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Old-time Deccani poetry sparks a laugh riot

Hyderabad: There is no way to eliminate life’s challenges. But we can at least temporarily laugh at the blues. Hyderabadis did just that the other day. They took the route of humor to reduce stress levels. The mizahia mushaira organized by Siasat Urdu Daily had the audience in several parts. Held as part of the 75th Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav and 200 years of Urdu journalism, the ‘tamseeli mushaira’ proved to be a huge success. Couldn’t think of a better way to spend Sunday evening.

Hyderabad has lived up to its reputation as the humor capital of India. The mushaira sparked an unprecedented response with people showing up in large numbers. The rush was such that two floors of the Abid Ali Khan Centenary Hall in the Siasat Urdu Daily building filled up in no time. Many felt that the program should have been held in a bigger venue so that everyone could be accommodated.

Humor is universal. It transcends all class and age boundaries. This was clearly evident with men and women of different age groups having a great time. The program kicked off with a bang after a brief introduction from the poets and a reference to Siasat entering its 75th year of publication. Siasat Editor-in-Chief Zahid Ali Khan and Editor-in-Chief Zaheeruddin Ali Khan were present on the occasion.

For a change, the audience was transported back in time as they were treated to Deccani poetry from well known poets like Sulaiman Khateeb, Mohd Himayatullah, Ghouse Khamakha, Gilli Nalgondavi and others. Their verses were recited in their own style by today’s humorous poets. They even adhered to their costume and mannerisms. Munawwar Ali Mukhtasar, who accompanied the mushaira, kept the audience in high spirits with his witty and ironic remarks.
Introducing Azmath Bhilawan’s shayeri, he said:
Aaj bhi kis qadr suhani hai meri shaadi ki sherwani
Phutta gangal kaise bechun main, pehli shaadi ki ye hai nishani

Lateefuddin Lateef mesmerized everyone with Sulaiman Khateeb’s poem containing a generous dose of English words. Khateeb thus describes the outpourings of a son who returned to London at his father’s grave:
Handsome father maze mein sota hai
Um to dunya mein bore hota hai
Apne dil mein tumara izzat hai
Jitta milta hai um ko juvve mein
Naam le ko tumara peeta hai

Saunli Begum evoked lots of laughs when she recited Fareed Anjum’s naughty verses. In her typical style, she recounted the setbacks of a college-going student when she got on the bus:
Bus mein chadhtech single picche pad gaya mathimila
Halu halu chumtiyan lene laga mathimila

Shabban Khan also drew huge applause when he took the microphone and recited poetry by Gilli Nalgondavi. The poem titled – Minister ki maut par chamchon ka matam – goes like this:
Bawa re, data re
Kaan ku jata re

Most of the recited poems sounded crude and crude in their wordings, but for those familiar with the Deccani shayeri, they have a completely different effect. Taste this tickling brand of shayeri from Pagal Adilabadi recited by humorous poet Waheed Pasha Quadri. The nazm titled Nakam aashiq ki bad-du’a looks like this:

Aashiq ki duayein leti ja
Ja tujh ko pati kangal mile
Khichdi ko hamesha tarsus you
Aur tujh ko chane ki daal mile

Himayatullah’s shayeri, the Qutb Minar of Deccani humor, received huge applause when Moin Amar Bumboo recited his poem Aankkhon Ka Atiya (gift of the eyes):
Mere ankhyan tho de rouN pan ki meri baat mat bhulo
Simple ankhyan tume jis ko lagye usku ye bolo
Secunderabad jako roz meri jaan ku dekho
Mother aankhon se dekho pan ki apne dil se mat dekho

The mushaira, which lasted almost three hours, was a resounding success and people returned with smiles on their faces.

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