To commemorate the14 edition of its international mushaira, the Jashn-e-Bahar Trust will host a grand cultural event celebrating the best of contemporary Urdu poetry at Delhi Public School in Mathura Road here on April 6.

The main attraction at “Mushaira Jahshn-e-Bahar” will be Bollywood lyricist Javed Akhtar who will read out his latest poems in Urdu, a language that developed during the Delhi Sultanate. Another prominent Urdu poet Prof. Waseem Barelvi will also recite his latest poems.

This year, the duo will share the stage with Zehra Nigah and Anwar Masood, who is known as a multi-lingual poet, from Pakistan.

America's Max Bruce, globally popular for the freshness of his verse, also figures in the list of poets.

Vice-President Hamid Ansari, who will be chief guest at the event, will release a book “Mujhe Imaan Chahiye” -- a collection of verses of Akbar Illahabadi, the famous Urdu poet of wit and humour.

This non-official and non-political mushaira will highlight the fact that poetry cuts across man-made boundaries and unites people from different countries who speak a language that has enriched Indian cultural life for centuries.

The best of Urdu poets from the United States, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Pakistan and the host country will enthral the audience with their wit, intelligence and command over the language.

According to Jashn-e-Bahar Trust founder Kamna Prasad, the basic idea behind organising the festival was to present the diversity in the practice of Urdu verse and its cross-cultural and now global richness.

“Our films, the diaspora and the potency of Urdu have created a remarkable global identity for this essentially Indian language. This year Mushaira Jashn-e-Bahar highlights this emerging aspect of Urdu's poetic expression. Like other languages, Urdu is also changing. Earlier, we used to see poets using Hindi words here and there and now English words are used by some Urdu poets,” says Kamna Prasad.

In fact, in this Information Age, powered by Information Technology, Urdu has crossed all barriers -- be they international borders, its script, ethnicities or cultures, she adds.

Contrary to the popular perception, Urdu with its enchanting poetic expression is becoming increasingly popular among the youth as well. “We always organise our mushairas at educational institutions to make youngsters understand our rich literary heritage. This year, the mushaira is also travelling to a business school at Jamshedpur as part of the same campaign. It will be jointly organised by us and Karim City College,” she added.

According to mushaira convenor Aparna Reddy, the festival this year will have different flavours from different corners of the globe. “Practitioners of Urdu poetry will present their nazam in a congenial environment.”

A modern calligraphy by painter M. F. Husain representing the sweep and reach of Urdu will find a place amid the decor reminiscent of the classical age of Urdu poetry.

Keywords: Urdu poetry

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