Mirza Ghalib in Sacramento
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali

The Pak American Culture & Arts Council of Greater Sacramento held a literary evening on April 28, 2012 at the Kabab Corner in West Sacramento. The colorful evening was attended by the Urdu enthusiasts of Greater Sacramento and SF Bay Area.

Khalid Saeed, a well-known face for his social activities, was the main organizer of the event while Naeem Sayed, another renowned personality, served as MC of the program.

Contrary to the traditions of beginning Mushaera with a junior poet, the event began with Ghalib’s ghazal recital by Dr. Nirmal Mann, a prominent Urdu poet with his published diwan.

Among those who presented Ghalib’s ghazals were Asif Haq, Aftab Javed, Huma Kazmi, Dr. Irfan Haq, Javid Akhtar, Khalid Saeed, Meraj Ghazali and Dr. Zia Zafir. Durria Syyed presented a thrilling satire that drew wide applause.

Asif Haq stole the show with the presentation of Ghalib's ghazals in Habib Wali Mohammad's voice.

Dr. Zia Zafir, a well known poet, and Dr. Nirmal Mann also recited their own poetry to the delight of the audience.

Huma Kazmi, Syed Mahmood-ul-Haq and Talat Sattar recited poems about the current turbulent situation in Pakistan.

Aslam Adenwala, 75, a well-known personality of Sacramento, amused the audience as he recalled his life-long memories.

Javid Akhtar, owner of Nationwide Insurance Sacramento, entertained the audience with Punjabi/Saraeki poetry. To express his love for poetry he donated a complete sound system to The Pak American Culture & Arts Council which is now used by the Council in its programs.

Abdus Sattar Ghazali presented a maqala on the life and work of the great Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib whose life and work became a popular topic for modern drama and film makers.


Mirza Asadullah Baig, pen-name Ghalib, was born on 27 December 1796 in Agra. He is an all-time great classical Urdu and Persian poet of the subcontinent. Most notably, he wrote several ghazals during his life, which have since been interpreted and sung in many different ways by different people. He is considered to be the most dominating poet of the Urdu language. Ghalib's life bridged several cultures, traditions, languages, and social strata. He was of Turkish descent, but an Indian poet. He was a court poet who often wrote in the courtly language of Persian, but he is best known for his couplets written in popular Urdu. He wrote at the end of the Mughal Empire and the beginning of British rule in India. His poetry spoke to Muslims and Hindus alike. His willingness to wrestle with modern doubts in his writing have caused some to call him an atheist, while his mystical love poetry makes him a favorite of Sufis. He died in Delhi on February 15th, 1869.

The owner of Kabab Corner Restaurant, Abdul Hafeez Chaudhry, who is well known and popular entrepreneur for his support of cultural and arts programs, put special efforts to make this event successful by providing extra courteous services to the guest. Hosts of the event Khalid Saeed and Naeem Syed thanked Durriya Sayyed and Suzana Malik for their help in decorating the stage and tables for this event. Mr.Hafeez Chaudhry presented both ladies a dinner gift certificate.

Earlier the Pak American Culture & Arts Council convener, Khalid Saeed, welcomed the audience on behalf of the Council which was established in January 2011 as a forum for art and cultural events for the South Asian community living in the Greater Sacramento area. Khaled Saeed thanked the community for its patronage and support to make the Council successful.




Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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