32nd annual Urdu Haiku Mushaaira lures literary enthusiasts


Haiku has been playing the vital role of bridging between two friends, Japan and Pakistan, as this has proved to be the most concise and effective genre around the world. It used to be written mainly on nature, as there still is an essential part of Haiku, known as KIGO (the Season word), yet, for the past several years, a large variety of topics has been chosen by the Haiku poets in Japanese, Urdu and other languages. This is what audience had conceived from the presidential address of Mr. Toshikazu Isomura and the final note of Professor Muhammad Rais Alvi, Director Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari Institute of Technology (KASBIT) & a leading figure of Pak-Japan Cultural Association-PJCA (Sindh), the organisers of 32nd Urdu Haiku Mushaaira (Recital) , held on 16th December 2016, at the premises of KASBIT. Both honourable speakers delivered their speeches in Urdu, as the Consul General is himself quite well conversant and love to speak Urdu on such occasions.

Well over 25 poets presented their original Haiku, including few new talents. However, number of invitees was 52. They were asked to present five Haiku in all, including two on a theme, i.e. either New Year or Winter, however, some of the poets didn’t follow the rule and recited more Haiku in a row, while some appeared to have not understood the technic of Haiku-writing. An introductory note (written by this writer) was given to all poets, besides invitation letter.

This time, no translations of Japanese Haiku (actually already translated into English) were given to the poets for Urdu poetic translation. This deviation from the decades’ practice may be appreciated as a number of poets are not able to grasp the meaning of original Haiku and do often compose something different. A senior poet Rashid Noor did the job of conducting Mushaaira, as usual, supported by a promising poetess, Humera Rahat.

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For those who still don’t know about this unique genre, Haiku is a 3-line Japanese form of verse, being written on 5-7-5 sound syllables of Japanese. It has been embraced by almost all important world languages and dialects, including Urdu and regional languages of Pakistan like Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi, Brahvi, Seraiki, Hindko, Potohari and Memoni. The writer of this report has the honour of promoting this compact, (once called the telegraphic poetry) and impressive genre in all these languages through his own, self-styled multi-lingual Haiku journal, Haiku International, the Pioneer & Only multi-lingual magazine from across the South Asia, with a world record of publishing the related stuff in 25 languages & dialects, since 1998.

Mrs. Saadia Rashid, President PJCA addressed the gathering, informing about the promotion and popularity of Haiku in Pakistan. However, it seems as if her speech was written in great haste, without consulting any reference or expert, as a number of necessary mentions were missing in it, including the dynamic role played, first by Pakistan Haiku Society, led by veteran poet, Iqbal Haider, then, by Haiku International, founded, edited and published by Sohail Ahmed Siddiqui, besides the most pleasing fact that around 100 Urdu and well over 50 regional language Haiku collections has so far been published in Pakistan. Amazingly, she has been into this activity for past several years.

Former Governor Sindh and ex-Federal Minister for Interior, Lt. Gen. (retired) Moinuddin Haider graced the occasion as Chief Guest, while PPP leader Taj Haider was also invited as Guest of Honour.

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Shields were given away to the participating poets and the event came to an end with a tasty dinner.

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