With a print of MF Husains mural featuring calligraphy in the backdrop,the stage was set for the Jashn-e-Bahar annual mushaira festival. Held at Delhi Public School,Mathura Road,New Delhi,last week,the event had poets from the US to Saudi Arabia in attendance.
The gathering is representative of the popularity of Urdu language across the world, said Kamna Prasad,founder of the trust.
Mushairas depict Hindustani tehzeeb and Im really inclined towards non-European languages. Meeting intellectuals like Javed Akhtar will be a learning experience, said Max Bruce from the US,who impressed the audience with his Urdu. Professor Ahmad Al Qadi from Cairo,meanwhile,translated Farooq Juwaidas poems based on the January 25 Revolution in Egypt.
The difference between India and Egypt is huge,but we consider ourselves to be a new nation, said Al Qadi. He went on to speak about the popularity of Bollywood movies back home.
People in Egypt love Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan. Youngsters hum Hindi songs,despite not knowing the lyrics, he added.
Rehana Roohi and Anwar Massod,from Pakistan,were touched by the Indian hospitality. Events like this give us a chance to spread the message of peace and love through our writings, said Roohi. Omar Salim Al Aidroos,from Saudi Arabia,expressed a desire for similar mushairas to be held in his country. It will promote love and friendship, he stated.
While distinguished poets such as Shahryar,Waseem Barelvi and Javed Akhtar represented India at the event,finding a voice among the veterans was also 16-year-old Muhammad Uzair,a student of DPS. Sometimes my friends find me different,but they like my compositions, he said. Words of encouragement came from Lok Sabha speaker,Meira Kumar,also the chief guest. The new generation must learn Urdu,as it represents our securality, she stated,as she released the publication Kabhi Kabhi,a new collection of the works of poet Sahir Ludhiyanvi.