by Rubina Firdaus

Mehfil-e-Mushaira - was held in Apex, NC at the Carey C. Jones community center on May 1, 2004. This was the second such gathering of Urdu poets in the RTP area. The first Mehfil-e-Mushaira took place five years ago in 1999. This year's event, once again promised to satisfy the poetic appetites of Urdu lovers in the Triangle area. Shahid and Farah Alam were instrumental in bringing distinguished Urdu poets, both local and from different parts of the country to present their work at this event.

Raees Warsi, who also presented his poetry, compered the event. The poets who presented their work were Humaira Rehman, Shehla Naqvi, Naseem Farogh, Baqar Zaidi, Wasif Hussain Wasif, Shakil Azad, Altaf Tirmiz, Noon Meem Danish, and our local poets Afroz Taj, Jafar Abbas, Javed Qureshi, Khaleeque Hussain and Mustafa Kamal. Friends and families of the poets also attended to cheer for the poets. Taj, Jafar, and Javed represented Urdu Majlis, the local Urdu literary society, and many of the audience members are also regular participants in Urdu Majlis.

The recited poetry ranged from complex and artfully phrased ghazals to simple and touching couplets. The topics covered the gamut of emotions such as self, love, betrayal and lust. Some poems dealt with today's pressing issues, while others were in praise of God. A few couplets elicited a chuckle or two while the others were downright funny.

The allure of an evening spent listening to Urdu poetry recited by distinguished poets proved to be a great draw. The event was well attended and the audience included South Asians from all walks of life. Many in the audience were well versed in Urdu. There were several who were less proficient, but whose love for Urdu was by no means lesser. Indeed, the Mushaira did not satisfy our appetites, it whetted them for more Urdu poetry. Let's hope the Mehfil-e Mushaira becomes an annual event.