A Fine Evening This: Celebrating Urdu at Jashn-e-Rekhta

Lyrical poetry set to music, a gathering of fine linguists and leaves floating in the midst. This was the setting of the inauguration ceremony of the two day festival Jashn-e-Rekhta in Delhi yesterday, celebrating “Urdu’s inimitable beauty, its soul-stirring cadence and its lyrical splendor”.

On 14th & 15th March, some of Urdu’s finest poets, authors and artists from India, Pakistan, US, Canada, will come together to bring alive Urdu’s beauty and eloquence through a grand mushaira (poetic symposium), ghazals, qawwalis (musical renditions), dastangoi (a form of storytelling) and panel discussions with renowned authors.

The inauguration ceremony held on Friday, 13th at India International Centre in Delhi, was an opportunity to savor selected poems from Rekhta’s fine online compilation, an endeavor begun by Sanjiv Saraf, who founded Rekhta Foundation, a non-profit that works for the development of Urdu. He is also the curator of the two-day festival.

His introduction was followed by the inimitable musical tones of Rekha Bhardwaj, who charmed the audience with renditions that were chosen specifically for the event and quite different from her movie fare.
Something else that piqued our interest before the ceremony began, was the choicest garbs among some attendees. We spotted richly textured ikat weaves, fine jamawar shawls, phulkaris and glittering jewelry.
The festival aims to draw people towards turning a brief introduction with this language into a life long relationship. And it’s certainly a fine way to start!
– Text & Images by Manika Dhama
Click here for event details.