My dadi Anwar Fatima’s diary/copy that she used from 1930s till 1960s. It contains naatiya kalam that used to be recited in mehfil e milad. Besides that it also contains poetic verses of several other relatives. Such “Mehafil” gave elders and children an appreciation of poetry and also a love for poetry. I remember being a participant in two such “Mehafil” in 1967 held at Luqman Hyder’s residence in North Nazimabad Karachi. I was around 5-6 years of age, then, and I recited verses from Mussadas e Hali. Around 7-8 verses starting from
وہ نبیوں میں رحمت لقب پانے والا….
I was specially prepared for this recital and was given a white pajama and kurta for the occasion. I had earlier prepared these verses for a recital in my nursery class at Viqar-un-Nisa School in Rawalpindi. I had spent less than a few months in nursery class there in around 1966. I would go with my sisters from Chaklala Wavell Lines to the school in a Tanga (Horse Driven Carriage). I recited the verses from Musadas e Hali in the school auditorium, where I distinctly remember seeing Khushbakht Aalia (later on Khusbakht Shujaat) who recited and spoke [was it this or some other event]. My shirt got tucked in to my pajama and my sisters or their friends made fun of it. This I did not like and still remember the embarrassment to this day.
My grandmother encouraged and prepared me for this recital. She used to call me with her gentle and old voice as “Madineh ki Fiza”. I thought that it was after this recitation that she started calling me with this phrase. However, I recently discovered a few letters from her to my parents of around 1964-65 where she had used this phrase for me.
The diary/copy contains several naats from prominent poets such as Akbar Allahbad, Sajjad Hyder Yaldaram, Shakil Badayuni etc. It also contains poetry from family members such nazm with qata wafat on the death of Saghirun Nisa by her daughter, poem on Anwar Fatima’s move from Lalitpur, poem on Imtiaz Hyder Chacha leaving for Europe, verses on eid by Nisar Hyder and Waheeda. I also suspect several naats are by Waheeda dadi.
Here is my blogpost on one of the pages from Anwar Fatima Diary:
- Depressive Thoughts and Poetry- How Poetry Mellows and Enriches Social Interactions: How families torn apart by migration remember those who have migrated and those that remember their home country when they miss each other on the Eid Day. What is the relationship between poetry that gives expression to our disturbing thoughts with depression.
Advent of extremist salafi influence on deoband from 1970s till 2000s destroyed these traditions of recitations of quran and naatia kalam and family gatherings. The tradition of soyem, barsi where quran was recited by family members is now nearly gone. Similarly, the tradition of mehafil e milad where family members and neighbors used to get together are now gone. These have been replaced by grandiose events with professional naat receiters coming to huge events costing millions.
Here is the Viqar un Nisa School now College and Institute where I spent my first few months in 1966.
An outline of her diary’s content will be added here.
Anwar Fatima Diary
Work in Process