Seems to be a week of live performances! First the Gujarati Play, now the Mushaira.
The start was simple. Got a call on the way home.. Have tickets for a Kavi Sammelan or a Mushaira as one would call it. Are you interested? What time, was the first question. 9 PM being the answer and the fact that I would have had to collect the tickets, plus that I was stuck in traffic at 8.15 PM, No, was the straight response. Kavi or Gayak Sammelan, not going.
Reaching home in about 20 Min’s, as I entered, found the time was at 10 PM. Wow! And oh yes, it includes Javed Akhtar, was the additional message. Since I had an hour or more, the no turned into a yes. Surely, some dedicated fans would have said yes even to a 15 minute notice, but have always felt, if last minute, don’t break your head on it.
Trying to find some companionship was the next challenge. There were extra Tickets, but no one from the group circle interested. Kavi Sammelan !! You mean those boring poets doing word combinations that no one understands. No way. Mushaira.. It will be a all out Pakistani Event.. .and what have you not.
Ultimately, with no one willing, turned out to be a solo trip. The Venue was the Indian School in Dubai, the line up included a variety of Poets from India and Pakistan, with the main draw of the evening being Javed Akthar. The coverage was quite wide, with some veteran as well as young poets participating, with people coming in from India, Pakistan, Kuwait and including Canada.
Of course, being a Mushaira on poetry and Ghazals, meant the entire evening would be in Urdu. With words sounding French, Greek and Latin, the question that came to mind, was, What the hell am I doing here? But then remembering what Gabbar Singh once said: Jo Dar Gaya, samjho Mar Gaya ringing in my ears, decided to go on.
The first thing I realized on a live show was that TV Mushaira’s and Live Shows are two different events. First and foremost is the feeling of being there. What it is, I cannot describe, but sitting in an auditorium, looking at 10 poets sitting up on the stage, each coming out with couplets, some rhyming, some not, but each one in perfect harmony, some sentences making perfect sense and putting you into a deep thought, some making no sense at all until you hear the next three lines, some called Ghazals, some called Nazm’s or Najm’s as they call it.
At times you have no clue why the compere said, Kya Khub Kehney, or why he said, Bahut Khub, but as the evening progresses and you get into the flow, you realize what it means, and why it is said. Some where there is a flow, some where the compere acts as a guide, some where he simply repeats for the impact, at times you feel, he repeats to assist the poet of the lines, but all said and done, done in an effortless manner, without any pretensions. You realize as time goes by, the compere too is an accomplished poet, but the manner in which he guides the evenings and ensures that the right poet comes in one after the other, is an art in itself.
The evening no doubt belonged to Javed Akhtar. Have always considered him to be arrogant and pretentious, but had no such feelings for his poetry. He showed why he is so respected in the industry when it comes to coming out with his songs, his Ghazals, his poems. Reciting a few of his Ghazals, with a rendition of his Najm Waqt Humara Hai, a perfect end to an evening.
I would not say, I ended up any wiser on what Shayri and Ghazals were, but it for sure was an Eye Opener. A different world altogether of Poetry, that originated from our own country, a reminder of the glorious past that India was, and a tradition that was being kept alive. With more than a week gone by, I dont recall much of what was said, but for sure two poems or Ghazals, for ever remain in my mind.
In footpathon ko itna mat ragadkar chalo….In footpathon ko itna mat ragadkar chalo….
Inpar mazdooron key sapney rehtey hain.
Inpar mazdooron key sapney rehtey hain.
and what was even more true
Bete bhi aaj kal rukhsat ho jaatey hain…Bete bhi aaj kal rukhsat ho jaatey hain…
Sirf Betiyon ko hi paraya mat samjho.
Until my next tryst with Poetry.