Indo-Pak poetry in the times of paranoid patriotism | art and culture | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Dec 16, 2017-Saturday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Indo-Pak poetry in the times of paranoid patriotism

The 51st Shankar-Shad (Indo-Pak) Mushaira, one of the oldest in the country, saw big names such as Kishwar Naheed, Iqbal Ashar, Javed Akhtar, Kunwar Ranjit Chauhan, Iffat Zarrin and Dr Gauhar Raza, performing for the audience with nonchalant ease and pointed sarcasm.

art and culture Updated: Mar 07, 2016 15:13 IST
Rohit Vats
Javed Akhtar reciting his poem at the 51st Shankar-Shad (Indo-Pak) Mushaira in New Delhi. (HT Photo)
Javed Akhtar reciting his poem at the 51st Shankar-Shad (Indo-Pak) Mushaira in New Delhi. (HT Photo)

It was a perfect day for Delhi. The surprise rain washed away the heat and dust choking the Capital.

And then began a show of craftsmanship, panache and thoughtful rendition of anger -- justifying their billing as wordsmiths.

Poets from India and Pakistan gathered at Delhi’s Modern School on Friday to celebrate the cultural ties and the effervescence of Urdu poetry.

Watch: Poet Nabeel Azeez reciting his poem at the 51st Shankar-Shad Mushaira

The 51st Shankar-Shad (Indo-Pak) Mushaira, one of the oldest in the country, saw big names such as Kishwar Naheed, Iqbal Ashar, Javed Akhtar, Kunwar Ranjit Chauhan, Iffat Zarrin and Dr Gauhar Raza, performing for the audience with nonchalant ease and pointed sarcasm.

Listen: Poetry by Dr Gauhar Raza and Iqbal Ashhra at the 51st Shankar-Shad Mushaira

A tradition nurtured and enriched over the years by the likes of Josh Malihabadi, Jigar Moradabadi, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Kaifi Azmi and Ali Sardar Jafri, the Shankar-Shad Mushaira saw a packed gallery awaiting their favourite poets with bated breath.

Watch: Iffat Zarrin reciting her poem at the 51st Shankar-Shad Mushaira

The more it rained outside, the more the poets bled inside. A range of issues from Kanhaiya Kumar to sedition were discussed, and the audience couldn’t help but clap and cheer.

Watch: Poet Kunwar Ranjit Chauhan reciting his poem at the 51st Shankar-Shad Mushaira

Geographically, Modern School separates the Walled City from the modern Delhi, and thus there couldn’t be a better place to commemorate the tongue which gave birth to ‘Hindustani’, a common man’s language.

The bonhomie around a shared cultural legacy continued till late night, but to ensure that you don’t miss out on good poetry, we have brought to you some clippings from the event.

Watch: Farhat Shahzad reciting his poem at the 51st Shankar-Shad Mushaira

This is the poem Javed Akhtar read at the event:

Ye Khel Kya hai..

Mere mukhaalif ne chaal chal di hai
Aur ab
Meri chaal ke intezaar mein hai
Magar main kab se
Safed khaanon
Siyaah khaanon mein rakkhe
Kaale safed mohron ko dekhta hoon
Main sochta hoon
Ye mohre kya hain
Agar main samjhoon
Ki ye jo mohre hain
Sirf lakdi ke hain khilone
To jeetna kya hai haarna kya
Na ye zaroori
Na vo aham hai
Agar khushi hai na jeetne ki
Na haarne ka bhi koi gham hai
To khel kya hai
Main sochta hoon
Jo khelna hai
To apne dil mein yaqeen kar lon
Ye mohre sach-much ke baadshah-o-vazeer
Sach-much ke hain piyaade
Aur in kea age hai
Dushmanon ki vo fauj
Rakhti hai jo mujh ko tabaah karne ke
Saare mansoobe
Sab iraade
Magar main aisa jo maan bhi loon
To sochta hoon
Yeh khel kab hai
Ye jang hai jis ko jeetna hai
Ye jang hai jis mein sab hai jaayaz
Koi ye kehta hai jaise mujh se
Ye jang bhi hai
Ye khel bhi hai
Ye jang hai par khiladiyon ki
Ye khel hai jang ki tarah ka
Main sochta hoon
Jo khel hai
Is mein ir tarah ka usool kyon hai
Ki koi mohra rah eke jaaye
Magar jo hai baadshah
Us par kabhi koi aanch bhi na aaye
Vazeer hi ko hai bas ijaazat
Ke jis taraf bhi vo chaahe jaaye
Main sochta hoon
Jo khel hai
Is mein is tarah ka usool kyon hai
Piyaada jab apne ghar se nikle
Palat ke vaapas na aane paaye
Main sochta hoon
Agar yahoo hai usool
To phir usool kya hai
Agar yahi hai ye khel
To phir ye khel kya hai
Main in savaalon se aane kab se ulajh raha hoon
Mere mukhalif ne chaal chal di hai
Aur ab meri chaal ke intezaar mein hai

(Interact with Rohit Vats at Twitter/@nawabjha)