Urdu Academy’s Musical and Literary Evening
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali

The Urdu Academy of Northern American held its monthly literary session on Sunday (September 18, 2011) at the ornate Chandni Restaurant in Newark/Fremont. The session was dedicated to the poetry and life of Shakeel Badayuni, one of the famous Urdu poets and lyricists of the 50s and the 60s.

Mirza Afsar Beg chaired the event while Humayun Nasir was the chief guest. Tashie Zaher, President of the Urdu Academy of Northern America, welcomed the audience.

Dr. Tahir Mahmood was MC of the program. The first session highlighted the life and work of the great poet while the second session included a musical presentation of Shakeel’s poetry and songs.

Dr. Tahir Mahmood presented a maqala on the life and work of Shakeel Badayuni. Lubna Manzar also spoke about the life and work of the great poet.

Among those who recited Shakeel Badayuni’s poetry were: Arvind Kumar, Hatim Rani, Jawed Umerani, Lubna Manzar, Meraj Sultana Ghazali, C. Nagesh Avadhany, Shahzad Basir and Abdus Sattar Ghazali.

The musical program began after the tea and break. A familiar voice of the SF Bay Area, Sulaikha Chaudhry, presented Shakeel’s popular ghazal:

Mere Ham Nafas Mere Ham Nawaa, Mujhe Dost Ban Ke Dgha Na’de

Main HouN Dard-e-Ishq Se JaaN Balab, Mujhe Zindigi Kii Dua Na’de

This popular ghazal was sung by well-know classical singer, Begum Akhtar and Sulaikha tried successfully to present it in her style.

Nagesh Avadhany was the second singer in the session. He captivated the audience with his musical voice.

Dr. Anshuman Chandra is another well-known singer and music composer of the Bay Area. He plays guitar skillfully. He presented three ghazals and geets of Shakeel Badayuni to entertain the audience.

Almas Shabwani and Manohar Bijor are the stars of many musical evenings in the Bay Area. Almas drew wide applause with her presentation of one geet in Geeta Dutt’s style.

Manor Bijor is very fond of Haimant Kumar, Mukesh and Mohammad Rafi. He sent the mature audience in nostalgic past by singing the popular song of Aan:

Maan Mera Ehsaan Are Nadaan

Ke MaiN Ne Tujh Se Kiya Hai Piyaar

The Urdu Academy program was scheduled to end at 4.00 p.m. but continued till 5 p.m. Almas Shabwani presented two popular songs of Mughal-e-Azam.


At the conclusion, Nagesh Avadhany thanked the audience and artists for making the evening so enjoyable. He also thanked Syed Sarwat, owner of the Chandni Restaurant, for his patronage of the Urdu Academy to enable it to hold such programs.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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