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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Celebrating Urdu Poetry & the syncretic traditions it stands for

Mushaira Jashn-e-Bahar – 2012

By Madan Jha

Delhi:Poetry is a gift in any language. But when its Urdu poetry, and that too read live to an audience hungry for verse, no platform does it better than mushaira Jashn-e-Bahar. Continuing its tradition of bringing the best of contemporary Urdu poetry to its lovers, mushaira Jahsn-e-Bahar marks its 14th edition in the capital on Friday, April 6th 2012.

Javed Akhtar and Prof Waseem Barelvi, top Urdu poets from India, will share the stage with eminent Pakistani poets Zehra Nigah and Anwar Masood. America’s Max Bruce, globally popular for the freshness of his verse, will also be among a score of poets at this biggest non-official, non-political mushaira of the country, on the evening of Friday, April 6th, 2012, at Delhi Public School, Mathura Road, New Delhi.

Poetry unites across cultures, like noting else does. And this year Jashn-e-Bahar Trust brings together the bests of Urdu poets from the USA, the UK, the UAE, Canada, Pakistan and all over India. “We want to present the diversity in the practice of Urdu verse and its cross-cultural, and now global, richness to our audiences,” says Kamna Prasad, Founder of the non-profit Jashn-e-Bahar Trust that organized this international mushaira.

Our films, the diaspora and the potency of Urdu has created a remarkable global identity for this essentially Indian language and this year, mushaira Jashn-e-Bahar underscores this emerging aspect of Urdu’s poetic expression, says Kamna Prasad. In fact, in this information age, powered by IT, Urdu has crossed all barriers – be they international borders, its script, ethnicities or cultures, she adds.

Contrary to popular perception, Urdu, with its enchanting poetic expression, is becomingy increasingly popular among the youth as well. At Jashn-e-Bahar Trust, we always organise our mushairas in educational institutions. The idea is to showcase our rich literary heritage to the young minds. This year, the mushaira is also traveling to Karim college, Jamshedpur, as part of the same campaign and a school student from DPS will read his verse in the Delhi edition, Kamna Prasad says.

Contemporary Urdu poetry and the best of our syncretic cultural traditions are showcased at Mushaira Jashn-e-Bahar where modern calligraphy by eminent painter M F Husain representing the sweep and reach of Urdu, finds place amid cutting edge new media and set décor reminiscent of the classical age of Urdu poetry.

The poets list for the evening includes – Zehra Nigah and Anwar Masood, Pakistan; Max Bruce, USA; Dr Taqi Abedi, Canada; Basir Kazmi, UK; Dr Zubair Farooq Alarshi, UAE and Aziz Nabeel, Qatar. From India – Javed Akhtar, Prof Waseem Barelvi, Mansoor Usmani, Gauhar Raza, Dipti MIshra, Mukhtar Yusufi, Rajesh Reddy, Nasrin Naqqash and Nuzhat Anjum.

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