Monsoon in poetry

Monsoon in poetry

in verse

Monsoon in poetry

Rain in the Capital may have been scarce but its effect was heightened many times over with a multi-lingual monsoon-themed poetry and story recitation session by cultural group Red Earth.

The baithak at Alliance Francaise saw writers and poetry enthusiasts Nikhat Mehndi, Akhlaq Ahan, Sumail Singh Sidhu, Oroon Das, Waryam Mast etc. read a selection of poems by Ezra Pound, Amir Khusro, Rumi, Bulleh Shah, Nirala and others, besides their own. The soft lights and monsoon-themed decorations added to the charm of the event.
Nikhat Mehndi graced the evening with her choice Nazeer Akbarabadi nazms in Urdu.

Barsaat ka jahan mein lashkar fisal pada / Badal bhi har taraf se hawa pe fisal pada / Jinke naye naye the makaa aur mahalsara / Unki chhath tapakti hai chhalni ho ja baja / Chikni zameen pe yahan keechad hai beshumar / Kitne bhi hoshiyar ho phisle hai ek baar. The poetry enthusiast explains, “Many poets and writers have descr­i­bed monsoon, but none like Nazeer Akbarabadi. I feel he had a special bond with rains as he has written a lot on this season. There is not one aspect of monsoon he has left out – from the festivals celebrated at this time to even the insects who enjoy this season. This is the reason he’s reme­m­bered even today.”

Akhlaq Khan, professor of Persian at JNU, who has translated many Persian writings into Urdu and Hindi, recited the poetry of Amir Khusro.

Abr mi bara do, Man mi shawam, Az yar juda meaning ‘The month of monsoon is here and my lover is away. How can it be that in this season, my soulmate is away from me?”
Akhlaq elaborated, “Since Iran does not see a whole month of monsoon like India, we do not find any mention of rains in Persian poetry till a certain time. Sufi mystic Amir Khusro is the first one to have described rains in Persian. His poetry on this season are a delight to read and understand.”

Next came Sumail Singh Sidhu who enthralled the audience with his beautifully lyrical monsoon poetry in Punjabi. He began with an anonymous folk song Bara Mah (12 months) composed in a meter called dedh (one and a half). As the title suggests, Bara Mah describes the change of season in each month of the year.

Then he recited the poetry of Pash – the greatest Punjabi poet of 20th century. Sumail expressed, “No one desc­r­i­bed the beauty of rural Punjab in the monsoon like Pash. Hence I chose Pash or I should say, Pash chose me today.”

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