Two new poets receive literary awards
By Jonaid Iqbal
ISLAMABAD: Parveen Shakir had already become celebrity poet at the age of 24 after the publication of her first book of poetry Khushboo.
For all that the event Khushboo ke safar ka agla parao (the next stop in the travel of fragrance) organised by the Parveen Shakir Trust on Saturday evening elevated her to a legendary figure.
Six elegant ladies, TV icon Laila Zuberi, Farah Hussein, Ambreen Haseeb Ambar, Gulshan Ara, Fatima Ahmad, and Saima Ali read a selection from her poetical verses.
The poetry reading brought to the fore the young poet Parveen Shakir’s long journey whose metaphors changed as she came across harsher realities of life.
The six ladies selected 27 or more poems, beginning from the famous poem Ku bakoo phail gayee bat meri shanasai ki.
The six ladies interpreted verses in a manner that the audience immediately felt the smooth and delicate touch of poetical nuances. It became easy to understand why and how the poet was able to carve a niche for herself in the pantheon of Urdu poetry.
The Parveen Shakir celebration commenced with the award of two Khushboo prizes for two books of poetry for the years 2007 and 2008.
Chief Guest Faisal Saeeda Assadullah Khan, Vice-Chancellor of the Fatima Jinnah University gave one award to a poet from Peshawar, Nasir Ali Syed for his poetical collection Shamen Fareb Deti hain (2007).
The next year’s award (2008) was taken by Amir Suhail, from Bahawalpur for the poetry book Teuhar ka Pani.
The two poets also received cash prize of Rs20,000 each and became the 13th and 14th poets to receive the coveted Khushboo Award established by PST to keep Parveen Shakir alive in the memory of her fans and admirers.
The selection of the recipient of the award was made after careful assessment, and quality poetry was the only merit for the award, said Begum Perveen Qadir Agha, PST’s Chairperson in her address of welcome.
The quality of Parveen Shakir’s poetry was again reaffirmed in the presidential remarks of Vice-Chancellor Saeeda, who remarked that Parveen painted the complex social panorama in her highest quality verses.
A Gold Medal was also awarded to Shazia Harman, student of English department at International Islamic University.
The event concluded with rendering of Parveen Shakir’s ghazals sung by Saeed Paras, an extremely gifted vocalist from Peshawar with a rich timbre voice.
By the time he had finished singing the ghazal Ku baku phail gayee, he had already won the hearts of the highly appreciative audience that comprised vice-chancellors, literati, university teachers and a large group of retired and present high officials.