Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Let's Celebrate Urdu at Jashn-e-Rekhta


By Raza Elahi

Wo Bolta hai Nigaahon se Is Qadar Urdu

Khamosh Rah ke Bhi Ahle-Zabaan sa Lagta hai

Celebrating the love for Urdu is always a beautiful feeling and when Jashn-e-Rekhta around the corner the love and the feeling become more satisfying.

Overwhelmed by the success of its previous editions, the three-day festival, starting December 8 in New Delhi, will once again spread the splendor of Urdu through panel discussions, mushairas, qawwalis, dastangoi, ghazals, dance, book exhibition, film screening, calligraphy and food festival

While an illustrious panel of Waheeda Rehman, Shabana Azmi, Muzaffar Ali and Ira Bhaskar, will talk about Depiction of Urdu Culture in Muslim Social Films, poet-lyricist Javed Akhtar will talk about literature, shayari and zindagi in his session, ‘Kuch Ishq Kiya, Kuch Kaam Kiya’.

Actor Amir Raza Hussain, theatre personality Danish Iqbal and ghazal singer Radhika Chopra will revisit renowned Urdu poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz in a session title Gulon Main Rang Bhare, Baad e Nau Bahar Chale.

The renowned Urdu Professor Gopi Chand Narang will celebrate Indian mythology in Urdu poetry and Pavan Kumar Verma. will talk about love for the great Ghalib.

Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Nandita Das will host a session ‘Manto ke Rubaru’ to share with audience what helped make the film Manto a reality.

Salīqe se havāoñ meñ jo ḳhushbū ghol sakte haiñ

Abhī kuchh log baaqī haiñ jo Urdu bol sakte haiñ

Prominent among those participating in this year Jashn-e-Rekhta are Imtiaz Ali, Shubha Mudgal, Shamim Hanfi, Shamshur Rahman Farouqi, Rahat Indori, Annu Kapoor and Ustad Rashid Ali Khan

The event will conclude on December 10 with a performance by the "Kun Faya Kun" fame Qawwali singers Nizami Bandhu

According to Sanjiv Saraf, founder of Rekhta Foundation, Jashn-e-Rekhta showcases how Urdu lends itself to various art forms be it literature, music, films, art, theatre, dance, or oral storytelling. The fourth edition of the festival will take place at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in Delhi to accommodate bigger crowd as footfalls of the event have risen from 20,000 in 2015 to about 1,40,000 in early 2017..

elahi.raza82@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Rashq-e-Qamar


By Raza Elahi

Ye kaisa rumuuz-e-ishq hai

Tu duur hai par dil ke qareeb hai


Sochtaa hoon naama-bar ke har aahat par

Kya payaam-e-shauq mere nasib hai


Manzoor unka har maktuub mujhe

Par ye dam-e-intizaar kuch ajib hai


Khugar-e-qafas hoon jis tahriir ka

Nahiin uska koi ab khatiib hai


Nahiin ye takhta-e-mashq-e-sitam unka

Guman nahiin, ye mere yaqiin hai


Yaqiin to ye bhi aye Raza

Kahiin na kahiin, woh bhi qalb-e-muztarib hai


Ye kaisa rumuuz-e-ishq hai

Tu duur hai par dil ke qareeb hai


(elahi.raza82@gmail.com)


Meanings of Some Words Used Above:

Rumuuz-e-ishq = Secret of Love ; Duur = Far; Naama-bar = Messenger, postman; Payaam-e-shauq = Message of love; Maktuub = Letter, message; Khugar-e-qafas = Habituated to cage; Tahrir = Writings; Khatiib= Orator; Takhta-e-mashq-e-sitam = Act of tyranny; Qalb-e-muztarib = Restless heart

Monday, November 27, 2017

Not A Thorny Issue !


