An Inspiring Evening with Renowned Writer, Poet Javed Akhtar

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By Shah Ghazali

HOUSTON: On Friday, November 13, Takdees-A-Adab International held a colorful literary evening with famous Indian film screenplay writer, lyrics composer and poet Javed Akhtar at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on the Southwest Freeway. The book “Khirman”, a collection of poems by Akhtar’s paternal grandfather Muztar Kheirabadi, was also released at the ceremony.

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It was a memorable evening presidized by Tahir Javed, a well-known businessman from Beaumont. The distinguished guests were introduced, recognized, and warmly welcomed by Shah Ghazali who is an active member of Takdees-A-Adab International.

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Ghazali welcomed the electronic and print media present at the gathering. Then, he invited the president of Taqdees-A-Adab International Fayyaz Khan Rampuri to come up forward to say a few words about his mission, plannings, and work to support and promote Urdu poets and the poetry of South Asia in the United States.

Fayyaz Khan Rampuri said he and his entire crew are willing to support the Urdu language, Urdu poetry and poets in the United States. He added that Urdu is the reflection of the customs, culturs, traditions, and the values of South Asia and they want to keep it alive to transfer it to the coming generations. After that, the pioneer of Aligarh Alumnai Association in the United States, Abdullah Abdullah started the ceremony by inviting Akhtar, Javed and Rampuri to come up on the stage.

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Abdullah was the emcee of the event and began by first acknowledging the contributions of Akhtar’s entire family by noting that his grandfather Muzter Kheirabadi and father Jaan Nisaar Akhtar had been prominent celebrities of India where people still like to read and discuss their works and his wife is the famous stage and film actress Shabana Aazmi. He invited Akhtar to address the audience.

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In light of the terrorist attacks in France that same evening which put a gloom over the event, Akhtar asked for  moment of silence for the victims. He then spoke about his efforts to collect the great poetry of his grandfather which took him almost 30 years. The collection “Khirman” is the product of his love and affection for his grandfather Muztar Kheirabadi. Akhtar invited scholars and researchers from Pakistan and India to collect great works of Urdu litarature for the benefit of other writers, educators and researchers of the diverse cultures of Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States. Several people bought copies of Khirman, personalized by Akhtar.

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Dr. Fayyaz Faiz did the honors of handing to Akhtar the Takdees-A-Adab Lifetime Achievement Award after which Akhtar recited his poetry, prose, and fiction to the audience. Bowing to requests for favorite pieces of poetry from the audience, he recited several of them to great applause, following which the floor was opened for questions which Akhtar answered with great skill which was appreciated with long applause.

The head of Takdees-A-Adab, Nadeem Malik, recognized the entire group and the Qomi Aikta Committee for their continued efforts and support to make the evening a successful and a memorable. He thanked Farah Iqbal, Shah Ghazali, Nasir Khan, and Neelofer Afshan and the other volunteers including Syed Irfan, Shahid Bilal, Ali Malik, and Ali Raza for making the event successful.