Artistes of “Aiwan-e-Fankar” try to trace the journey of ‘mushaira'
Hyderabad: Years roll back and time seems to stand still. Hyderabad's founder, Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah, reclines on his throne with the royal guards in attendance. The poets are seated in a semi-circle on spotless white ‘chandnees'. The air is rife with expectation as the ‘shama' is placed before a poet.
Yes, one is transported back in time as a typical mushaira of the Quli Qutb Shah days comes alive. Mushairas figure at the top on the cultural calendar of Hyderabad, but this one is different. It is a throwback to the olden times when aesthetic values had not yielded place to crass commercialisation.
An earnest attempt was made the other day by artistes belonging to “Aiwan-e-Fankar” to bring back the glory of mushairas of yore. They tried to trace the journey of the ‘ghazal', capturing the typical ambience, the rich blend of thought and feelings. Not just this. Artistes donned period costumes complete with flowing beards and long tresses to play the roles of great poets like Mirza Ghalib, Mir Taqi Mir, Daag, Jigar, Hasrat Mohani down to the recent greats like Shaz Tamkanat and Maqdoom Mohiuddin.
For most part, the history of Urdu poetry is the story of the Urdu ghazal. But the current generation brought up on MTV has neither the taste nor interest to appreciate the nuances of shayari. “We want to present the greatest of Urdu poets in their original style. And also to show how mushairas were actually held earlier,” says Javeed Kamal, the man behind ‘Tamseeli mushaira'.
Sure, this is a fairly good attempt to revive interest in the institution of mushaira. Interestingly, it seeks to treat the audience with the best of Urdu ghazals from the best writers of the genre. Mr. Kamal has shot the two-hour concert and it will be soon available in CD format. Urdu lovers can now watch the legendary poets recite from the comfort of their homes.