai mujhe
Shoeb Qidwai has been writing poetry for a long time, but
he rarely participates in mushaira. He has a deep insight
DoosroN se juda chalan apna Shaikh apna na Brahman apna
Jaane kal us pe kis ka qabza ho Koh apna, na hai daman apna
Akram Mahmood's poetry reflects the emotions of life.
ChhoRna ho ga zamane bhar ko tere waste Aur mere paas phir
tu bhi kahaN rah jae ga
It is always a pleasure to listen to host poets that include
A. Abdullah, Shahida Kazmi, Razi Raziuddin, Qamar Kazmi and
Zaheer Parvez .
The event concluded with a vote of thanks by the AAA Secretary,
Masood Farshori. An encouraging indicator of increasing popularity
of Urdu was noticed by the demand for books and CDs of participating
poets and recordings of previous years’ mushairas. The
Washington community is pleased to have the privilege of participating
in these literary events.