By Raza Elahi

Na jaane bagho.N se ye kaisi shanaasaaii hai

Har gul se teri ek ada yaad aayii hai


Ab ke patjhar bhi kuch ajab rang main aaya

Girte patto.N ne teri tasweer jo banaii hai


Kaanto.N ne bhi kuch nai sifat paii hai

Mujhko meri hi ek kahaani sunaii hai


Jab ke baarish main nikala tha chubha kaanta

Bhula nahi jo ab bhi, wo unke talvo.N ki raanaaii hai


Na jaane bagho.N se ye kaisi shanasaaii hai

Har gul se teri ek ada yaad aayii hai

{elahi.raza82@gmail.com)

Meanings of Some Words Used Above

Shanaasaaii = Acquaintance; Patto.N = Leaves; Sifat =Charachter; talvo.N = Sole; raanaaii= Beauty

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Water Woes in Digital India


By Raza Elahi

Today, a TOI report -- “Only one well, 150 years old, for 10,000 villagers” – reminds me of the couplets I had said around two years back:

Ajab haal main hai insaan wahan

Jumla-e-taraaqi hai sunai diya jahan

Computer wo mobile se jorne ka to hai iraada

Par ab bhi mayassar nahi hai paani wahan

Sab ke maan ki baat hai ye bayaan

Rotii choti wo daal mahengi hai wahaan

Mashguul aap sarko ke nye naam main yahan

Par ab bhi kaafi sarken hain viraan wahan

(elahi.raza82@gmail.com)

(Meaning of some difficult words used above:

Mayassar == available; Iraada == intention, desire; Bayaan == statement, declaration; Mashguul == engrossed, busy, engaged; Nye == new)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Delhiites Romance with Urdu at Jashn-e-Rekhta


By Raza Elahi

Kahin kuch door se kaanon mein padhti hai agar Urdu

To lagta hai ke din jaadon ke hain

khidki khuli hai, dhoop andar aa rahi hai...
~Gulzar

For years poets, academicians, critics and artists are lamenting how Urdu, once a popular language of India, is vanishing away from popular discourse. But after seeing a huge crowd at the recently concluded Jashn-e-Rekhta and their eagerness towards this shireen (sweet) language, it can be said that Urdu has got a kiss of life. Now, many feel there is a resurgence of Urdu, especially among what are commonly known as non-Urdu wallahs.

When Rekhta foundation first started the Urdu fest in New Delhi in 2015, it had expected 2,000-3,000 people, but a little over 18,000 people turned up. That number went up by five times last year, reaching to 85,000. This year the turnout at the fest got even bigger as the foundation showcased the rich literary and cultural heritage of the language through panel discussions, mushaira, qawwali, dastangoi, ghazals, baitbaazi, book exhibition and calligraphy workshop etc.

While inaugurating the fest (on February 17) Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan said, “Urdu is not restricted to any particular religion. It is Hindustan’s language. And I pray to God that the entire world should feel its beauty, its romance, and may it flourish more and more.”

“Religion had nothing to do with Urdu and Hindi in the past. Christopher King did a survey which tells that in 1879 the circulation of Urdu newspapers were eight times than those of Hindi papers in India. Everyone... Hindu, Muslim or Punjabi were well-versed in Urdu. This proves the fact that religion had got nothing to do with it then,” renowned historian Irfan Habib said at a session Dilli Jo Ek Shahr Tha at the festival.

Talking about his love for Urdu, famous lyricist poet Gulzar noted that it is the only language that is capable of turning strangers into friends. He recited:

Ajab hai yeh zabaan, Urdu

Kabhi yunhi safar karte agar koi musafir sher padh de Meer, Ghalib ka

Woh chahe ajnabi ho, yahi lagta hai woh mere watan ka hai

Badi shaista lehje mein kisi se Urdu sun kar

Kya nahi lagta ke ek tehzeeb ki awaaz hai, Urdu

Gulzar, however, felt the need of preserving Urdu script. “While Urdu is expanding its reach, I feel the Urdu script is shrinking and losing its place. And we need to support and preserve it now,” he said.

