Canada-based poet for truthful verses at launch of six collections

Lahore:17 January:It was a unique launch ceremony that was held at the Arts Council of Pakistan on Thursday night – for a total of six collections of poetry by a poet were launched at the event. The publication of six books by the same person at the same time must sound strange, but upon knowing that the poet lived in Canada and had decided to have all her poetry that she had composed over around two decades, one finds her six books coming out together alright. The poet, Syeda Munawwar Jahan Zaidi, received praises from all the speakers, who lauded her art, highlighting the sincerity and beautiful depiction of her true feelings in her poetry. It was said that she had employed her poetic craft in various genres of Urdu poetry such as Hamd, Naat, Manqabat and Ghazal. The collections launched were titled ‘Aabgina-e-Khayal’, Nigaristan-e-Munawwar’, ‘Gul Haye Rang Rang’, ‘Bihisht-e-Tasawwur’, ‘Rang-e-Aqeedat’ and ‘Manzil-e-Ishq’. The ceremony was effectively hosted by Khalid Moin who also time to time recited some of the verses by Munawwar. Poet Hamida Kashish was the first speaker, who praised Munawwar’s poetry for its truth due to which it produced an effect on the readers’ hearts. “Har aik zakhm-e-tamanna se pyar hum ne kiya/ Yeh kya keh maseeha se pyar hum ne kiya/ Yeh aur baat keh tum mu’tabar nahin nikle/ wafa shi’aar hain hum aitbaar hum ne kiya” were some of the verses from a ghazal by Munawwar that were recited by the speaker. Poet Waqar Zaidi said Munawwar’s ghazals appeared as a bouquet in which every flower had a different colour. He was of the view that the individuality and universality of Munawwar’s verses could not be denied. He specifically praised the radeefs of her ghazals and the meaningful connections between phrases in her poetry. One of the friends of Munawwar in Canada, Zeenat Kausar Lakhani, who has been a teacher of Urdu literature as well, gathered applause for her essay on the poet laden with witty remarks. She said the personality of the poet was the embodiment of the meaning of her name, Munawwar Jahan, as she had spread light in the world in the form of her poetry. She remarked that the poetry collections could be seen as autobiographies of the poet as she truly represented herself in her poems. “Woh ranj-o-alam pae ba pae mujh ko de kar/ Mere zabt-e-gham ka bharam dekhte hain,” she recited this verse of Munawwar’s ghazal written in the rhyming scheme of one of Ghalib’s ghazals, as she told the ceremony how much a fan Ghalib Munawwar was. Zeenat added that in spite of her religious inclinations, Munawwar’s poetry never called for asceticism and it advocated adopting the ways through which one could live their life to the fullest. Dr Sarwat Rizvi was the only speaker who chose to talk specifically on one of the six books being launched. She presented her ideas about ‘Bihisht-e-Tasawwur’, a collection of Hamd, Naat and Manqabat, saying that reading them was like embarking on a spiritual journey to paradise. Critic Dr Nuzhat Abbasi said Munawwar was a prolific poet and had a great command over intricacies of Urdu language. She praised her many ghazals in short metre for having no ambiguity. According to the speaker, the job of poetry is to present all the humanly emotions and experiences in a way that they seem mutually related. To poet Suhail Ahmed, the publication of collections by a woman poet was a welcome sign as there were fewer women writers than men, although in terms of population, women exceeded men in our society. He also criticised television media for not airing literary programmes as they did not attract advertisements. He said media owners should realise that if broadcast include literary shows, many educated people who have stopped watching the television would be induced to start watching it again. The special guest, Dr Aliya Imam, made a powerful speech that more than verified the host’s words in the introduction in which he recalled Faiz Ahmed Faiz calling her Bulbul-e-Pakistan (the nightingale of Pakistan). She said that in the digital age when books are being neglected, someone publishing six books at a time is an admirable achievement and she was full of thanks to Munawwar for that. She also presented her ideas on love that was a recurring theme in Munawwar’s poetry. Dr Aliya said the poet had extended her instinct of love to the entire humanity due to which she dreamt of a revolution which would alter the world into another world where everyone was happy and there was no difference between haves and have-nots. Prof Sahar Ansari presided over the event. He said once Munawwar had told that she did not write any poetry for a period of 10 years when her husband had fallen ill, quipping that had she also produced poetry in those years, there would have been 10 more books being launched today. He also talked about the literary family to which Munawwar belonged to. Munawwar was overwhelmed with emotions as she came to the dais. All her brief speech revolved around thanking God and all those who had come to the event. She, however, recited a ghazal in the end, two couplets of which were as follows: “Naghmat-e-jigar soz saba gaane lagi hai/ Ghunchon ke chatakne ki sada aane lagi hai/ Ae chand mere apni zia aa ke dikha ja/ Yeh chandni bedard to tarpane lagi hai”.The news.

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