Jashn-e-Rekhta 2017 : Urdu Festival
Rekhta, the organisation which eulogizes Urdu, organised its annual Urdu literary fest Jashn-e-Rekhta (JeR) that celebrates the quintessential spirit of Urdu - its inclusive ethos and creative richness.
Writers, singers, poets, scholars, artists and admirers of Urdu all gathered at Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, New Delhi to celebrate the greatness of the language. The 3-Day event (17-19 Feb 2016) was lined up with some amazing performances from renowned artists (in)directly associated with Urdu. The festival hosted over 100 eminent artists including some great names such as lyricist-poet Gulzar, screenwriter and playwright Javed Siddiqui, adman and lyricist Prasoon Joshi, Urdu poet Wasim Barelvi, actor-director Saurabh Shukla, journalist Saeed Naqvi, food critic and historian Pushpesh Pant, actor Sharmila Tagore, advocate-littérateur Saif Mahmood, poet-politician Kumar Vishwas and actor-radio host Annu Kapoor.
On opening day, JeR hosted a grand mushaira with great mushairs taking part which was followed by 3 more mushairas, one focusing on women poets, another on youth poets and the last on humour and satirical comedy. Couple of Dastangoi (storytelling) were also organised at the event. The great Gulzar opened the second day with his poetry, anecdotes and a gripping commentary on the world of Urdu poetry, that has gathered and preserved in its priceless words. He was in conversation with Javed Siddiqi about how all literary creation is a dream that the writer/ poet lives. JeR talked about reviving the past by numerous events like ‘ Theatre ke Bhoole Hue Rang’ ; ‘Jab Filmein Urdu Bolti Thi’ ; ‘Hum Bulbulein hain iski – Songs of the progressive’ and ‘Dilli jo ek shahr tha’. The highlights of second day included ‘Sukhan’ which is a blend of Urdu poetry and music, ‘Songs of the Progressive’ which was a musical performance by Vidya Shah with Danish Husain and Qawwali night by Dhruv Sanghvi & group, there was also a film screening of the movie ‘Mandi’ .Last day was opened by Amrish Mishra with his Ghazals. An Urdu open mic poetry session moderated by Kavishala witnessed budding and renowned Urdu poets reciting some great poetry. Baitbaazi, a game of Urdu was revived by team Rekhta this year and was scheduled for the last day. Zakhir Khan who’s trending currently in social media for his humorous stories was one of the speakers at JeR this year.The Rekhta food festival added cherry to the cake with numerous food stalls at the venue’s lawns, serving some great Mughlai and north Indian food and desserts.
Hansraj Hans rounded off the event with an evening of Sufi music. 2017s JeR has been the biggest until now and Rekhta foundation promises to be back with JeR 2018.