Published: 19th January 2021
If Urdu poetry interests you, attend this Hyderabad group's events and you'll surely chant ‘Irshaad’
If you love Urdu poetry and want to learn it, Anjuman e Fannān's events are the place to be. Started by two youngsters based in Hyderabad, this group can also teach you how to write Urdu poetry
At the mushairas, which in Urdu means poetry symposium, organised by Anjuman e Fannān, the old and the experienced, who have been carrying forward the legacy of Urdu poetry for a long time now, are ever-present. But joining them on stage are bright-eyed youngsters, eager to share their poetry with a crowd that willingly chimes, 'irshaad, irshaad' (go on) no matter who takes the mic. Such are the mushairas organised by the group Anjuman e Fannān — open, welcoming and warm. This is exactly what Zakariya Zaki (24) and Riasath Ali Asrar (21) intended when they started this group in 2018 to spread the beauty of Urdu poetry and literature far and wide. Both were born in Hyderabad, raised in Jeddah and returned to Hyderabad to pursue their higher education. And jab they met via friends.
It was only in December that they started conducting in-person events again
Graduating from conducting open mics, the duo started conducting seminars, workshops on Urdu poetry-writing and their popular mushairas. "We started with youngsters who assumed that rhyming and using a few Urdu words would mean they have a poem at hand. Now, we have over 30 poets who have learnt the basics and practise Urdu poetry in a way that is acceptable," says Riasath. At their popular workshops, which are now conducted online, participants are informed about vocabulary, enunciation, poetic devices, format, structure, patterns, delivery of thoughts and so much more. While Riasath has personally taken over 15 workshops, he has taken about ten via Anjuman. "A brief history of Urdu poetry is also given, along with an introduction to poets of the past, present and future," says the youngster who hails from a family of poets and writers.
At an event | (Pic: Anjuman e Fannān)
One of the most remarkable achievements of the duo is making mushairas mainstream, which were popular in Old City but not so much in the other parts of Hyderabad. Take, for example, their latest one held at Rangbhoomi Spaces & Events in Gachibowli about a month ago and received a footfall of more than 100 guests. "Surprisingly, we have never had a negative response about any of our events. The numbers have always been healthy," says the third-year Mechanical Engineering student of Muffakham Jah College of Engineering & Technology. Hence, with such goodwill, they were able to carry on online. "Personally, we had no choice. Several people were showing interests in learning online and were reaching out to us about it," he shares.
Personally, the focus for Riasath is on performing at mushairas, conducting seminars and delivering guest lectures. Publishing a book comes later
"The aim is not to introduce new ways, it's to revive the old, to bring back what has been lost or is fading away, that's our primary focus," says Riasath. It was in this bid that they had initiated Yaad-e-Ghalib, a seminar on the life and works of the much-revered Indian poet and it was conducted at Birla Planetarium. They plan to conduct such retrospectives on famous poets every year.
- Tasawwur, a blend of poetry and painting | January 17, 2021
- Kaar-Gaah, a workshop on Urdu poetry | December 6, 2020
- Various Urdu and Persian language workshops
For more on them, check out instagram.com/anjumanef