In the auditorium of Ghalib Academy, many fraternities of Urdu literature remembered Mazhar Imam, one of the most prominent Urdu poets of modern times.
The event, which took place on October 7, started with a seminar where various professors, scholars, and enthusiasts of the Urdu language such as Khalid Alvi, Khursheed Akram, Najma Rehmani, Siraj Ajmali, Sarvar-ul-Huda, and Imam Azam read the verses of Imam and conversed about his importance in the literary world.
“During our college days at Delhi University, we would gather at one place and discuss the books, poems that we used to read. At that time, I would remember the verses more than the writers,” said Najma Rehmani, professor at University of Delhi. “I read one sher (verse) by Mazhar Imam that I still remember.”
“There are poets who are remembered by their verses more than their names. Mazhar Imam was one such personality,” she added.
The eminent poet died in 2012. Known for rich symbolism in his poetry, he began his career at a daily newspaper in Kolkata (then Calcutta) and later moved to All India Radio, where he retired eventually. He had authored 13 books of poetry and criticism.
Considered one among the celebrated poets such as Nida Fazli, Bashir Badar, and Shaheen Kaaf Nizam, he is often credited for the new genre of Urdu poetry called azad ghazal, a type of ghazal that does not essentially follow the rules of traditional ghazals.
Although the genre azad ghazal did not capture readers’ attention at the time, Imam’s exploration of the traditional ghazal form demonstrated his inclination towards the literary expression of the Urdu language – something that was popular among poets and writers of his time.
The event was attended by the students of Urdu literature and those who love the language.
“I came to know about Mazhar Imam from Rekhta. He is discussed less than other popular poets and I came here to listen to people talking about his work. I believe he was an important figure in the Urdu literary world,” said Mohammad Waris, a student of Jamia Millia Islamia.
The event, organised by Imam’s son Shaheer Imam, was followed by ghazal recitals by Bharathi Vishwanathan and a mushaira (poetry gathering) where many contemporary poets and writers performed.