Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi today celebrated the birth centenary of the noted poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz at the UT Guest House, Chandigarh. The event drew a large audience from a cross-section of society, the young and the old, the lay man and the scholar. Presiding over the event was Dr KL Zakir, the city’s grand old man of Urdu literature. He, along with Prof BN Goswamy, went down memory lane, recapturing a time in the past when they had shared their lives with Faiz. Prof PL Mehra, who was also present in the gathering, shared some of his reminiscences of the legendary poet.
Dr Shahid Mahuli from the Ghalib Institute in Delhi presented a scholarly paper on Faiz, giving an overview of the main characteristics of his poetry and the manner in which came to be recognized as a major voice of the twentieth century. Selections from Faiz poetry were sprinkled throughout the presentations: “mujhse pehli si muhabbat,” and “Raat yunh dil mein teri khoee hui yaad aayee / Jaise veeraaney mein chupkey sey bahaar aa jaye….” The Faiz fever gripped not only the senior citizens present in the gathering but also the comparatively young. Jatin Dutt, a youngster who runs the Chandigarh Urdu Bazm along with his friends, recited some Faiz poetry much to the delight of the listeners.
Dr Mahuli has recently edited a book on Faiz. This was released by Dr Zakir at the function.
A mushaira followed the poetry recitation in which there were some local poets and some from outstation. Shri KK Rishi from Kurukshetra, Mahendra Pratap Chand from Ambala, Nasir Naqvi from Patiala, were applauded for their poems. The local poets included BK Pannu, BAlbir Tanha, Gurdeep Gul, Ashk Amritsari, Shams Tabrezi, and Rupa Saba. Dr Zakir recited some poetry and so did Dr Mahuli. Present in the audience were two poets from abroad – Dr Iqbal from London and Dr Deepa Bahr from Kuala Lumpur – who read out a few of their shairs.
Overall, it was a stimulating session with some talks, some verse and plenty of food for the soul. Poetry can be a great binding factor. The audience bonded with each other, sharing Faiz-inspired thoughts generously interspersed with ‘irshads’ and ‘bahut khoob’.
The organizers of the CSA thanked the gathering for their continued support and assured them of more quality events in the coming times.