Professor Salima Hashmi was reminded of her renowned poet father Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s verses when her cousin and Pakistan’s Punjab governor Salman Tasser met his tragic death recently. The verse goes like this, “Jis Dhaj Se Koi Maktal Mein Gaya, Baat Yehi Reh Jaani hai, Je Jaan to aani jaani hai, Is Jaan ka rona kya kije” (The story how one was sent to the slaughter house will remain; this life comes and goes, what is the use of to mourning the loss of this life).
As to professor Hashmi, Faiz — arguably the most important poet after Mirza Ghalib —remains relevant and alive to millions of fans in India and Pakistan.
Across the two countries, Faiz’s centenary is being celebrated by hundreds of different cultural groups. “In my travels, I have often been told by people that Faiz possibly wrote his poems for this period. That is how relevant he remains”, said professor Hashmi, currently on a visit to India.
‘Kuch Ishq Kiya Kuch Kaam’ is the title of a week-long Faiz festival, which is being organised at the India Habitat Centre (IHC) from February 12.
Jointly sponsored by the IHC and Impressio Asia, the festival will begin on February 12 with a talk on Faiz by professor Sadiq-ur-Rehman.
Dramatised readings from the romantic revolutionary poet’s letters from jail to his British-born wife Alys; an exhibition of Faiz’s photographs with his contemporaries; poetry recitation by known Faiz exponents -the festival promises to bring these and much more”, said Impressio Asia director, KK Kohli.