ISLAMABAD: A Mehfil-i-Sukhan, a much-missed traditional celebration of the art of poetry and recitation, was the highlight of the weekend at the Islamabad Serena Hotel.
The event marked the start of a series of activities to commemorate the hotel’s 20th anniversary and was attended by a large number of dignitaries, including President Dr. Arif Alvi and First Lady Begum Samina Alvi.
The stars of the evening were renowned poets from across the country including Anwar Masood, Iftikhar Arif, Kishwar Naheed, Khurshid Rizvi, Amjad Islam Amjad, Anwar Shaoor, Dr Pirzada Qasim, Yasmeen Hameed, Akhtar Usman, Abbas Tabish, Shaukat Fehmi, Nasira Zuberi. , Wasi Shah, Ambreen Hasib Ambar, Fazil Jamili, Rahman Hafeez, Atfab Abrak, Ashfaq Nasir, Faisal Hashmi and Farjad Mehdi. After many years, Islamabad society has had the opportunity to appreciate master poets, men and women, young and old, in one gathering.
Shakeel Jazib welcomed all the guests and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, poetry is a vocation that delights everyone at any age in its enchantment, and mushaira is a tradition that has kept our culture alive and has kept our past connected to our present and future.”
As is customary, the host of a mushaira initiates the recitation with their own verses. Jazib started the evening with his poem, “Jab kabhi dil kay mazafaat mein aa jaata hun, Mein kharabay say kharabaat men aa jaata hun; Tu na dekhay to ajab habss may dum ghut-ta hay, Terray dekhay say mein barsaat may aajaata hun”.
Farjad Mehdi’s recitation included a beautiful poem, stating, “Sada-e-Kun ka peechah kartay kartay, Makaan say La-makaan tak aa gaya hun, Meray ajdad ki sunnat samajhna, Jo khud chal kar kamaan tak aa gaya hun”.
Faisal Hashmi recited his opening poem, Mujhe intezaar tha sham say, “Mein bhara hua tha kalaam say, Meri apnay aap say guftugu, Koi dekhta dar-o-baam say”.
Dr. Ashfaq Nasir captured the hearts and applause of the audience with his verse “Ishq mein nay bhi kiya hai, meray ajdad nay bhi, Nasal dar nasal kiya hai to ye kaam aaya hai”.
Rahman Hafeez, a poet based in Islamabad, said: “Hum ko khushi taalaash to karwani chahiye, Ghar may he kho gaee hai to mil jaani chahiye”.
Anwar Masood is known for his mastery of humorous poetry and his unique use of everyday, mundane phrases.
Iftikhar Arif is an eminent Urdu poet, scholar, and literary personality, who is the former head of the Pakistan Academy of Letters, the National Language Authority, and the National Book Foundation, among many other honors, awards, and designations.
Kishwar Naheed is an Urdu feminist poet whose iconic poems chart the struggle for gender equality.
Dr. Pirzada Qasim, a renowned Pakistani scholar, poet, scientist and pedagogue, served as Vice Chancellor of Ziauddin University, Federal University of Urdu and University of Karachi, and Chancellor of Nazeer Hussain University . Abbas Tabish is well known for the sensitivity and relativity of his work, such as the famous “Ek muddat say meri maa nahin se Taabish, Main nay aik baar kaha tha mujhe dar lagta hai”.
The poets’ distinctive styles, perspectives and lyricism were a rare treat to experience, a reminder of how essential it is for the arts to have patrons.
Posted in Dawn, February 27, 2022