PESHAWAR: On a moonlit night, Pashto poets gathered on the spacious grassy cricket ground of the Islamia College University and enthralled audience with poetry.
The Students Societies and Clubs (SSC) conducted the annual moonlit mushaira in which around 60 noted Pashto poets from parts of KP and Fata participated and shared their inspiring poetic pieces on variety of topics.
Most poets touched upon social, cultural, political and cultural decadence, injustice, poverty, terrorism and manipulation of elections by corrupt politicians for their monetary gains. Only a few young poets focused on apostrophizing to moon for romanticizing its heavenly beauty and nocturnal charm, yet many others versified social issues in a befitting manner.
Prof Dr Naushad Ali Khan, Prof Vice-chancellor of Islamia College University was the chief guest while Prof Dr Abaseen Yousafzai chaired the annual mushaira event. Prof Dr Izharullah Izhar, chairman, department of Urdu ICU and Prof Iqbal Shakir of Malakand University were guests of honour on the occasion.
Prof Abaseen Yousafzai, chief organizer of the event said ICU had been conducting moonlit mushaira for the last over several years for the interest of the young students and also it aimed at inculcating a creative sense and generating self -confidence among them. He said ICU would continue arranging such events for Islamians to develop a good literary taste.
The trio of humorous Pashto poets namely Zafar Shah Zafar, Zafar Ali Naaz and Zafar Khan Zafar stole the show while a visually challenged poet, Habib Nawaz Angaar; also a Ph. D scholar at Pashto Academy, University of Peshawar rendered his poem in his velvety voice and garnered a standing ovation from the participants.
He said he was pleased to know that young Pashto poets had respect and love for their country and also inspired other people to follow their vision.
Shaukat Swati and Rashid Khan Rashid’s rendition of the poetic pieces triggered a loud applause. Prof Bakht Zaman, Prof Salis Yousafzai, Shamshad Angaar, Janoon Shinwari, Mobeen Ihsas Afridi, Fazal Hakeem Andleeb and Jalal Khalil were also showered with accolades for their creative works.
Most students and guests preferred to sit on the bare- ground to enjoy the mushaira as their number exceeded the chairs placed for the audience. However, the participants remained peaceful and even appreciative of the quality poetry being read out there by the noted bards.
Rizwanullah Shamaal, a young poet from Dir received rounds of appreciation and encore for his beautiful long poem titled ‘Iraada’ (Determination’. The crux of his poem was that the people had to determine their destiny for themselves while youth were required to make sacrifices for bringing about a substantive change in their society if they had to compete with the world nations.
Shahid Hussain Adil, a young Pashto poet from Malakand while sharing his views told this scribe that he and his colleagues enjoyed the open air Pashto mushaira despite their hectic intermediate ongoing examination schedule. He said such events helped young students to get refreshed and also they found an opportunity to speak out their hearts and minds in front of a huge crowed.
Senior writer, Prof Noorul Amin Yousafzai gave a brief introduction of moonlit mushaira tradition and also shed light on the history of Pashto language. He said, among thousands of languages, Pashto occupied the 41st position on the UNO checklist which showed its widespread significance and high literary value. He said Pashto language had survived despite lack of official patronage down the ages.
He said only poets and writers had helped Pashto language to survive through a journey of over 5,000 years. He said poets had vision and creative strength to pinpoint problems and issues of the poor masses and every now and then they educated and guided the general public on situation being developed around them.
Engineer Mubarak Ahmad, an old Islamian stunned the audience by reciting his romantic poem ‘Bangree’ (Bangles). He recalled that he had been student of Islamia College, Peshawar way back in 1960 to 1962.
He said he then moved to UK and remained there for over several decades and also ran a Pashto literary society there but ultimately his motherland called him back and was happy to be once again on the soil of his alma mater. “ I am old now but this beautiful sight of the fascinating moon against the magnificent building of the historic Islamia College , Peshawar rejuvenated a young spirit in me,” he shared.
Shahab Aziz Arman and Zaryab Yousafzai moderated the moonlit mushaira with great enthusiasm.