Wednesday, August 15, 2012

15 August Poetic Meet 2012

On the eve of Independence Day Urdu Department of AMU holds a poetic meet - a Musha-'ira. That is, on the evening of 14 August. Since the Independence Day , that is today, falls in Ramadan the poetic meet can not be held in the evening - that is the busiest time of the night because of Taraweeh. Yours truly was in Faculty of Arts and saw some activity around the famed Lounge of that faculty. "What is happening?", it was around 10:30AM. "Musha-'ira", was the answer given by the Bull. A Bull is a member of local internal security of AMU. Official name of the security is AMU Police. Those of you from India should think of a Bull as the Home Guard - a man with lots of responsibility but virtually no power. A Lamb will be a better description for such miserable creature as a Bull.

Yours truly availed the opportunity to enter the venue. By that time only around twenty people were around which would rise to hundreds in a short while. Once yours truly was lucky enough to get an invitation to this meet. No, not as a poet - that yours truly is not. What always surprises yours truly are some faces who do not miss the Musha-'ira but there has never been a reaction in their bodies by all the poetry flowing around that. Jumbish, movement, is the Urdu word. The Lounge of Faculty of Arts has a back door but these creatures, many of them of feminine gender, make their grand entery through the front door. They ensure that they arrive when the function is already going on. Amazing confidence. The point is clear - they are there because, in their view, they are important people. Let us dump the rubbish here itself - we are talking about Musha-'ira.

Dr Zahid Khan, Chairman of Urdu Department, made his opening and uninspiring remarks. We do not call singers, we call poets to this meet. This very old and regular poetic meet, in fact there is another one on the eve of Republic Day,  these two meets have given platform to many would be poets of Urdu - Dr Khan averred.

Dean, Faculty of Arts, Professor Waris Kirmani, Professor Amin Ashraf , Professor (Hakim) Zillur Rahman and Zubair Razvi were called to the dais - in various awkward fashions. And the proceedings started - Dr Siraj Ajmali was compering. (Yes, yes Dr Shariq Aqil was there in the audience but this was Urdu Department Musha-'ira.) Dr Ajmali said that when the poet Ahmed Mehfooz, from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, was shaking hands with Professor Zafar Ahmed Siddiqui then the Chairman Professor Khan remarked that catch these historic moments. I suppose it was sort of meeting of giants. A pleasant surprise for Dr Zafar Ahmed Siddiqui is one of those people whom yours truly meets many times in the Majlis of Hazrat Shaikh Hakim Kalimullah Sahab (DB). Not only that even the first poet to be called was a boy with full beard - though the Musha-'ira did not start with the Recitation of the Noble Qur'an. It should - we have been created for worship and we should not ignore that.

This Musha-'ira is basically local, though every year some external poets are called, so the quality is on the medium side. This should not be taken otherwise because this is the department of Jazbis and Shahryars - they too read poetry here. Qamar Gondawi, a poet of Jigar Muradabadi tradition was there. He said that he likes to recite poetry in Aligarh and Karachi - the audience is perceptive.

Though yours truly did not attend it full but even in that duration some good poetry was recited. Unfortunately the environment was not charged enough and most of the couplets were recited only once or twice - not enough time to note any thing down.

Dr Ajmaly praised Zubair Razvi to requisite heights and hence the poet said that the compere many times leaves nothing for the poet to say. Dr Ajmaly indirectly and directly made a request to Mr Razvi to recite Ye Hai Mera Hindustan (This is my India) - his very famous patriotic poem - poem recited in the early fifties. Mr Razvi is pretty senior - he looks much younger than his age. Late Syed Muhammed Ahmed, former APRO of AMU, had once told yours truly that it is Zubair Razvi who introduced this fanfare of tricks to make Musha-'ira an entertainment that most of the poets employ today. Chairman had already punctured the tone based balloon in his preliminary remarks and till yours truly was there not a single poet recited poetry in tone. Though there were several demands - including one to Rizwan-ur-Raza Rizwan, former student of Urdu Department.

Zubair Razvi came to the podium and recited several Nazms and a Ghazal. None in tone. He also said that old fanfare of Musha-'ira is really behind him. He also said an interesting thing that Nazm does not require any show of appreciation on part of the audience while Ghazal does. He also said it is against the spirit of the Nazm to elaborate on its meaning. After reciting his Nazm he would recite it again - fearing, and justifiably, that we might have missed the purport. As asserted above - there was no possibility to take notes so here is one of the Nazms that he recited, from internet:

Ali Bin Muttaqi Roya
Purani baat hai
lekin ye anhoni si lagti hai
Ali bin Muttaqi Masjid ke mimbr per kharha
kuch Ayaton ka wrd karta thaa..
Juma ka din thhaa
Masjid ka sehn
Allah ke bandon se khaali thha
Woh pehla din thha
Masjid mein koi Abid nahin aaya
Ali bin muttaqi roya
Muqaddas Aayaton ko Makhmali juzdan mein rakha
Imam e Dil girafta
Nichei mimbr se utar ayaa
Khala mein duur tak dekha
Fadha mein har taraf pheili hui thhi
Dhundh ki kaie
Hua phir yun
Munderein Gumbadon per
An ginat par parh parhei
Kasni Kalei kabutar
Sehn mein nichien utar aaei
Wzu ke wastei rakhei hue loton pe
Ek Ek kar ke Aa beithei
Imam e dil girfta
phir se mimbr per charhha
Juzdan ko khola
Safon per ek nazr dali
Woh pehla din thha masjid mein
Wzu ka hauz khali thha
Safein mamoor thin sarii;
He said that he had written a number of Nazms with the same refrain - sort of modern day stories in poem with pathos of partition and effects of colonialism. (Translation intended.)