An Adabi Nashist in Canberra, Australia


Last week when my close friend Tanweer Khan hosted an (Urdu) literary evening (Adabi Nashist) at his home inviting some 40 Urdu lovers I wondered why should some one like him, well settled, affluent, bother to hold such evening which has no material gain? While conducting the evening I had the answer to my question. It revealed to pm me that ones literature is linked with his/her culture and by holding such shaamain (evenings), one reestablishes his/her otherwise weakening link with his/her culture.

The evening celebrated the works of prominent Urdu prose writer, critic and poet Dr Arman Najmi who was also Sadr e Mehfil (the Lead Poet). Dr Najmi is visiting Australia these days.

The format of the evening was unique in the sense that all were invited to present their own poetry or prose , or present poetry or prose they love from literature. Phir Kya tha Goya dabistaan khul Gaya (what then happened was that floodgate of lovely poetry and prose opened) . Zeeshan Haider, Arman Najmi , Ateeq siddiqi and myself were among those who presented their own poetry whereas some twelve participants, both men and women, presented lit-bits of their choice from Urdu literary treasure.
When Arman presented his ghazal
Naddi ki tarah kinaron mein qaid rehtay hain
Ham Apnay apnay Hisaron Mein Qaid rehtay hain
(All of us, irrespective who we are, where we are, remain contained within our social and cultural constraints, as water in a canal (always) flowing within its boundaries, its peripheries, its two edges ).
When Arman presented this signature piece of his, all participants were moved with the deep philosophy it carried.

I presented my new poem ” dil Ki nagri sooni hai, is ko Aan bassao na –
dour kyon jaa basay Ho bhhaya , aaoo wapas aaoo na.’

Participants included Dr Khalid Ejaz, Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan and Mrs Erum Naz who presented their choice of ghazals.
Fayyaz Mumtaz presented Allama Iqbal’s poem. Salman presented Nazeer Akbar Aabaadi’s iconic Aadmi naama ( sab thaat para reh jaway ga , all will be left behind when you leave this world). Rauf Rahim did not forget to bring in Parveen Shakir. Salwah made every eye wet when she read Munir Niazi’s hamaisha dair Kar Daita hoon ( I always get late at crucial times – when I have to, say, return a favour, or reassure and reiterate my love to my beloveds, show sympathy to those in need, offer words of consolation, I always get late in doing it).

Tanweer given it was renowned poet Mustafa Zaidi’s anniversary recited one of his poems, Sehar Adeel Khan presented a piece of always smiling prose (mizahahiya nasr) of The ever great Mushtaq Ahmad Yusufi. Azhar Jawed reminded all of Ustad Meer Taqi Meer ( Meer un neem baaz aankhon mein – saari masti sharab ki see hai – seen her eyes, they are as if soaked in wine). Haseeb Khan presented mizahya poetry.
Nadeem Shaikh, Erum Sheikh, Mustafa, Anisa Khan, Zahida Fayyaz , Ali, Saleem, and all others enjoyed the evening .

Qasmi Sahab”a pathhar was a cry yet again to all fake values of the present era.

Thank you Tanweer Khan for organising the evening which will be remembered for a long time.
These types of evenings are soul searching and origin linking, and should continue.

Fully acknowledging that organising such an event as per Mustafa Zaidi ”pathron peh chalnay ki baat hai ‘ however disagreeing with him further in his thought, I believe at the end of this path there is a kehkashan – a galaxy full of bright stars , stars of beautiful thoughts and wisdom, the apex of any literature .

By: Mohammed Ali