Homage paid to Ghalib on birth anniversary
By Peerzada Salman
KARACHI: Homage was paid to Mirza Ghalib at a programme held at T2F on Tuesday to celebrate the bard`s birth anniversary.
Distinguished scholar Dr Aslam Farrukhi gave a wonderful sketch of Ghalib`s life in a manner that he deemed fit for the audience. Beginning from the poet`s birth (Dec 27, 1797) to the time he got disillusioned with the court of Bahadur Shah Zafar, Dr Aslam Farrukhi drew a chronological picture of Ghalib.
He said despite many a personal predicament (lost his father at a tender age, was poverty-stricken most of the time, was misunderstood by his contemporaries, etc), he remained an unflappable individual who always had tremendous self-belief. On the topic of Ghalib being recondite as a poet, he said he was fond of the Persian language and had a natural and incredible command over it. He said it was Maulvi Fazl-i-Haq Khairabadi who asked Ghalib to use the kind of language that would be readily understood which was why later on in his career the poet employed a diction which was reasonably accessible.
He argued Ghalib never got bogged down by unnecessary criticism and kept doing what he thought was right. He said many of the poet`s couplets had become proverbial, and the number of such verses was far more than any other Urdu poet`s. He said prior to Ghalib Urdu ghazal was largely a form of recounting personal happenings, but Ghalib expanded its horizon. He was a creative individual ahead of his time, he said.
The speech was followed by a short film on Mirza Ghalib by Yousuf Saeed. It was an effort to encapsulate the life and work of Ghalib through his epistolary communication visually aided by shots of Delhi and chunks of an interview with Dr Khalique Anjum.
Music composer Arshad Mahmood and writer Mohammad Hanif were asked to talk on the poet.
Arshad Mehmood discussed the inherent theatricality and wit in Ghalib`s poetry, complimented by his own humorous comments on the subject. The audience thoroughly enjoyed his take on the poet. Daem para hua terey darr per nahin hoon main Rehyey ab aisi jaga chal ke jahan koi na ho Meray shauq da naeen etbar tenun
Mohammad Hanif read out Punjabi translations of three of Ghalib`s ghazals, two done by Aseer Abid (and ) and a Persian ghazal translated by Sufi Ghulam Mustafa Tabassum (). He told the gathering that the last one was sung by Ghulam Ali and for a long time he considered it a folk song. Bas ke dushwar hai her kaam ka asan hona Ishrat-i-qatra hai darya mein fana ho jana
A slide show by Khuda Bux Abro, featuring his calligraphic work as a tribute to Ghalib`s poetry, was the next item. Using some of the poet`s known couplets (, ), Abro exhibited his artistic mark of respect for the poet in an effective manner.
The penultimate celebratory piece was Dr Asif Farrukhi`s reading of a few of Ghalib`s letters (to Mir Majrooh, Mirza Tafta and Mirza Hakim Ali Mehr).
He began by stating that Ghalib was as good a prose writer as he was a poet. He also gave examples of the unmatched wit that the great verse-wielder`s writings inherently carried. Muddat hui yaar ko mehman kiyey huay, Finally two youngsters, Danish and Sara, presented the ghazal originally sung by Noor Jehan.