A grand Sydney Mushaira (Poetry session in Urdu) was organised on Saturday 28 October 2017 at C3 Conference Hall in Silverwater where, in addition to talented local poets, a number of poets from India recited their poetry.

The event was organised by MSK Films and Kavi Darbar and attended by a large number of Sydney siders from the South Asian community as well as supporters and invited guests including Australian parliamentarians Julia Finn and Julie Owens.

The star of the Mushaira was Imran Pratapgarhi, a young revolutionary poet from India who highly impressed the audience with his handsome looks, smile (qatil muskurahat), extraordinary poetry, oratory, stage performance and most importantly balanced ideas on all aspects of life including Islam, peace, nation building, and international relations.

Similar Mushairas were also held in other states where local poets were given the opportunity to recite their poems with the world-renowned overseas poets.

The program started with the local popular artist with the golden voice Riaz Shah reciting hamd by Maulana Hali.

The welcome address was given by Mr Ale Ali, President of Kavi Darbar as well as by Mr Mohammad Shamim Khan, CEO of MSK Films while Mr Fasih Khan facilitated the program.

Poets and guests on stage at the Kavi Darbar Mushaira in Sydney. Photo by Mehar Ahmad.

Invited VIP’s from the community and sponsors were called on the stage to present shawls to local and overseas poets as an acknowledgment of their accomplishments.

Initially, a number of local poets were asked to recite their poems but limited to only one-piece due to a limitation of time. These included Annu Chabra, Tahmina Rao, Subash Chopra, Riaz Shah, Javed Nazar, Farida Lakhani, Zeeshan Haider, Zafar Khan, Harjit Singh.

The top poets from India included Mr AM Turaz, Dr Ejaz Popular Meerathi and Mr Imran Pratapgarhi. Dr Rahat Indori who was scheduled to come could not make it due to a death in the family.

All the three Indian poets, as well as Professor Rais Alvi from Pakistan who is currently visiting here, were called on the stage to take turns one by one to recite their poetry. Ms Julie Owens was also called on the stage along with Mr Syed Atiq ul Hassan and showed great stamina in remaining on the stage till midnight despite not knowing the Urdu language.

AM Turaz, an accomplished poet and a songwriter for more than a dozen Bollywood films articulated his poetry in his melodious voice while Popular Meerathi made the audience keep laughing with his poetry especially on the relationship between brother-in-laws (Saale). Prof Rais Alvi recited his short poems with academic dignity and intellectual panache.

The last poet to take the mike was the star of the Mushaira Imran Khan Pratapgarhi, hailing from a town near Allahabad in India. He is highly popular, brave and frank in taking on social and political issues tackling them through his medium of poetry in an effort to bring about social change in Indian society for the better.

Mr Imran Pratapgarhi.

He presented a range of balanced views and ideas through his brief comments and poetry as well as entertained the audience with his style of delivery and melodious voice. His poems ranged from the current polluted political climate in India to the issue of Rohingyas and finally an extraordinary poem on Palestine and got a standing ovation for it from the audience.

Imran kept going until midnight on demand by the audience and no one left even for refreshments and biryani that was supposed to have been consumed for dinner.

There is great hope from Imran Pratapgarhi who seems to be an embodiment of Allama Iqbal suited for our age in the 21st century to inspire young Indians in general and Muslims in particular with his simple Awami language, effective delivery, balanced views in the current Indian political context utilising social media as the popular mode of mass communication.