Poetry for peace
A festival of Urdu poetry will celebrate the rich literary tradition of the language and the composite culture it stands for
FOR a busy IPS officer in a metropolis like Mumbai, pursuing a passion beyond work calls for undying zeal and initiative. But when it comes to literature, Quaiser Khalid, Special IGP, Protection of Civil Rights, doesn't mind going that extra mile. An award-winning Urdu author, Khalid has been closely involved with the language since he was a student — Urdu was one of the subjects in his civil services examination. Also active in literary circles, Khalid, however, felt that what was being presented to the public in the name of Urdu was a far cry from the rich, secular tradition of the classics by Ghalib, Faiz and Mir.
In 2011, Khalid joined hands with other litterateurs and founded Pasbaan-eAdab (defenders of literature), a socio-cultural organisation committed to strengthening the composite culture of India through literature, music and art. It organises events through the year in Hindi and Urdu, and also hopes to start a literary festival in Marathi by the end of the year. Izhaar, an international Urdu poetry festival, is one of its annual events, which is entering its sixth edition this year. To be held in the city this Friday, it will see participation from stalwarts of the language from across India.
“Javed Akhtar sahab is one of our guests and he will be conferring the Pasbaan-e-Adab award on Professor Shameem Hanafi, a laureate of Urdu literature from Delhi University. Other guests include renowned poets like Mohammad Alvi from Ahmedabad as well as poets from Kashmir,” informs Siddharth Shandilya, vice president of the organisation, who is also the head of IT at a multinational company. “Of late, language is being divided on religious lines, which is opposed to the very
idea of literature. This is why the role of literature in national integration is the topic for one of our discussions,” he adds. “Urdu is a language, where even if you don’t know the meaning of a word, you enjoy listening to it. It is, in fact, a way of life with no room for harsh words,” says Kunwar Ranjeet Singh Chauhan, a well-known Urdu poet and Hindi satirist, who cofounded Jashn-e-Adab in Delhi, an organisation based on a similar philosophy. Chauhan, who was conferred with the Aman (peace) Award by Pakistan for bringing the people of India and Pakistan closer through literature, is one of the participants of the festival. For Khalid, literature, which he says is nothing but a narrative of human relationships, finds a reflection in his work too. “Literature doesn’t vilify anyone; it speaks the language of love, compassion, unity and harmony. Our investigation is often focussed on who did it and how. But only when we begin to wonder why can a change be brought about.” STARTING from the dimension of the fuel tank to the artistry of the brake disc, a handsome bike is bound to turn heads. Up for a road trip but low on its road-worthiness? Here’s your chance to know your machine better. A host of bike enthusiasts and engineers will conduct a workshop on bike machinery this Sunday.
“It’s a do-it-yourself workshop where the participants will learn basic servicing techniques in case of an emergency and how to tune a bike ahead of a long trip,” says Regan Rodricks, founder of Blue Bulb, a group that conducts sailing experiences and adventure activities in and around the city, the bike clinic being one of them.
The session will take you through essential skills such as fixing brakes and the clutch cable, changing the oil and dealing with punctures and ruined wheels. “If you learn these handy skills, you can go anywhere in the world with your bike,” assures Rodricks.
“There will be three ramps. The participants will be divided into three groups. One ramp will have a Royal Enfield, the other will have a Bajaj or a Honda, and the third one will be decided on customer demand,” he adds.
It is the ideal workshop if you happen to be an avid rider. Even if you are not, knowing how a bike works is an advantage before you own a vehicle. “It is our customers who had asked for such a workshop. It is easier to learn about bikes than cars,” says Rodricks.
The age limit for the workshop is 16 years and above.
The interior of Garage 52 with different brands of motorcycles and scooters
Well-known poet Dr Ashok Chakradhar at one of the organisation’s events