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Harris Khalique poetry collection launched – Journal

KARACHI: The sixth collection of poems in Urdu by famous writer and poet Harris Khalique, titled Hairaan Sar-i-Bazaar, launched Monday evening at the Karachi Press Club (KPC).

Waheed Noor, who moderated the event, said he was close to Khalique [for a long time] and knows that the poet honors relationships. He is also linked to his time (apney ahd se judey huay hain).

Journalist Mujahid Barelvi said that poetry was not his field but that he could talk about the personality of the poet. Khalique belongs to the tribe to which Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Habib Jalib and Fahmida Riyaz belonged – he is the secretary general of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP). In his poetry, he chooses subjects such as missing persons, which is not an easy thing to do.

Playwright Bee Gul recited three poems from the book: Gumshuda, Nadim Ahsan, and Eshwar Kumar.

Akram Baloch, representative of KPC, thanked the guests for coming to the event. He said he has known Khalique since 1992, when the latter worked for NGORC, and both share ideological ideas.

Harris Khalique then stepped onto the podium and read some of his book ghazals and nazms. He began with the following opening lines from the ghazal:

Ay chashm-i-intizar, safaid-o-siyaah-o-surkh
Be khwaab or qaraar, safaid-o-siyaah-o-surkh

[Oh the eye that awaits (the beloved) — white, black and red Sans dreams and peace — white, black and red]

Artist Khalid Ahmed also recited some poems, the first of which was Rashida Domini.

Writer Noorul Huda Shah said that novelty or freshness (jiddat) in poetry is something that is right in front of you. It is no small task to win in a kingdom dotted with big names. Khalique’s poems have stories and characters.

Poet Zehra Nigah, chairing the launch, began her speech by praising the book’s prefaces (deebachey) and then appreciated its title, which bears the word hairaan (astonishment or wonder). She argued that one of the special aspects of poetry is that it contains an element of wonder. She told this audience, which had filled the KPC hall, that she is, these days, collecting verses (asha’ar) which contain the very word.

Mrs. Nigah, pointing out the salient features of Khalique’s poems, said that there are two types of scenography, or image creation (manzar kashi): one carries details, for example in qasidas; and the other can be found in the ghazals. Khalicus poetry has the creation of images, wonder, history and characterization (kirdar nigari). It is difficult to include all of these elements in a nazm.

In this regard, she mentioned the 1947 Punjab poem in the book, which she says appears as a short film. She read the poem too, and it must be said that among all who had recited nazms and ghazals that evening, Ms. Nigah’s reading was well articulated and poignant.

Ms Nigah pointed out that some people are of the opinion that Khalique’s poetry is influenced by that of the legendary NM Rashid. She argued that there is a big difference between being influenced (muta’asir) by someone and copying (naql) someone’s style. A good poet knows and must know how to let himself be influenced. A bad copy and a good poet are influenced. However, there are conditions to become the latter. First of all, the versifier himself must be a mature poet. The other important thing is that the poet must have something to say and have a wide range of subjects.

Posted in Dawn, le 15 December 2021


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