By Vaagisha Das:
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there (Yahan se bahut door, galat aur sahi ke paar, ek maidan hai, main tujhe wahan milunga).” These lines, spoken by Ranbir Kapoor in the movie ‘Rockstar’, immediately grabbed people’s attention as perfectly encapsulating the tempestuous tone of the movie. Penned by Rumi, the lines are taken from a beautiful collection of Urdu poetry – some reflective, some romantic. Full of gems like the above, Urdu poetry has been further popularized by Bollywood in its ghazal form, with singers like Jagjit Singh and Ghulam Ali becoming dear to the old and young alike. The soothing strains of ‘Aaj Jaane Ki Zidd Na Karo’ (have you heard the Coke Studio version yet?) remain timeless in our hearts.
Though we may know their more popular verses, we know little about the creators. And that is exactly what the Urdu Studio initiative seeks to remedy. Seamlessly incorporating snippets about the author’s life with readings of their poems, the videos are directed by Manish Gupta and feature different artists talking about Urdu poets. This week, Mohd. Zeeshan Ayub talks about Nazir Akbarabadi and the ingenuity of his plays and poetry.