Vo itr-daan sa lahja mere buzurgon ka,
                Rachi-basi hui Urdu zabaan ki Khushboo!”
                – Bashir Badr

Art is an expression of the heart, literature is an expression of the mind, and poetry is a combination of heart, mind, body & soul! A picture, drawing, photograph or illustration is a by-product of the expression of what the eyes see and the mind perceives; prose in any form is the expression of your heart and mind; however, poetry is not only the by-product and the confluence of your heart, mind, body, and soul, but it also has the innate ability to perceive that which can be experienced by the five senses, but most importantly, it has the ability to give expression to that which cannot be seen or expressed for the silence in between the words have the capacity to speak volumes for the seeker of truth. This is my understanding of poetry and that is how I see it, feel it, read it and write it and Urdu poetry does all this to me. Urdu is a beautiful language that can teach you grace in disgrace, love amongst hate, dignity in disrespect, comedy in a tragedy, and solace in grief.


Urdu, the language of my soul, I believe is one of the finest languages apart from Arabic and Urdu poetry is one such medium that can paint a canvas of expressions & emotions depicting everything related to human life, the Universe, God, faith, Nature, and the nothingness in which a Universe exists. The doyens of this beautiful ocean of Urdu literature have often re-kindled our spirits, cajoled our senses, bombarded our brains, penetrated into our souls and transformed lives in such a way that it is indeed impossible for a connoisseur of this language to avoid a gathering of such poets through a ‘Mushaira.’ This event is often a brilliant medium to celebrate this language in the most fabulous way possible and one such event, ‘Corporate Mushaira’ was held on September 9, 2023 in Pakistan Association, Dubai, UAE sponsored by Sharaf Exchange & Habib Bank Limited along with other sponsors. However, I would say that this was the brainchild and dream of Mr. Imad ul Malik, the CEO of Sharaf Exchange who has an almost unparalled love affair with Urdu, such that he has ensured the promotion and celebration of this language in many ways. He was solely responsible for the organization of this event and ensured that all faculties needed came together and functioned in a manner akin to a corporate to make this a grand success just like any conference we might have gone to. Now, let me try to put into words my experience as a spectator at this event.


When I say that the line-up for this beautiful event was such that the stars above must have been shy would not be an understatement. We had the great doyens of Urdu literature beginning with the most respected and revered, Iftikhar Arif Sahab as the Grand Master of the event joined by great names like Janab Wasi Shah who is also the current  Minister of Tourism and Culture for Pakistan, the well-known poet & journalist Anchor Janab Waji Sani, Janab Syed Ansar, Janab Abbas Tabish, Janab Khalid Irfan,  Janab Ammar Iqbal, Janab Nadeem Bhabha, Janaab Aziz Nabeel, Jyoti Azad Khatri Sahiba, Aisha Ayub Sahiba, Janab Amardeep Singh and our local blue-eyed boy of shayari from Dubai, Janab Atif Rais. People who flew in to attend the event were no less in stature such as Aalok Shrisvastav Ji, Farah Sarosh Sahiba, Himanshu Bajpai Ji of Dastongoi fame who flew down from India just for the event, along with great names like Shazia Kidwai Sahiba, the Consular General of Pakistan in Dubai and many more. The artwork of each artist was created and displayed and that was an amazingly innovative gesture of true respect and appreciation for their work in this field.
The event had the most talented, eloquent, able Tarannum Ahmad, a name that needs no introduction as the Master of Ceremonies and the well-known TV Anchor, Journalist, poet from Pakistan, Waji Sani as the host. The event began with customary introductions and awards after started the event with Atif Rais as the first poet as he was the youngest poet of the entire line-up. This young poet is one who has the gumption to render feelings straight from the crevices of his soul. I say this as he started off with a beautiful couplet along the lines of faith and it went like this….

Sabhi bad-silsile hain yehi kaam chal raha hai,

Ki hawaaon ke hawaale se salaam chal raha hai.


Teri yaad ke parindon se bhara hai ghar hamara,

      Koi udd raha hai koi lab-e-baam chal raha hai.

