Urdu International Australia is a Sydney based cultural organisation which tried to promote Urdu literature through its programmes and events. On 7 May 2016 they organised a beautiful evening in Husrstville, a Sydney suburban area, where we got opportunity to meet and listen one of the most dynamic literary person, the living legend, Mr. Zia Mohyeddin who was joined by the visiting Urdu poets Mr. Musaddaq Lakhani, Dr. Baqar Raza and Khushbeer Singh Shaad. In addition there was a breathtaking classical dance performance by Sydney’s local artist Jyoti Duxit, termed as ‘Poetry in Motion’.
Beautiful hall of Civic Theatre was jam packed with the audience and many of them could not get seated. President of Urdu International Mr. Ashraf Shad, a renowned Urdu poet, inaugurated the event with his opening speech in which he welcomed the distinguished guests. He presented a brief introduction of Zia Mohyeddin. Dr. Shabbir Haider was then invited onto the stage for welcoming the legend formally.
Zia Mohyeddin as usual was dressed gracefully. He thanked the organisers and audience for their love and respect. Zia sahib then read a number of poems and proses which were selected from the best Urdu and English literature collections of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Pitras Bukhari, Dr. Younis Butt, Ayub Khawar and Shaukat Thanvi. They included humorous as well as serious and thought provoking subjects. But the best thing was the presentation. Zia has got a God gifted skill and voice quality that is unmatchable. He gave life to the written words. We smiled and laughed with him, and at some sentences we got our eyes filled with tears. 83 year old gentleman made a non-stop performance for almost 90 minutes. After he finished crowed gave his standing ovation.
During the interval Zia sahib came to meet his fans in another hall where the organisers had placed his two books for sale. Zia sahib gave autograph on the first page to every purchaser. It also provided a lifetime opportunity to his fans of getting their photographs with the legend. I didn’t miss the opportunity and purchased his autography titled as “The God of my Idolatry”. I not only expressed my best wishes for him but also told her a little about my blog writing, which he appreciated.
After the interval Jyoti Duuxit was called onto the stage who gave a spectacular dancing performance on Urdu Ghazal ‘Haal-e-Dil Hum Ko’ (حال دل ہم کو یاد آنے لگے). I was getting late so left after her performance and missed the Mushaira (poetic session).
I greet Urdu International Australia for arranging such a marvellous programme and providing us the opportunity to watch and listen to a living legend.