Kavish and Saher: An evening to remember
This should have been the intro that I missed that day —
Azhar said Kavish was alive and I should ask said Yawar Mehdi for his number.
I phoned Yawar Sahab and he said I should get in touch with his daughter, Saher, who is also a poet.
He gave me her cell phone number.
Saher was a quite mischievous child, I recall.
I remember her sitting on a dias with the poets when Kavish had arranged a müshaaerah … with me being the Sadar.
Only Kavish would have done something like this, especially when there was Asghar (Gorakhpuri) Bhai and many others who would obviously recite in the mahfil.
He decided to do this only because of his memories of Chittagong where my ships always had a müshaaerah.
(Apart from local poets, we'd occasionally have shaaers come from Dacca, too, as some of you may have heard in the CDs that I place occasionally at T2F.)
In East Pakistan one could never have a müshaaerah without Kavish.
He was loved by everyone.
Including the poets!
Pity nobody called him to Karachi in a large müshaaerah.
Kavish is a wonderful man and was a regular visitor at my house in Karachi when he had migrated from East Pakistan much after it became Bangladesh.
He ran small mahfils in the camp in Bangladesh, hoping that it would get people who loved Urdu to come together every now and then.
Told her I had been Kavish's friend of almost half a century.
I got her address and a day that he'd be in her house … and drove up with Nuzhat to meet him.
As always, he was his wonderful self.
Except that he'd had a heart attack.
He felt old and weak, had a much lower voice.
He is just a year older than me and I have had a heart attack, too, but it affected him more badly.
He had no idea why he stopped coming to our house.
He just couldn't remember.
We talked of the old days and I discovered that he had met Nasir several times until Nasir passed away a few years ago.
Would never ask anyone for money or help.
So is Saher, it seems to me.
As the head of her generation she has looked after all of them well.
Her husband died and she has brought up her children in wonderful ways.
She works hard.
And she is a great poet.
Her nazms are amazing.
And her ghazals have beautiful ashaar.
Here is one.
He used to remember all his poems and recite them from memory.
I am sorry if you were there and wondered who they were … and what were they to me. The above are the things I should have said when I was asked to open the program.
A CD of that evening will be available soon. In the meanwhile you can buy another CD that has Kavish (from my ship days) and Naseer Turabi (from my home müshaaerahs) at T2F.