Is Anjuman Mein Aap Ko Aana Hai Baar, Baar...
By Zafar Iqbal
Washington, DC: It was so pleasing to watch a beautiful rendition of Urdu poetry through a classical dance by Anupma Sharda, student of guru Purvi Bhatt from Dance School, attired in traditional dress. This song was from1981 Urdu film, Umrao Jaan, which has a deep connection with Urdu literature and the Aligarh Muslim University.
This and other songs in the film were written by Urdu poet Shaheryaar from the University and the film was directed by another Aligarian Muzaffar Ali, who excelled in promoting Urdu literature.
The presentation of this song at this event also conveyed a message to the audience that they would be coming to these Urdu promotion events, like this Urdu Mela, again and again. Is anjuman mein aap ko aana hai baar, Deevaar-o-dar ko ghaur se pehchaan lijiye.
This first Urdu Cultural Mela was the brain child of Tahira Anwar and Dr Razi Raziuddin. Held on 20thMay, 2017 at the Seneca Valley High School, Germantown, Maryland, the Mela attracted a large number of people from the Metropolitan Washington area. It was organized by the Urdu Academy of Maryland with the collaboration of the Aligarh Alumni Association Metropolitan Washington and the Pakistan Association of Metropolitan Washington. The main objective of arranging the mela was to make the community aware of the richness of Urdu culture and heritage.
Tahira Anwar, who founded the Urdu Academy of Maryland in 2013, said that the Academy had succeeded in launching Urdu teaching in two schools of Montgomery County. She was very happy to announce that she was receiving requests for expanding the program to other schools. However, due to lack of resources she was not able to meet the demand. She is hopeful that the program could be expanded to other schools in Montgomery County and nearby counties with the help of the community. “In addition to preservation of cultural heritage, learning of mother tongue helps strengthen family and friendship bonds. Recent research has also shown that children growing up with multiple languages perform much better in a highly competitive society,” she added. Activities of the Academy are available at: www.uamd.og.
Dr A. Abdullah, a stalwart worker of Urdu, spoke about the origin and significance of the language in the Indian Subcontinent, and now in North America. He praised the work initiated by the Urdu Academy of Maryland in Montgomery County of Maryland and expressed confidence that the work started by the Academy will establish its roots, spread its branches like a banyan tree and others will get benefit from it. In the beginning it does require sacrifice, hard work, and patience, however.
Shoaib Ali Hasan eloquently presented Idgah—a classic short story by Munshi Premchand. This powerful story about a four-year-old orphan boy conveys a strong message of how affection, motherhood, care, sacrifice, and satisfaction bring happiness.
Farheen Abdullah helped organize a colorful cultural show depicting traditional dresses representing different regions of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
Mrs Shilpa Sharma, a physical therapist by profession, and Dr Abdur Rehman, a scientist at the National Institutes of Health, respectively, presented ghazals of notable Urdu poets.
Nuzaira Azam was the Master of Ceremony. Mohammad Akbar, president, Aligarh Alumni Association, Washington-DC thanked the organizers and participants of the program, and the audience.