Digital collection of Dr Siddiqui’s poetry launched
KARACHI: It has increasingly become an unreasonable request that literary functions in the city be held on time. This was clearly evident at the launch of Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui’s audio CD titled Sachey Sha’er ka Khaliyaan at the Arts Council on Thursday, as the event started almost two hours behind the schedule.
Presided over by renowned poet Zehra Nigah, the event titled Altraf-i-Kamal: Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui brought together poets, critics, educationists, and lovers of the poetic form to celebrate and appreciate Dr Siddiqui’s poetry and his innumerable contributions towards education and literature, among other areas.
A well-known educationalist that Dr Siddiqui is, however, many believe that his poetic prowess at times overshadow his other achievements.
This was clearly evident by the overwhelming crowd that gathered to hear his ghazals and attend thelaunch.
Many in the crowd felt that the occasion was long overdue keeping in mind Dr Siddiqui’s contributions towards the city, over many decades.
Though it began late, the organisers had enough presence of mind to play the CD, which was being launched, for the audience.
Dr Siddiqui’s verses and his mesmerising delivery were much appreciated, for a long time, way before many of the panellists made their entry.
After the welcome speech by the vice president of the Arts Council, Mahmood Ahmed Khan, poet Ambreen Haseeb Ambar spoke at length about intricacies of Dr Siddiqui’s poetry and how he, throughout his life, broke away from the clichéd existence that tends to plague poets. She stressed that how most poets were considered unreliable and troubled people, and Dr Siddiqui was a complete opposite. He is a personality that has taken up the love of every person that he meets. She also spoke about his hrst love, poetry, and how he wrote verses for the love of it, never letting it gain precedence over other matters in life. His verses do not pander to public opinion, and highlight themes of the self, life around him, as well as encompassing universal issues.
Poet and writer Dr Fatima Hasan steered the conversation to the CD being launched and how it will be considered a welcome addition to the libraries of poetry lovers within and outside the country. She spoke about the verses compiled and how they were very much in lieu with Dr Siddiqui`s personality. Listening to them will allow his fans to not only identify and understand the backdrop employed, but will also allow them to forge a connection with his person, she said.
Shahida Ahmed, the compiler behind the CD, went into great detail about her experiences of working with Dr Siddiqui while Dr Nomanul Haq picked up various literary de-vices employed in many of Dr Siddiqui’s poetry, with an attempt to understand his influences.
Many anecdotes about his life were shared, and how his trajectory, from his early schooldays to much later, allowed him to interact with people from all walks of life, and different social groups, thereby giving colour to his poetry. All the panellists agreed that this allowed his verses to display a distinct sense of social consciousness. This thread was taken forward by Nigah who, in her brief, yet extremely witty style, spoke of how this very consciousness is Dr Siddiqui’s destiny, his punishment as well as his salvation. It is his very nature to be aware of all that is happening around him and write about it. This isolated soul`s work is essential as without the voice of a poet, the nation will remain deaf and mute.
Dr Siddiqui himself recited two new ghazals that were the perfect end to the session. He did not delve into much about his contributions, but did speak about the importance to groom the future generation to effectively contribute towards society at large. His parting words rang true when he said that regardless of the circumstances of one’s life, the upbringing of a child must never be compromised and one must be exposed to different elements of society such as music, art, poetry, literature as well as different languages to allow a well-rounded personality to emerge.
And Dr Siddiqui is the best example of such an upbringing.