Urdu Academy Pays Tribute to Ibn-e-Insha
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali

The Urdu Academy of North America dedicated its October 19, 2014 literary event to the life and work of an eminent Urdu poet and columnist - Ibn-e-Insha - who was born on June 15, 1927 as Sher Muhammad Khan but was known in the literary world as Ibn-e-Insha.

The event was held at the Chandni Restaurant, Newark, CA. A prominent Bay Area poet Arshad Rashid was MC of the literary event which attracted Urdu lovers from far and near.

At the outset, Tashie Zaheer, President of the Urdu Academy, welcomed the guests and invited Prof. Aftab Ahmed to preside over the literary event.

Like Dr Mahmood Tahir, poet Arshad Rashid presented a well-researched paper on the life and work of Ibn-e-Insha.

As usual, a number of Urdu enthusiasts presented Ibn-e-Insha's poetry. They included Irshad Khan, Tasadduq Hussain Attari, Moeez Khan, Javaid Umerani, Ishaq Nagpurwala, Syed Aleem, Zeeshan Abbasi, Tashie Zaheer, Moheen Khalil, Abdus Sattar Ggazali, Zafar Khan, Talat Khan, Suhab Hamdani, Ismat Kamal and Hameeda Bano.

Zeeshan Abbasi and Atia moved the audience with their presentation of Insha's most popular poem, Inshaji Uttho, Ab Kooch Karo.

Sohab Hamdani stole the show by her eloquent presentation of Ibn-e-Insha's humorous newspaper columns. It is very difficult to keep the listeners engaged in prose presentations but Sohab mesmerized the audience with her articulate and very expressive style of prose presentation.

Ibn-e-Insha's poetry has a distinctive diction laced with language reminiscent of Amir Khusro in its use of words and construction that is usually heard in the more earthy dialects of the Hindi- Urdu complex of languages, and his forms and poetic style is an influence on the younger generation.

Ibn-e-Insha travelled extensively. Some of the places that he visited included Japan, Philippines, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, France, UK and US. Insha spent much of his time in Karachi.

He is considered to be one of the foremost humorists in Urdu literature with four books of humorous prose. His other works include a number of travelogues recorded with a distinguished touch of humor.

Ibn-e-Insha was also a remarkable poet. Three collections of his poetry have been published.

He is considered as one of the most versatile poets and writers of his generation. His most famous ghazal "Insha Ji Uttho" sung by Amanat Ali was an instant hit.

Ibne Isha died of blood cancer on January 11, 1978 in London and was buried in Karachi.

There were two sessions of the program. In the first session, Ibn-e-Insha's poetry was recited while in the second session his humorous column were presented. At the end, Tashie Zaheer thanked Syed Sarwat and Mrs Munza Sarwat for promoting the cause of Urdu in the Bay Area by patronizing the Urdu Academy literary events.


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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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