It was a beautiful evening in Sydney on 17th September 2011. I was invited by the Urdu Society of Australia on their 16th Annual Urdu Mushaira (مشاعرہ) which the Society management dedicated to the legendary Urdu poet of Pakistan Faiz Ahmad Faiz (late) who holds a big name for his great revolutionary poetry against the Army dictators of country.
Event was held in Saphire Function Hall, Aburn, Sydney. Famous poet Mr. Khalid Masood Khan, who is my close relative, arrived especially from Multan, Pakistan for reading his popular humorous poetry collection. Another big name was Mr. Izhar ul Haq, a Pakistani based poet from Melbourne, Australia. Beside them there were some very good Urdu poets from Sydney and Melbourne, including Sadiq Saba, Dr. Kausar Jamal, Ashraf Shad, Abbas Gilani, Zafar Islam Khan, Arshad Saeed, Nadeem Nadavi, Salik Hameed Khawaja, Asmat Aara, Karishan Rahat, and Tariq Mirza etc. A delicious buffet dinner was also served to all the attendees. A large number of Pakistani and Indian community members attended the Mushaira which continued till mid-night.
All the performances were just amazing. Punjabi poem by Dr. Kausar Jamal ‘Rabba Meray Sohnya’ (ربا میرے سوہنیا) was a beautiful poem which explained feeling of a sad believer of Allah SWT. Arshad Saeed shared beautiful memories of Faiz Ahmad Faiz with the audience. All other poets also presented very beautifully written poems and ghazals. Some of the poets discussed issues related to the expatriates in Australia, whereas some discussed the present bloodshed in Karachi and other parts of Pakistan.
In the end Mr. Khalid Masood Khan was invited, who brought smiles and laughters on all the faces by his great funny poems and spontaneous (extempore) funny comments. He stole the show. I was very happy to see him live for the first time in my life as I had never attended any mushaira (مشاعرہ) before where he had performed.
All the poets highly appreciated and thanked the Sydney audience for appreciating the poets in a true positive sense.