The tales of Marsiya: An evening dedicated to Urdu poetry lovers | art and culture | Hindustan Times
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The tales of Marsiya: An evening dedicated to Urdu poetry lovers

The Jashn-e-Bahar Trust recently organised Dastan-e-Marsiya: Karbala se Kashi tak, an evening dedicated to Marsiya. Marsiya is a poetic form that commemorates the martyrdom and courage of Hazrat Imam Hussain ibn Ali and his comrades in Karbala.

art and culture Updated: Oct 29, 2016 08:18 IST
Nikita Saxena
The evening saw performances by Fauzia Dastango, Azhar Iqbal and  Syed Mohammad Kazim.
The evening saw performances by Fauzia Dastango, Azhar Iqbal and Syed Mohammad Kazim.

Urdu poetry lovers were in for a treat this week as Jashn-e-Bahar Trust organised Dastan-e-Marsiya: Karbala se Kashi tak, an evening dedicated to Marsiya — a poetic form that commemorates the martyrdom and courage of Hazrat Imam Hussain and his comrades in Karbala.

“Since it’s the month of Muharram, we thought of organising an evening that is dedicated to Marsiya. Even though the story behind Marsiya is religious, it has a very Ganga-Jamni tehzeeb (manner), the quintessential Indian sensitivity and sensibility,” says Kamna Prasad, founder, Jashn-e- Bahar Trust.

The evening began with an exhibition of specially curated panels that depicted the evolutionary journey of marsiya. It was followed by recitations by Fauzia Dastango — India’s first woman dastango (storyteller), poet Azhar Iqbal and Syed Mohammad Kazim — a Persian research scholar.

An exhibition of specially curated panels depicted the evolution of Marsiya as a genre of poetry.

Kazim says, “Marsiya started as a religious poetry but has evolved a lot. It has travelled from Shakhsi Marsiya (poetry on personalities) to protest poetry. To explain to the audience the evolution, we have recited poems in dastangoi format, where they give background information also.”

The performances by the poets had a dramatic touch, to express bhaav (emotion)of the poem. “The recitation of Marsiya involves a lot of expressions. People want to bring life into it. At times, it is compared to impressionistic painting. The audience can visualise in their mind, what must’ve happened at Karbala,” explains Prasad.

Talking about the program, Kazim says that more such events need to be organised. “It was a great initiative as our culture is getting lost in this materialistic age. We need to promote our culture by presenting it in front of people,” he says, adding, “The house was full booked, and there were people from all walks of life, irrespective of their religious boundaries.”