Cultural space T2F held Faiz Day on Saturday to mark poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s 110th birthday.
The event was divided into four sessions. In the first, Sub butt uthvaey jaen gey, compositions were sung based on the late Faiz’s poetry. It all began with the famous piece Bahaar aai performed by Hira Shaukat. Given that she’s an amateur artist, she should be commended for attempting to do the intricately composed nazm. It also meant that the rest of the performers were also there purely for the love of Faiz.
Hira was followed by Shahla who sang Aa ke wabasta hain uss husn ki yaadein. She then sang the classic nazm that anyone who reads Urdu literature is familiar with, Mujh se pehli si muhabbat… originally sung by Noor Jehan.
No musical event on Faiz is complete without the ghazal Gulon mein rang bharey that Mehdi Hasan popularised in all corners of the world. Nadeem Ahmed sang it on Saturday.
The youngest singer of the evening was Nabiha Isphahani who sang two pieces: Bol keh lab aazad and Bahaar aai. Finally, Shahla rounded off session No.1 with Hum dekhein gey.
The second session shifted the focus of the programme from the audio to the visual. It was about illustrations done by Yusuf Lodhi aka Vai Ell dedicated to Faiz’s poetry.
Junaid Zuberi was tasked to shed light on his artworks. He first paid a small tribute to Faiz sahib by discussing how the poet wrote beautiful poems in trying circumstances. For the rest of the segment he described to the audience, who had packed the T2F hall to capacity wearing masks, how the artist was able to turn poetic concerns of Faiz into poignant illustrative work.
The penultimate session was a presentation on his poetry by T2F director Shakil Jafri with reference to Agha Nasir’s work on Faiz. It was called Hum jeetey ji masroof rahey. The presentation was made with the help of slides and audio-visual clips. Jafri initially spoke about his association with Nasir and the time that he spent with him during a visit to India where he discussed the contents of the latter’s book. He also showed a picture in which Agha Nasir is seen with Faiz and artist Sadequain. He informed the audience that three distinguished individuals – I.A. Rehman, Salima Hashmi and Mushtaq Yousufi – had contributed essays to the book. The book contains 100 poems of Faiz with the background against which they were written.
The fourth and last session on the programme list was Aaj ke naam which had eminent artist Sheema Kermani’s dance performance.
The first three sessions were also shown live on T2F’s Facebook page.