Thanks to Kritika, who I can’t thank enough for letting me know that this event was being planned in my own town! A wonderful gathering of some great poets, and some terrific, terrific shayari.
The rightmost gentleman is the oldest living Urdu poet in India, Gulzar Dehlvi. Aged 92, his voice belied his years. And his playful verse belied the numerous generation gaps between him and his 20-something listeners. Rang-e-Rekhta is an attempt by the founders of the website rekhta.org to reintroduce Urdu shayari to a new generation in a (still) new century. Anyone interested in Urdu shayari would do him/herself to visit their site and browse through their immense collection.
The response was tremendous, people flocked the foyer to catch a refrain or two, teenagers whistled lustily at the naughty verses and standing ovations greeted every great poet.
अभी सलीके का नौहा न पढ़िए (abhi saliiqe ka nauha na padhiye)
अभी कुछ लोग उर्दू बोलते हैं (abhi kuchh log Urdu bolte hain)
Do not mourn the passing of grace
Some yet can the flow of Urdu trace