Drawing from a 500-year-old classical tradition that can be credited with producing some of the most extraordinary and sublime Urdu verses,the annual Jashn-e-Bahar mushaira is back.
For its 14th edition,the event will bring some of the finest Urdu poets together for an evening of poetry on Saturday at Delhi Public School,Mathura Road. Though a rarity these days,mushairas,or literary gatherings,are a reminder of the sit-down poetry traditions that used to be the toast of the town once upon a time. It is the second major mushaira event in the Capital,the first one being the Shankar-Shad mushaira that will be held soon.
A lot has changed since the inception of the event almost 14 years ago. Apart from a growing interest in the tehzeeb and poetry as such,the language of contemporary poets has changed too. Even the wit and humour is different, says Kamna Prasad,founder of the Jashn-e-Bahar Trust.
The mushaira will see its loyal patron Javed Akhtar recite some couplets,along with Pakistani poet Zehra Nigah,who wrote songs for Chandra Prakash Diwedis film Pinjar based on Amrita Pritams book by the same name. Other poets,part of the mushaira include Anwar Masood,American Urdu poet Max Bruce,Bashir Kazmi,Waseem Barelvi,Mansoor Usmani,Zubair Farooq Alarshi and Taqi Abedi. Prasad adds that for the purpose of newer thoughts and poetic expression,the list will also include younger poets such as Dipti Mishra,Nasrin Naqqash and Nuzhat Anjum.
The intrepid strokes with elements of inscription and poetry in the form of a 16×4 acrylic-on-cloth mural by MF Husain,which is representative of the sweep of the Urdu language,will form the backdrop of Jashn-e-Bahar this year. However,the festival will miss its most prized patron along with the doyen of Urdu poetry,Dr Shahryar,who passed away earlier this year.