Teri rehmaton se pehle mujhe kaun jaanta tha,

          Tera naam le raha hun mera naam chal raha hai.

- Atif Rais

For anyone who reads this beautiful poetry and can understand the depth of his expression, I believe that this young man will achieve the heights of success as he has his heart in the right place. When you are in sync with the creator and your purpose of being in this world, your job towards success is already half done. I wish him all the very best and more power to his pen.

This was followed by another beautiful young soul, Aisha Ayub, followed by Aziz Nabeel, Amardeep Singh, Nadeem Bhabha, and all the other respected poets on that dias. I was in the paradise of literature where words kept flowing as though it was coming from a pot of immortality and continuity that only these amazing souls had access to. Be it Syed Ansar Saab with his in-depth knowledge of life, the young minister Wasi Shah who is creating waves, the eloquent Waji Sani enthralling one with his thoughts, the ebullient Khalid Irfan Saab getting the crowd into splits of laughter, the mature Abbas Tabish Saab, the amazing sensitive and talented poet, Jyoti Azad courageously reciting her newest written pieces, each one of them had me in awe of them. Janaab Ammar Iqbal was a phenomenon by himself where he recited my most favourite nazm, ‘Bajuka’ and had the audience thirsting for more and more and more. The applause did not stop, the audience overflowed with people and each and every one of them sat there as if they were glued to their seats until past midnight with energy levels that cannot be explained but can only be credited to this beautiful seductive damsel, Urdu, the language of souls. The entire event was just that my heart, mind and soul had become a dervish in its own sense swirling in the intoxication of flawlessly written and render poetry which connected to me on a level where I was in sync with the Creator himself. What a beautiful experience it was to listen to all of them rendering each one of their writings with elan and then came the icing on the cake with the cherry on the top, Janaab Iftikhar Arif Saab. I listened to his first couplet and all I could think of was, “God, give me the intelligence and the acumen to understand the depth with which he writes and the wisdom to learn to be able to write like this!” Each word he uttered seemed to be like pearls that were priceless and the Naat he rendered in the end took me to a land which cannot be explained. I was surprised at my self-control for not bawling and making a fool of myself, which I most certainly do when I am overwhelmed with utter happiness. The event ended on the highest of notes anyone could ever imagine, and I believe it also must have hit notes higher than the Soprano if literature was to be considered a piano.

 When I was finally able to meet all the poets during the meet & greet in the end, all these amazing souls had me bowled over to fall in love with all of them all over again with their humility, kindness and compassionate approach towards all the people from the audience who went to meet them. It reminded me of my mother’s words of wisdom that a filled pot never does overflow. My dream of seeing boundaries erased was happening, one of the main reasons why I set up our organization here in Dubai with my business partner from Pakistan. I always believed that the border and boundaries are matters to be on the land, the ground that hosts us mortals, but not in the hearts of people and to see this beautiful gathering warmed not just my heart but also my soul. It would not be an understatement to say that poetry has the power to heal, empower, and enrich lives and all these amazing poets proved it in my opinion.

The Man Friday, the Superstar Captain who champions this cause and was the Mastermind behind this impeccably curated event, Imad ul Malik gained more respect in my books for more reasons that one and I congratulate him for taking this to the next level setting a benchmark and high standards for further events. The entire team of Applause Adab, the host, Master of ceremonies, the volunteers, the Pakistan Association with its team, all the sponsors deserve to be applauded for being the flagbearers and pillars to ensure the event reached the stars as it should have. Thank you Sharaf Exchange & Habib Bank Limited for being the torchbearers for this beautifully curated event. My heartfelt gratitude to all the poets, each one of them have my best wishes and utmost respect for carrying the tradition of this lovely language, Urdu, there can never be another beautiful damsel like her indeed! More power to your pen, may the light you have lighted shine brighter than the sun for time immemorial.

For those of you who would like to view the snippets of the program I have created as memories, here are the links on my YouTube channel:

          Corporate Mushaira by Applause Adab - Part I 



          Corporate Mushaira by Applause Adab - Part II

          A humbled attempt by:

Kay S 
International Award-winning Author of "Midnight Musings"



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