Urdu Writers Society Organizes Grand Award Night and Mushaira
A Pakistan Link Report
Pictures by Faiz Ahmed and YKKB


Pictures above: Glimpses of the Annual Award Night 2009 and Mushaira organized by the Urdu Writers Society at the Cerritos Sheraton on May 16, 2009

The Annual Award Night 2009 and Mushaira of the Urdu Writers Society (UWS) on May 16, 2009 at the Cerritos Sheraton turned out to be a singularly rare event: it saw the demonstration of profuse filial affection, a rare phenomenon in the West where sons and daughters show unfeigned disdain for aging parents and abandon them in old peoples’ homes without the slightest call of compunction. Not one, but several individuals who occupied the center stage that evening, fought tears, and brought tears to the eyes of many in the audience, as they recalled the genius and affection of their parents. Dr Mehar Tabatabai, her brother, husband and niece, Arif Mansuri and Mohammad Ishaq were notable among them.
Reading her ‘Aek Khat --- Daddy Kae Naam’, Dr Mehar almost broke down as she plaintively murmured, “Ham sab ko aap sae bae intiha muhabbat hae aur hum aap ki kami bohat shiddat sae mehsoos kartae haen. Khuda Taa’la aap ko jannat ul firdos (maen) aala muqaam ata farmae. Ameen.” Quite a few sitting in the hall felt a lump in the throat.
In his brief tribute to his parents, Anwar Tabatabai portrayed a picture that was tellingly reminiscent of the social norms of the aristocracy of pre-partition UP, “ --- Har azeem mard kae peechae aek aurat ka haath hota hae, iss qol ki sadaqat mujhae ammi aur daddy maen nazar aaee. Woh donon shohar aur biwee to thae hi magar ammi haqiqatan daddy ki rafiqae hayat theen. Woh unkae sath scrabble, carom, ludo, waghera kheltin aur aksar daddy ko maat hojati thee. Harnae kae baad daddy kae taassurat qabilae deed hotae aur ammi ki muskarahat na qabilae faramosh!”
The tributes and accolades were showered upon the late Brigadier Syed Muhammad Ali Tabatabai Raaz Lakhnavi fittingly that day: May 16 marked the formal launching of the collection of his poetical works “Kuch Ranjae Dili.” According to UWS President Irfan Murtaza, “Kuch Ranjae Dili Janab Tabatabai kae dil ki kahani hae jo unhon nae alfaz maen dhali hae.”


Pictures above: Glimpses of the Annual Award Night 2009 and Mushaira organized by the Urdu Writers Society at the Cerritos Sheeraton on May 16, 2009


The evening also saw the presentation of awards instituted by the Urdu Writers Society. The Brigadier Syed Muhammad Ali Tabatabai Raaz Award – two in number instead of one this year - were given to Khalid Irfan and Dr Sabiha Saba. Hasan Chishti received the Haji Mohammad Award and Asadullah Huseini Chakkar won the Zaffar Ali Mansuri Award.
A mushaira followed the award ceremony. It was presided over by eminent poet Rafiuddin Raaz who had especially flown from Karachi to attend the event. A large number of poets presented their kalam, including Shariq Zaidi, Akbar Usmani, Wasiul Hasan Naqqash, Irfan Murtaza, Zafar Abbas, Asifa Nishat, Fayyazuddin, Masroor Jawaid, Khalid Khwaja, Hasan Chishti, Asadullah Huseini Chakkar, Khalid Irfan, Sabiha Saba, and Rafiuddin Raaz.
The emcee of the evening was well-known columnist Masroor Jawaid. He also read a paper highlighting the poetical work of Sabiha Saba. His performance deserved the best superlatives and he duly got an award from Qaisar Madad, son-in-law of the late Brigadier Tabatabai. Zafar Abbas in his characteristic erudite style presented a paper on the poetical works of Khalid Irfan.
The Urdu Writers Society deserves to be congratulated on organizing the splendid event to such perfection. Apparently, the office bearers of the Society had taken pains to attend to the minutest details and the evening turned out to be a truly memorable one. To the delight of many, the Council of Pakistan American Affairs (COPAA) presented an award to the Tabatabai family in appreciation of its services for the promotion of Urdu.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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