AMEEN TAHIR KHAN | Arab News | 3 October 2016
COLUMBUS, OHIO: Charitable organization, HHRD (helping hand for relief and development) held a fundraiser mushaira where the audience was enthralled by famous Pakistani poets, Amjad Islam Amjad and Anwer Masood.
It was an evening of mixed shades, which fluctuated between somber and light, between tears and smiles. The beautiful imagery, and magic of words rendered by Amjad Islam Amjad, took the audience to the pure depths of Urdu poetry.
It touched their hearts and aesthetic senses. Anwer Masood’s humor and wit lightened the mood and delighted everyone so much that the room resonated with chuckles and laughter.
Earlier, speakers representing HHRD and Ghazali Education Trust spoke about the grim realities and suffering of orphans, of children who went to work instead of schools. But they also showed the audience hope and solution. HHRD works in over 50 countries for the needy and the impoverished.
They have opened hundreds of schools, offered orphan support programs, and provided health care, skill development, water for life programs and much more. HHRD, which was founded in 2005, already is among the top-rated charities in the USA. Charity Navigator, an independent entity, which monitors charitable organizations, gave it 4 stars with a score of 98.23% with 100% in transparency.
Speaking to Arab News, poet Amjad Islam Amjad said he was happy to come to Columbus for the first time.
He said he was very touched with the love and respect the community had shown him. Talking about the downward spiral of the quality of Urdu language, Amjad said, that all languages had suffered a similar fate, but Urdu was there to stay. Amjad who is the recipient of the prestigious Pakistani awards, ‘Sitara-e-Imtiaz and pride of performance, though in his seventies, said he was very busy writing for publications and attending mushairas all over the world.
Poet Anwer Masood who is in his eighties was full of enthusiasm, anecdotes and wit. He is famous for his funny and humorous satirical poetry.
He was greeted by requests to recite his very famous poems, like ‘Bunyan’ (undershirt). He said wherever he goes, people scream, ‘Bunyan’. “It is funny, when I went to New Jersey, people over there were also asking for, ‘Bunyan’ and I told them, you have new jerseys you don’t need Bunyan.
Anwer Masood recited his humorous poems in Urdu and Punjabi, delighting everyone. He also recited one of his very famous serious poem, ‘Ambri’ which he said was based on a true event. In the poem, a boy named ‘Bashir’ is seen coming to school late.
Upon the teacher’s reprimand, Bashir says, he was late because his fellow classmate, Akram’s mother had come to his house to give him some food for her son. Akram had beaten his mother severely. She was bruised, swollen and bleeding. Yet she never complained about her son.
She only said that her poor son Akram, was angry with her and ran off to school without breakfast, and that he would be so hungry. “Please take this food to him”. Masood said, he was the teacher in the poem.
Bashir and Akram were real students of his. Masood said he was so disturbed by the fact that a son had beaten his mother that it took him ten years to write the poem.
Local poets, Mustehsen, Ali Minai and Dr. Akbar also recited their poems. Most in audience were past their prime, which bore testimony to the fact that the next generation is not learning their parents’ language. A woman was overheard telling her friend that she really begged her son to come to the event to catch the spirit of a mushaira, but he refused saying, he would be thoroughly bored as he wouldn’t understand anything.
But those who attended, felt they had a trip down memory lane. A woman in her 90’s said, that she had seen these poets on television since TV came to Pakistan. “But it was something else, to hear them in person. I am so glad I came.”
Article Courtesy: Arab News