This Friday, Urdu shayari will meet Marathi poetry | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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This Friday, Urdu shayari will meet Marathi poetry

The 125-year-old Bhendi Bazaar gharana has khayals in which are embedded tales from Hindu mythology. In keeping with this syncretic legacy, Urdu Markaz, an NGO that works to promote the language, will launch the Urdu Marathi Literary and Cultural Forum on Friday.

mumbai Updated: Feb 26, 2015 01:01 IST
Kanika Sharma

The 125-year-old Bhendi Bazaar gharana has khayals in which are embedded tales from Hindu mythology. In keeping with this syncretic legacy, Urdu Markaz, an NGO that works to promote the language, will launch the Urdu Marathi Literary and Cultural Forum on Friday.

To mark Marathi Bhasha Diwas, five poets from each language will participate in an Urdu-Marathi mushaira (recitals). Manohar Ranpise, Abdul Ahad Saaz, Mumtaz Nikhat and Sudhendu Kulkarni are set to participate.

Ranpise, 73, will act as co-convener of the forum, along with Zubair Azmi, founder of Urdu Markaz. Ranpise, who composes ghazals in Marathi, says the idea was born out of Azmi’s invitations to Marathi ghazal poets like him to participate in mushairas in the area.

“My friends were initially hesitant, but once we started exchanging ideas, it was remarkable the similarities we discovered together,” said Ranpise.

In Mumbai, an exchange of Marathi and Urdu literature should have been natural, Azmi added, given the two languages’ rich roots here. “The idea eventually took shape after discussions with laureates like Jnanapitha awardee Vinda Karandikar, Dalit activist Namdeo Dhasal and professor Arun Kamble.”

Aiming to involve the youths through activities at colleges, the forum plans to encourage students across Maharashtra to explore theatre, music and poetry in both the languages.

On Friday, the poets will recite works alongside students from Bhendi Bazaar’s RC Teachers Training Girls College, where the event is being held.

“Languages are a gateway to each other’s cultures. By speaking each other’s tongue, we inhabit their cultures. Our poetry might be different but emotions are universal,” said Azmi.

Also on the agenda for his Urdu Markaz this year is the Bhendi Bazaar Festival, which will showcase Urdu poetry, literature, theatre and films in December, and a new cultural festival celebrating the pluralistic madrasa tradition, to be held in November.