On Tuesday, Ghazal singer Seema Sehgal was busy perfecting her notes. On Thursday, the Versova resident will head to Karachi, Pakistan, where she will lend her voice to the poems of Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz during the latter’s birth centennial celebrations.
The Progressive Writers’ Association of Pakistan has coordinated programmes across the world to celebrate Faiz’s works through the year and will host the closing ceremony of the centennial celebrations in Karachi from November 18 to 20.
“I am carrying the message of peace from the people of India to Pakistan. Faiz’s poems talk about humanity, love and peace and it gives me immense pleasure to remember a personality like him and sing his poems,” said Seema.
“The government of Pakistan has declared 2011 as ‘Faiz Year’, giving tremendous support and recognition to the effort taken by the Association to celebrate his poetry,” said Seema’s husband, Anil, who will also be attending the Karachi ceremony.
“After Ghalib, Faiz is the most popular Urdu poet. His poems reflect a humane angle and are referred to as poetry for the downtrodden,” said Anil, a retired air force squadron leader and a music connoisseur.
In June, Seema performed at a concert dedicated to Faiz’s poems in New York. In 1999, when former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee boarded a bus to Lahore to initiate a peace process with Pakistan, he had presented Seema’s album, Sarhad, to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif.
“In our society, there is little appreciation for poetry scholars. I wish the Indian government had also taken an initiative to celebrate the works of Faiz and other poets. The Progressive Writers’ Movement is redundant in India. It’s important that such organisations exist so that the legacy is carried on to younger generations,” said Anil. Seema’s solo album, ‘Zard Patton Ka Ban’, comprising Faiz’s poetry will be released at Karachi concert.