Karachi Photo Blog

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tracing Naqsh-e-Meer

Tracing Naqsh-e-Meer
Eighteenth century Dehlavi Urdu poet Meer Taqi Meer (Mir Taqi Mir) was remembered and his contribution to Urdu language was discussed at the India Community Center in Milpitas on September 7, in a program aptly dubbed Naqsh-e-Meer.
How was the program appropriately named?  Hamida Banu Chopra, Bay Area Urdu teacher and chief organizer of the program, explained why Meer is called Khuda-e-sukhan by Urdu lovers.  Meer is held in high esteem for the words and expressions he gave to the Urdu language.  When Meer started writing poetry in Rekhta (nascent Urdu), very few wrote in that new language.  He was the one who took expressions and similes from Farsi and either used them as such, or altered them to fit in his Urdu verses.  For increasing the Urdu vocabulary considerably, and giving later poets and writers a bigger space to write in, Meer Taqi Meer is known as Khuda-e-Sukhan (God of language/poetry) by Urdu connoisseurs.  Today's Urdu is in fact Naqsh-e-Meer (Meer's footprint/stamp).

Besides Hamida Chopra, Suhail Farrukh, Jafar Shah, Sujata Roashan, Ravi Khurshid, Atiya Hai, Arshad Rashid, Saleem Malik, Ashraf Habibullah, and Dipti Bhatnagar read and sang Meer's poetry in the program attended by over one hundred people.

In all the readings, of special note was Ashraf Habibullah's tribute to Meer Taqi Meer.  The moment Habibullah stepped on the stage, there was light, literally…because Habibullah came donned in a jacket studded with LEDs that blinked and spelled his name on the back.  Meer must have tossed and turned violently in his grave learning his poetry was read in this fashion.  Seeing Habibullah make people laugh off their chairs it was hard to believe Ashraf Habibullah heads an internationally renowned Berkeley firm that makes software for strength analysis of buildings and structures.

Video highlights of the program are here:

Listen to complete audio recording of Naqsh-e-Meer program here: 

نقش میر میں سہیل طالب، جعفر شاہ، سجاتا چوہان، روی خورشید، عطیہ حءی، ارشد عزیز، سلیم ملک، اشرف حبیب اللہ، اور دپتی بھٹناگر نے میر کی چنیدہ غزلیں اور اشعار پیش کیے اور میر کی شاعری اور اپنے انداز بیاں پہ خوب داد حاصل کی۔ حمیدہ بانو چوپڑہ نے ایک مقالہ پڑھا اور حاضرین کو بتایا کہ میر تقی میر کو خداءے سخن کیوں کہا جاتا ہے۔

नक़्शे मेरे

मेरे तक़ी मेरे उर्दू  शायरी

हमीदा बनो चोप्रा, सोहैल, जफ़र शाह, सुजाता, रवि खुर्शी, अतिया हई, अरशद अज़ीज़, सलीम मालिक, अशरफ हबीबुल्लाह, दीप्ती भटनागर