Mehfill-e-Muqasida: Poets render verses praising Imam Husain at the unique mushaira

I have heard about Mehfil-e-Muqasida quite often but didn’t have much information about them. I have attended ‘Tarahi’ mushairas but could never participate in such mehfils.

In one of the Mehfil-e-Muqasida that was organised at Manglaur town in Hardwar districts, umpteen poets recited their verses. The couplets were in praise of Hazrat Imam Husain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad.

Apart from citizens, members of different political parties and leaders were present at the poetic meet. Such events are held regularly in towns and also in praise of other great Islamic personalities also. A few couplets that were recited at this mushaira:

Chiraagh dast-e-havaa par jalaa diyaa jaaye

phir uske baad qasiida teraa paRhaa jaaye [Razi Biswani]


is ko kehte haiN saKhaawat, aise hote haiN saKhii

kaasa-e-dast-e-shaahadat meN bharaa ghar rakh diyaa [Dr Nashir Naqvi[]


na jaane kaun sii niyat se raah rokii thii

phir uske baad jinaaN tak thaa Hur, Husain ke saath [Tayyab Kazmi Lakhnavi]


Jarii thaa, bhaagne vaaloN pe vaar kyaa kartaa!

Khudaa ka sher, hiran ka shikaar kyaa kartaa! [Sarvar Nawab Lucknowi]


mere khayaal se hai Khatm-e-kaainaat yahiiN

dikhaai kuchh nahiiN detaa Husain se aage [Gulrez Rampuri]




Urdu poet Mazhar Imam passes away

Mazhar Imam

Mazhar Imam, one of the pioneers of Azad Ghazal genre, and an important poetic voice in the post-independent era, died in Delhi on Monday.

Imam was 83. He was undergoing treatment in the hospital for almost three weeks. However, he died of cardiac arrest. Mazhar Imam was born in Darbhanga (Bihar). His first collection of poetry Zakhm-e-Tamanna was published in 1962.

Besides, his other collections included ‘Rishta Goongey Safar Ka’, ‘Pichhle Mausam ka Phool’, ‘Band hota hua Bazaar’. A compilation of his pieces on literary criticism was also published. It was titled, “Aati Jaati Lahrein’.

Mazhar Imam had retired as Director of Doordarshan Kendra at Sri Nagar. Apart from Azad Ghazal, he also wrote Nazms. At Urdu India, we have published a selection of his couplets in the past. Read the couplets at this link.


New Urdu magazine hits stand in India

Roshan Shama is the latest Urdu magazine launched in India. The magazine, which is in a digest form, has been priced at Rs 25.

It’s after a long time that a new social [or family] magazine in Urdu has been launched from Delhi. Though news magazines have been launched in recent past, there was no social magazine that could fill the void after Shama, Bano and Biswin Sadi stopped publication.

Shahid Siddiqui, who is known for his weekly Nai Dunia, has begun publishing Roshan Shama. It would be a rival to Pakiza Anchal. The latest issue also has a story on Pathan brothers–Irfan and Yusuf.

The fact that is not a ‘desk story’ and the writer went to the Pathan household, for the interview and a first-hand coverage, is indeed laudable. Otherwise it has become a norm to write desktop reports.

Apart from Shahid Siddiqui’s novel, there are ten short-stories, three short novels and four other long stories that will be published in parts in the coming issues.

In order to engage reader, several columns have been introduced in the digest. Historical novels and stories other than Urdu poetry and religious information fill the rest of the pages.

Unlike Huma, which often publishes Pakistani writers’ stories without even giving credit to Suspense digest and other magazines from across the border, Roshan Shama has most of the content written by Indian writers.


Remembering Z Rahman Naiyar and Biswin Sadi

Ziaur Rahman Naiyar, the editor of Biswin Sadi Urdu monthly, passed away recently in Delhi. He was once the owner and editor of the magazine which was visible in almost every educated Muslim household.

The magazine was earlier owned by Khushtar Girami, a noted Sikh litterateur. Later Naiyar maintained the same standards. He was also editor of the film magazine Ruby [or Roobi] that became a rival for Shama.

Biswin Sadi played an important role in cultivating the interest of readers towards high literature. Almost all the top writers and poets were published in the magazine that also had articles, political satire, cartoons, health section and short stories [afsanas].

