Mehfil-e-Urdu : Celebration of the birth centenary of the great Urdu poet and Lyricist Kaifi Azmi

Dubai based cultural platform, Bazm-e-Urdu arranged its annual gathering “Mehfil-e-Urdu” on 29th August 2019 at Sheikh Rashid Auditorium, Oud Metha Road, Dubai. The program was divided into three segments; “Awards Distribution”, “Ru-ba-Ru”, a talk show and a “Musical Tribute” to India’s legendary poet, Kaifi Azmi. The year 2019 is recognized as the birth centenary of Kaifi Azmi and to commemorate him, Bazm-e-Urdu Dubai had designed a variety of programs on his work and life.

The awards’ categories are named as 1. JOSH-E URDU AWARD: Each year this award is presented to a person whose love for Urdu has influenced Urdu literature. This year’s Josh-e Urdu Award was conferred upon a very well-known Indian theorist, literary critic, and scholar – Dr. Gopi Chand Narang, for his outstanding services for Urdu literature. 2. ALAMDAR-E URDU AWARD category recognizes those personalities who are dedicated to re-establish Urdu’s well-enjoyed status for Urdu lovers and their work has spread the language far and wide. Alamdar-e-Urdu Award 2019 was presented to Muhammad Ahmed Shah, President Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi for his dedication and services to Urdu. Last but not least 3. PASBAN-E-URDU AWARD; This category defines those who, regardless of being non-Urdu speakers, are putting their efforts for the betterment of Urdu. This year this award was presented to Dr. Mala Mehra, Principal Hoerner College, Lucknow, India for her support to the cause of Urdu.                        

To honour Kaifi Azmi’s achievements, this year another award was added to the ceremony – “KAIFI AZMI AWARD FOR URDU LYRICIST” and was presented to Bollywood’s famous lyricist Irshad Kamil for penning popular and poetically distinguished Urdu Songs for Bollywood movies. Irshad Kamil was in the show to receive this award.

The program’s second part was a talk-show “Ru-ba Ru” presented by Bazm-e-Urdu’s Ms. Tarannum Ahmad whose unique style of interviewing the celebrities is famous not only within UAE circles but also invited internationally to host and conduct literary events. She was Ru-ba-Ru (face to face) with famous Bollywood actress and Kaifi Azmi’s daughter Shabana Azmi who was here to be a part of the centenary celebrations of her father. Shabana Azmi discussed her father’s life and his work with pride. His work for the under-privileged and down trodden was also discussed. This segment was hugely applauded by the audience. Shabana Azmi herself is one of the most decorated actresses in Bollywood who has won the National Award for Best Actress and Filmfare award, five times.

Mehfil-e Urdu’s third segment was a musical tribute to Kaifi Azmi’s poetry which was presented jointly by yet another film and TV superstar Kanwaljit Singh and National Award-winning actress Tanvi Azmi, who has acted in films including ‘Akele Hum Akele Tum’ and ‘Bajirao Mastani’. Tanvi is married to Shabana Azmi’s brother Baba Azmi. This segment was bejeweled with Kaifi’s songs mainly from Bollywood films performed by the local artists. The audience was charmed by their beautiful singing and enjoyed their performance. Playback singer Mohammed Salamat and Sangita Melekar flew in especially from Mumbai to be part of this segment. Local talent like Tabu and Prateek Seth pitched in to make it a memorable evening. One of the highlights of the evening was Syed Mehran from Delhi whose melodious voice enthralled the audience.

This “Mehfil” concluded with Bazm’s General Secretary  Rehan Khan.


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