Fifth Pak-o-Hind Yakjehti Mushaira Demonstrates Strength of Urdu
By Akhtar Faruqui
Pictures by Anwar Khawaja

Mushairas generate a great deal of verve and liveliness. They are an intellectually stimulating concourse, especially in North America, where, to the dismay of many, they are held at infrequent intervals. But the Fifth Pak-o-Hind Yakjehti Mushaira arranged by Gahwarah-e-Adab at Marhaba Chinese Palace in Cerritos, California, on May 7 turned out to be much more than a lively literary event.


The highly Persianized Urdu - classical and learned - heard at the mushaira sounded like music to the ears. It was a powerful and impressive enunciation of Urdu’s rich and sublime diction. Dr Malikzada Manzoor Ahmed, former Head of the Department of Urdu, Lucknow University, spoke with rare eloquence and impressed all and sundry in the audience with his erudite observations. He admirably presided over the proceedings.


The Yekjehti Mushaira brought together poets of Urdu from India and Pakistan. They included Dr Malikzada Manzoor Ahmed, Tahir Faraz, Dr Naeem Hamid Ali Alhamid, Nayyar Jahan, Irfan Murtaza, Majeed Akhtar, Wasi Naqqash, Tabish Khanzada, Zafar Abbas, Atiya Niazi, Zia Khan, and Tariq Hashmi.


The kalam presented at the mushaira was highly rated by the participating poets: there was consensus in the spacious, glittering hall of Marhaba Palace that the poetical work was comparable with the best in contemporary Urdu poetry. The local poets were complimented time and again. The visiting poets too drew repeated applause and spontaneous requests for ‘mukarrar, mukarrar irshad’ by the appreciative audience.


The arrangements were perfect and Samin Faruqi, chief of Gahwar-e-Adab in California, and his team comprising Syed Shahzad, Abdul Lateef, Atiya Niazi, Kamal Zafar, Arshad Kazmi, Wasim Zaidi, and Mohammad Kalam, deserve to be felicitated for their painstaking efforts and intense involvement. Atiya Niazi gave a good account of herself as the nazim of the first session. Dr Malikzada Manzoor Ahmed was outstanding in the nazim’s role in the second session.


The Yekjehti Mushaira has been held in 19 cities of North America for the last five years to forge closer bonds between India and Pakistan. Gahwar-e-Adab is a wing of the Mutahidda Qaumi Movement that seeks to promote Urdu and the cultural heritage of Pakistan and can be credited with a string of laudable initiatives.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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