However, a few years back he had begun withdrawing from the world. It was strange. He was shunning everything. Afterwards Biswin Sadi got closed and then he passed away silently in November 2009.

Truly, an era of Urdu journalism has ended with his demise.


Humorist Yusuf Nazim is no more

Yusuf Nazim Urdu writerEminent Urdu litterateur Yusuf Nazim passed away at his residence in Mumbai. He was 88. His wife and four children survive him.

Yusuf Nazim, one of the foremost Urdu humorist in India, was a prolific writer and wrote over two dozen books. He penned popular columns for newspapers like Inquilab.

His initial articles were published way back in 1944. For almost 65 years he consistently wrote. He had joined Labour department of Hyderabad Deccan in 1944 and retired as Deputy Commissioner Labour in 1976 in Mumbai.

Born as Syed Mohd Yusuf, he also wrote travelogues and books for children. In Urdu daily Inquilab, Nadeem Siddqui, in an obituary tells us about one of his couplets:

khoon-e-Aadam bahe saDkoN pe to rangeeni hai
aaj ke daur ki qismat hi filisteeni hai

Though his ancestors belonged to Farrukhabad in Uttar Pradesh, Yusuf Nazim was born in Jalna in Marathwada region of Maharashtra in undivided India.

Poetry in praise of Hazrat Fatima Zahra

Jashn-e-ZehraA poetic meet was organised in the historic town of Amroha where the poets recited their couplets in praise of the daughter of Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him.

The event was known as Jashn-e-Fatma Zehra. Poetry and Urdu couplets praising Fatima [RH] were recited at the Urdu poetry recital session. Other than literary meets, such poetry sessions where poetry is rendered exlusively in praise of Prophet, Hazrat Ali, Bibi Fatima or Muharram, are common in Urdu-speaking areas in the sub-continent.

While Sunnis organise Natiya Mushairas, the Shias mostly hold poetry sessions where religious figures including Hazrat Ali, Bibi Fatima, Hazrat Imam Husain and the events leading to Yaum-e-Ashurah are the topic of poetry.

Some of the couplets at the poetry session:

kyaa tajallii hai ki Khurshiid-e-falak chakkar meN hai
nuur hai markaz pe lekin roshni manzar meN hai
[Shamim Amrohvi]

Zahra haiN yuuN khayaal-e-suKhanwar ke aas paas
khushbuu-e-paak jaise gul-e-tar ke aas paas
[Nausha Amrohvi]

nahiiN voh be-wafa ho hii nahiiN saktaa zamaane meN
tere Ghaazi kaa jo parcham uThaaye Fatima Zehraa
[Saahil Amrohvi]

mil gayii haii mujhko jurrat, ho gayaa be-baak bhii
madahat-e-Zahraa ne baKhshii quvvat-e-idraak bhii
[Haji Abid Amrohvi]

There are just a few sample asha’ar recited at the poetry session. Several other poets also read out their verses and received hearfelt applause from the audience.

By Indscribe []

Sajid Sajni: The last poet of Rekhti

First an astonishing Urdu couplet:

talaaq de to rahe ho ataab-o-qahar ke saath
meraa shabaab bhii lauTaa do mere meher ke saath

[Sajid Sajni]

While Classical Urdu ghazal was called ‘Rekhta’, the poetry written in woman’s voice by men was termed as ‘Rekhti’. In the late 18th and early 19th century, in a deadent sultanate of Oudh, poetry in woman’s voice was penned by poets as a form of protest.

It was promptly dubbed Rekhti (opposed to Rekhta). Sa’adat Yaar Khan Rangin is credited as its creator. Though Insha, Jurat and Jan Sahib were other exponents.

In this genre, men wrote poetry in a feminine voice, using the idiom of women (begumati zubaan) and addressed another woman (bhabhi, baaji, aapa, ammi, saheli et al).

It gave a voice to women to express their grievances in their own language, except that it was written by men. Later it degenerated and was never recited in genteel soirees or homes. The genre died in the middle of 19th century

But Sajid Sajni revived it and refined it. He gave it a healthy direction apart from his sharp wit, satire and humour. Sajid Sajni was born in Lucknow in 1922 and settled in Bhopal in 1946.

[Article courtesy: Nasir Kamaal]