Had Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz been alive today, he would have loved the event ‘Bahaar Ayee’ held in Karachi at Sheraton Hotel on Friday evening.
Attended by the poet’s children and grandchildren, the night was a tribute to his poetic genius. Hosted by Atif Bajwa, the CEO of Bank Alfalah, the event kick-started with Bajwa’s introductory speech in which he called the poet, “our nation’s legendary hero” and revealed the bank’s plans of supporting the poet and his work through The Faiz Foundation Trust.
Next up was Moneeza Hashmi, who talked about her feelings regarding having the renowned Pakistani Poet Faiz as her father and a British mother. “Somewhere inside my mind and my body, I believe I belong to two different mindsets, two distinct languages,” she said. But that doesn’t mean that Moneeza doesn’t associate herself with Karachi. Having spent time with her father in the city, she said, “This is the place where my father took my hand in his and walked me down the aisle. This is the same place where my father said the azaan, in my firstborn’s ears.”
Then came Faiz’s grandson Adeel Hashmi, who read some of the acclaimed poet’s letters out loud. The letters, which were written in Urdu, had been penned for his wife during the time Faiz spent in jail. They gave out specific details of his everyday life and showed his optimism for a brighter future.
Adeel added that even in the most challenging times, Faiz remained upbeat and retained his sense of humour. While Adeel narrated the letters, a young boy Asad Anees played the piano in the background which added to the overall ambience.
Tina Sani sings Faiz
Finally, singer Tina Sani came to the stage to pay homage to the poet by singing Faiz’s poetry in her beautiful voice. Ghazals like “Nahin Nigah Mein Manzil” to “Kuch Pehle In Aankhon “,”Kab Yaad Mein”, Tera Haath Nahi” and “Aa Kay Kuch Wabasta Hain”, showed the poet’s romantic side.
On the other hand, poems like “Bahaar Ayee”, based on the concept of hope, showed a slightly serious side to the poet. Faiz’s nationalistic valour was revealed in other poems like “Mujboor-i-Wafa” and the soulful “Mori Araaj Suno”.
However, the climax of the night was “Dasht-i-Tanhai” as well as Allama Iqbal’s “Shikwa” and “Jawab-i-Shikwa” which was done as a duo by Sani and Hashmi.
While in the past, Iqbal Bano’s recitation of “Hum Dekhain Gay” was euphoric for crowds, Sani managed to bring the same magic back with her powerful rendition of the same song.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 3rd, 2012.