Remembering some more wonderful poets!
BTW, that's a lot of work, in case you wonder why we charge (and it is not much at all) …
• Transferring them from Tape/Cassettes to a software on my iMac.
• Listening to them and putting their volume right
• Removing stuff that's got to go (bad sounds, glitches, squeaks ... all sorts of useless stuff!)
• Transferring them into AIFF files
• Putting them on to a Master CD
• Making covers for the CD
• Printing them out
• Making copies for T2F
• Keeping a record going so that most of the stuff is always there
• Occasionally shipping them to cities outside Karachi (but in Pakistan, of course)
Himayat Ali Shaaer and his wonderful Nazm that we all recited as school/college boys. He is a little old now and has been reciting his ghazals and nazms taht-ul-lafz ... but his poems are just as great! I always remember him patting and smoothening his hair when he recited in his inimitable tarannum. You can hear his beautiful tarannum again as we insisted that he use his 'old style'.
Mohsin Ehsan is a wonderful poet. My first meeting with him was at a mushaaerah in Nazimabad. Asghar Bhai, Nasir Bhai, Shohrat, Kajjoo, Nuzhat and I reached there to listen to the later poets after eating some Kabas and Sheermaals in the Barkaaté Haidari market. I think the shop was called Mullaas ... but I can't find anyone to confirm that now.
At the mushaaerah I was accosted by Sehba Akhtar who saw my kurta-pyjaama and asked if I was 'one of them'. I asked him if he meant 'shaaer' or 'shia' He went back to the stage and kept on laughing every time his eye caught mine.We rushed home after the mushaaerah - around 4 AM! - and brought Mohsin Bhai home. We stayed up till the next morning while he recited a few new ghazals for us. Here is one that Nuzhat loved and she asked him to record it the next weekend when he came again.
At the mushaaerah was also Havi from Balochistan. Havi was chosen because he loved Ghalib and his takhallus had a similar meaning. He had recited several ghazals in Ghalib's zameens at the mushaaerah the night before. I forget his surname and have never heard him since then and at our house the next day (Does anyone know where he is?) …
Finally, a poem from Asghar Gorakhpuri that was incomplete when he died. Its here for you to listen to since it was never recited anywhere else.
(Does anyone have his son Asad's phone number? I have two and both are always off. Please put it in the comments box and I'll try to get hold of him.)