Talking about the power of expression of Urdu as a language at a session titled Urdu ka Adaalati Lehja, former chief justice T S Thakur said if a picture is worth a thousand words, a couplet in the language is worth “two thousand words.”

elahi.raza82@gmail.com

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Gulzar to Inaugurate Jashn-e-Rekhta


By Raza Elahi

Salīqe se havāoñ meñ jo ḳhushbū ghol sakte haiñ

Abhī kuchh log baaqī haiñ jo Urdu bol sakte haiñ
--Anonymous

To celebrate the vibrancy of Urdu, the third edition of Jashn-e-Rekhta will be held at IGNCA in New Delhi from February 17-19. The inaugural function will be graced by poet-lyricist Gulzar and sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan followed by a musical performance of Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash.

Besides panel discussions and mushaira, the festival will also have interactive sessions like Khuli Nashist and baitbaazi etc. As a part of Alfaaz Aapke, Awaaz Hamari, RJ Sayema has invited ghazals and short stories written by people, many of which will be read by her at the festival. To add to the spirit of the festivities, the Jashn will host a sufi evening with Hans Raj Hans, qawwali by Dhruv Sangari and ghazal singing by Vidya Shah.

The three-day festival will witness Gulzar in a conversation with Javed Siddiqui at a session titled Hum Sooratgar Kuch Khwaabon Ke.

Sessions like ‘Ghalib, Hali and Urdu Renaissance’, ‘Jab Filmein Urdu Bolti Thin’, ‘Dilli Jo Ek Shahr Tha’, ‘Urdu ka Adaalati Lehja’ and ‘Urdu Mein Hindustani Tahzeeb ka Jashn’ etc., have also been planned.

Famous historian Irfan Habib, critics Gopi Chand Narang and Shamim Hanfi, lyricist Prasoon Joshi, .former Plan panel member Syeda Saiyidain Hameed, former external affairs minister Salman Khurshid, poets Wasim Brelvi and Farhat Ehsaas, actors Prem Chopra, Sharmila Tagore and Anu Kapoor are some the prominent personalities who are expected to attend the event.

In ‘Tazmin-e-Ghalib’, theatre person Ashok Lal will recite his Tazmins of Ghalib’s couplets, to explore Ghalib's wordly and metaphysical concerns from a new perspective. Tazmin is adding to an existing couplet or a line thereof. This celebrated old literary practice features a poet honouring another poet by creating and reciting poetry following the metre, rhythm and rhyme of the latter as a standard. The idea is to explore wider meanings and dimensions of the original. Rekhta foundation — an initiative of IIT Kharagpur alumnus Sanjiv Saraf —runs the website www.rekhta.org.

According to Saraf the festival has endeavoured to preserve the rich cultural heritage of Urdu and bring its diverse flavours to the masses. The festival has grown organically to reach more than a lakh people since its inception in 2015.

Urdu hai jiska naam , hum hi jaante hain ‘Daagh’,

Saare jahan mein dhoom hamari zaban ki hai

--Daagh Dehlavi

elahi.raza82@gmail.com

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Taroon ki Baraat


By Raza Elahi

This is what I have to say about February 14, which many celebrate as Valentine’s Day:

Kahte hain log ke aaj Yaum-e-Ushshaaq hai

Sochtae hain hum ke ye kaisa mazaak hai


Jab sachche husn aur ishq ki baat hai

To phir ye kaisa ek roza bandish-e-mulaqaat hai


Gulab ke phool liye jo aaj pur tapaak hain

Kal kahenge hava-e-dahr ka ye sirf ishtiyaaq hai


Jab sachche husn aur ishq ki baat hai

To unse har mulaqaat mushtaaq hai


Lamha lamha dars-e-akhlaaq hai

Mahfil unki gulfaam aur sab yaddain ufaq hai


Jab sachche husn aur ishq ki baat hai

To phir kya din aur kya raat hai


Har subh Yaum-e-Ushshaaq hai

Aur har shab taroon ki baraat hai

(Meanings of some words used above: Yaum-e-Ushshaaq = Valentine's Day; Ek roza = one day: Pur-tapaak = full of warmth, zeal; Hava-e-dahr = wind of world; Ishtiyaaq= longing, fondness; Mushtaaq = desirous/ eager; Dars-e-akhlaaq = moral lesson; Gulfaam= rose coloured; Ufaq = horizon)

elahi.raza82@gmail.com