Shabana Azmi, Tanvi Azmi, Kanwaljit Singh pay tribute to Kiafi Azmi in Dubai

A musical tribute of Bollywood films was also organised by Bazm-e-Urdu with the great performance of local artists.


Abdul Basit

Award-winning Indian actress Shabana Azmi along with actors Tanvi Azmi and Kanwaljit Singh gathered in Dubai to pay tribute to Shabana’s late father and legendary Urdu poet Kaifi Azmi during Mehfile-e-Urdu 2019 on Thursday evening.

2019 is the birth centenary celebrations of Sayyid Akhtar Hussein Rizvi, known as Kaifi Azmi. The legendary Urdu poet is remembered as the one who brought Urdu literature to Indian motion pictures. Together with Pirzada Qasim, Jon Elia and others, he participated in the most memorable mushairas of the twentieth century. He died on May 10, 2002.

The great gathering of more than 2,000 audiences was organised by Bazm-e-Urdu, which is a Dubai-based non-profitable, non-religious and non-political registered organisation with a vision to see lovers of Urdu language on one platform irrespective of their faith, geographical boundaries or even their native language.

The programme was divided into three segments; “Awards Distribution”, “Ruu-ba Ruu”, a talk show and a “Musical Tribute” to India’s legendary poet, Kaifi Azmi. The year 2019 is recognized as the birth centenary celebrations year of Kaifi Azmi and to commemorate him, Bazm-e Urdu had designed a variety of programmes on his work and life.

Within its initiative, Bazm-e Urdu is determined to establish three regular awards beside several other honours. These three awards’ categories are named as 1. Josh-e Urdu Award; each year, this award is presented to a person whose love for Urdu has influenced Urdu literature. This year’s Josh-e Urdu Award was conferred upon a well-known Indian theorist, literary critic, and scholar, Dr. Gopi Chand Narang, for his outstanding services for Urdu literature.

Alamdaar-e Urdu Award category falls to those personalities who are dedicated to re-establish Urdu’s well-enjoyed status for Urdu lovers. Alamdaar-e Urdu Award 2019 was presented to Muhammad Ahmed Shah, President Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi, for his dedication and services for Urdu.

Last but not least Passbaan-e Urdu Award; This category defines those who, regardless of being non-Urdu speakers, are putting their efforts for the betterment of Urdu. This year this award was presented to Dr. Mala Mehra, Principal Hoerner College, Lucknow, for her support to the cause of Urdu.

To honour Kaifi Azmi’s achievements, this year another award was added to the ceremony “Kaifi Azmi Award for Urdu Lyricist” and was presented to Bollywood’s famous lyricist Irshad Kamil for penning popular and poetically distinguished Urdu Songs for Bollywood movies.

Programme’s second part was a talk-show “Ruu-ba Ruu”. This segment was presented by Bazm-e Urdu’s most talented member Ms. Tarannum Ahmed whose unique style of interviewing the celebrities is famous not only within UAE circle but also among India’s crowd. She was Ruu-ba Ruu (face to face) with famous Bollywood actress and Kaifi Azmi’s daughter Shabana Azmi who was here to be a part of the centenary celebrations of his father. Shaban Azmi discussed her father’s life and his work with pride. His association with the Socialist Party was also discussed. This segment was hugely applauded by the audience.

Mehfil-e Urdu’s third segment was a musical tribute to Kaifi Azmi’s poetry which was presented jointly by yet another film and TV superstar Kanwaljit Singh and National Award-winning actress Tanvi Azmi, who has acted in films including ‘Akele Hum Akele Tum’ and ‘Bajirao Mastani’. Tanvi is married to Shabana Azmi’s brother. This segment was bejewelled with Kaifi’s songs mainly from Bollywood films performed by the local artists. The audience was charmed by their beautiful singing and enjoyed their performance.

Bazm-e Urdu’s magazine “JOSH-E-URDU 2019” was released by distinguished guests and members of Bazm-e Urdu on this occasion. This magazine, quite popular amongst Urdu lovers, is released annually, both in Urdu and Roman English, detailing our previous year’s activities, office bearers’ reports, articles on celebrities participating in the function and other topics. This year’s magazine has few added attractions including appreciation, comments and valuable suggestions from readers and audiences and a section dedicated to articles written by children in the Urdu language.

This “Mehfil” was concluded after midnight. Bazm’s General Secretary Rehan Khan thanked UAE Government, sponsors, and audience.