By TCN News,
Washington DC: The 39th Annual Mushaira was held on Saturday, 28th September 2013 at a big auditorium of Montgomery County High School in Silver Spring, MD. More than 500 Urdu connoisseurs from Washington, its suburbs and neighboring states came to listen to their favorite poets from Pakistan, India, and North America.
The Washington Aligarh Alumni Association is credited with the institution of the mushaira tradition in North America. Although it is organized by the Association, it has become a hallmark event, as the entire Washington metropolitan area community has adopted the event as its own. People eagerly await this annual event.
“Traditions establish by continuity and flourish in unity”, said Dr. Abdullah, who conducted the session, in his opening remarks. The Association provided the continuity and the Washington’s community provided the unity, he added. He remarked further that for the continued success of this program, the credit goes to AAA volunteers who adopted this objective as a mission, to the poets for their cooperation, and to the audience for their patronage in spite of the association’s shortcomings.
Urdu might be considered ‘a new kid on the block’ in comparison to other languages, but it has captured the hearts and minds of Urdu-speaking masses throughout the world, including her in the United States. Urdu poetry has a vast canvas; its poets have expressed their thoughts on almost all topics and walks of life, especially the current events. For artistic expression, there is no better place than mushaira, where poets like to share their poetic creations with the audience.
The formal proceedings started with an invocation followed by a welcome address by the president of the association, Dr. Razi Raziuddin, who apprised the audience about recent activities of the association, especially the success of the scholarship program for needy children at different academic levels in Aligarh and many other parts of India. This portion of the program ended with a rendition of the famous Aligarh Tarana, “Yeh Mera Chaman Hai”. A number of senior Algarians joined the team to sing the Tarana.
He talked about poetry and dreams comparing poet’s rendition of dream and psychoanalyst’s analysis of dreams. He weaved together a narrative that was quite fascinating. This is a totally new field of inquiry and he seems to be a pioneer in this. The spell-bound audience admired his capacity to give an hour-long lecture without any notes and all the poetical examples came from his memory. The association honored Salman Akhtar with a Sir Syed Ahmad Khan Award for his contributions to the study of psychiatry, human behavior and poetry.
Samples of poetry recited at mushaira:
Yeh mere log haiN, meri fiza hai, main nahiN hooN
Agar yeh sab haiN to kis ne kaha hai main nahin hooN
Akele hoN to kaisi mahfiloN ki yaad aati hai
Magatr Mahfil main jate hain to tanhaee sataati hai
Koi rishta bana kar mutmaeen hon nahiN sakta
Muhabbat aakhri dam tak taaluq azmati hai
Thake haari parindeN jab baserey ke liye lauteiN
Saleeqa mand shakoN ka lachak jaan zaroori hai
Mujhe manzil mile kaise ki manzil khud bhaTakti hai
Wahi gardish meiN rahte haiN jinhen mahwar banati hooN
Tumhara zikr karti hooN meiN hare k shair meiN apne
Main ek paththar ki moorat kaanch ke under banati hooN
Mein qatl hokar bhi zinda hooN tum ko hairat hai
TumheN khabar hi nahiN sach mara nahiN karta
Ghar ki taqseem se hal koi nahiN nikle gaa
Masley aur khaRe hote haiN deevar ke saath
Jo taaq meiN hai farozaan use pata kiya hai
Chiragh-e-raah se poochhe koi hawa kiya hai
Zamin se door-iye-afalk naapne waley
Tere wajood se khud tera faasla kiya hai
Wo mila to sadiyoN ke baad bhi mere lab pe koi gila na tha
Use meri chup ne rula diya jise guftugo meiN kamaal tha
JuN juN badan ke under chholeN hilti jaati haiN
Sahuhar auur begum ki shakleiN milti aati haiN
Jisko piyara ho bharam apni anaa ka, sun le
Aaj gar ghar ese nikalna to use roo aana
Muntazar koi nahiN, koi nahiN, koi nahiN
Phirbhi Shazaad kisi roz watan ho aana
Aesi weeran to nahiN hai abaadi-e-ishq
Naj abaad kiye haiN gham-e-janaN waley
She also recited a poem in memory of Farman Fatehpuri, who passed away recently.
Next day, Sunday, 29th September 2013, the association hosted Sir Syed Day Memorial Lecture by Dr. Salman Akhtar, professor of psychiatry at a prestigious medical college in Philadelphia. His more than 300 publications include 60 authored or edited books in psychiatry and psychoanalysis. He has been the recipient of many awards and prizes and is an internationally-sought speaker. In addition to his medical profession, he is keenly interested in poetry. He has published several books comprising collection of his poetry in Urdu and English. He fluently talked about poetry and dreams comparing poet’s rendition of dream and psychoanalyst’s analysis of dreams. He weaved together a narrative that was quite fascinating. This is a totally new field of inquiry and he seems to be a pioneer in this. The spell-bound audience admired his capacity to give an hour-long lecture without any notes and all the poetical examples came from his memory. The association honored Salman Akhtar with a Sir Syed Ahmad Khan Award for his contributions to the study of psychiatry, human behavior and poetry.
The program also included beautiful rendition of poetry of two great poets—Jan Nisar Akhtar and Majaz Lakhnavi—father and maternal uncle of Dr. Salman Akhtar, respectively by Anshu Sharma and Nuzaira Azam.