33rd Anuual Sir Syed Day Mushaira in Washington
By Zafar Iqbal, PhD
Germantown, MD


Glimpses 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 mushaira.
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 uraaya karo
khauf bikhra hai dono simtoN main teesri simt ka dabaao hai kiya

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 into life.
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.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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