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 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 led by Masood Farshori to sing the Tarana.
The participating poets were very impressed with the arrangement and the response from the audience on good poetry. They said that a mushaira is successful when poets, poetry, audience, and the nizamat interact in a synchronous manner. All these factors blended superbly, making this mushaira a great success. A number of experienced mushaira-goers expressed their sentiments about the mushaira. A majority of them were of the view that, “This Mushaira was bey-missal.” Following are some of the comments expressed by them.
Dr. Navin Shah, a senior physician in the area, conveyed “his heartfelt thanks to the association for providing him an exceptionally memorable program”. Umesh Agnihotri, a well-known literary and theater personality said that “the event was very powerful, and thoroughly enjoyed it”. Fatehul Azam, a 1950 engineering graduate of AMU, extended his stay to attend the program organized by his fellow Alumni and “enjoyed the quality of poetry”. “Wonderful job to keep Urdu alive” said another alumnus Parveen Husain. Dr. Zaheer Parvez, a senior scientist and poet said, “I admire zeal and dedication of the AAA members for providing much needed socio-cultural and literary events to nurture the intellectual curiosity of the community”. “We heard compositions that were so lofty in idealism, revolutionary, and also pertaining to practical day to day life in very chaste Urdu” said noted singer Anshu Sharma.
The credit of this successful Mushaira goes to the participating poets, who recited their soul-touching and emotionally-laden poetry with demands to repeat from the excited audience. The poets included such luminaries as Professor Pirzada Qasim, Professor Waseem Barelvi, Dr. Nikhat Iftikhar, Zahid Fakhri, Farhat Shahzad, Dr. Sabiha Saba, Fayyazuddin Saib, Rafiuddin Raaz, Dr. A. Abdullah, and Dr. Razi Raziuddin. A sample of their poetry is given at the end.
Next day, Sunday, 29th September 2013, the association hosted Sir Syed Day Memorial Lecture by Dr. Salman Akhtar, who is 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.
Samples of poetry recited at mushaira:
She also recited a poem in memory of Farman Fatehpuri, who passed away recently.
Dr. A. Abdullah and Dr. Raziuddin also presented Nazms.
Some of the external links to different papers are posted here:
4) Two Circles
5) Urdu Times