ATP Mushaira: Anwar Masood

Posted on March 26, 2008
Filed Under >Adil Najam, ATP Mushaira, Humor, People, Poetry, Urdu
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Adil Najam

I want to introduce this new (hopefully regular) feature at ATP. (Actually, if you press the ‘ATP Mushaira‘ category you will find that this is the second installment in this category; the first being our little Faiz Mela on Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s birthday.) Of course, poetry has been a regular and favorite subject for us at However, this (sub-) category is distinguished from other posts on poetry because here we will feature kalam i shair ba zaban i shair (i.e., poetry recited by the poets themselves).

The Mushaira is a particular – and particularly enchanting – Pakistani tradition. It is, of course, not just a Pakistani tradition, nor any more only an Urdu tradition. Indeed, it seems that the new revival of the mushaira is happening neither in Pakistan nor in India but in the Middle East and North America, because of affluent expatriates yearning for poetic connections to the homes they left behind. Indeed, a new crop of poets are emerging in these diaspora communities, and as we did with Khalid Irfan, we hope to feature these new ‘non-resident’ poets here too.

To me, the format and structure of the mushaira is a wonderful social and literary device and the interactions amongst the poets and between poets and audience adds dimensions to the understanding and appreciation of the artistic expression in ways that are significantly different from reading poetry or to listening to it being sung by someone else. Of course, it has its pitfalls too and I am not suggesting that the mushaira experience is superior to other forms of ‘poetic intake’. All I am suggesting is that it is different. And it is this difference we wish to capture through this series of posts where we will showcase audio and video recordings of poets reading their own kalam.

For this installment I bring you three selections from Anwar Masood; someone I have known and admired for very long and who has been always very kind and affectionate to me.

We have, of course, talked about him before on this blog (also here and elsewhere). But this time, let us talk himself in his unique and extremely entertaining style. The first two selections are of qataat in Urdu (his preferred format for his Urdu work). For many, including me, his most memorable work are his classic Punjabi poems such as Banyaan, Chai tay Lassi, Anarkalli diyan shaanan, Jehlum dey pul tay (my particular favorite), etc. The third offering here is his Punjabi humorous poem Ajj Ki Pakaiaye, which I think is the most representative of his Punjabi work, in structure as well as idiom.

Finally, as a special treat, I offer this audio link to his serious Punjabi poem Ambri (this will open and play in RealPlayer; click on images on left). The subject is a courageous one: domestic violence. And it is rendered with heartfelt passion as well as poetic sophistication. For me, at least, this is amongst the very best of Anwar Masood’s work.

25 Comments on “ATP Mushaira: Anwar Masood”

  1. Faraz says:
    February 18th, 2007 5:05 pm


    It hasnt been long since i came across this site/blog, and i havent had a chance to go through most of its contents. But from whatever i have seen, i have to say its an amzingly brilliant website and one of the most informative and intelligent blogs on Pakistan.

    The wealth of information available on this blog is simply unique. From Faiz to Farooq Qaiser, and from Atta Ullah Easa Khailvi to Pitras Bukhari to Anwar Masood, and even bits and pieces of Maula Jutt and Noor Jahan – this blog took me along to revisit some of the most cherished and now forgotton memories of the past. The towns, the movies, the books, the streets, the culture and the places…

    And yes, Anwar Masood is simply brilliant. A rare talent who combines humour with poetic sophistication and spontaneous wit, and delivers it in a package that appeals to a common man as much as it does to a litrary critic. One of the legends of Pakistan !

  2. Daktar says:
    February 18th, 2007 5:37 pm

    Great stuff. Very very funny. Had not heard his serious stuff before. This Ambri poem is very moving. I remember PTV had at one point encouraged humorous poets to do the short qatas in its morning shows and he was a regualr in those. There was another guy too who was very good, but I forget his name.

  3. The Pakistanian says:
    February 18th, 2007 6:58 pm

    Great stuff Adil, Anwar Masood is such a genius. I just love the kind of Punjabi he uses in his poetry, so pure and totally unadulterated, and the way he recites his stuff is just hillarious.

    BTW Adil, do pardon my ignorance I had no clue, among many other crafts in your repertoire, you are an author too! and I bet there is a poet in there as well. Thanks.

  4. Samdani says:
    February 19th, 2007 12:56 am

    Great stuff…. always a pleasure to listen to him…. love this line in the third video:

    saadi tay hain Umreeka naal yaarian!

  5. Asma says:
    February 19th, 2007 2:19 am

    listening to punjabi and that too by him with all the “adayein” and “naaz nakhra” — it’s just a treat — I got the chance to listen to his mushaira a few times and that was a treat in a treat:>

    Looking fwd to the Mushayra’s on ATP :>

  6. ahsan says:
    February 19th, 2007 9:54 am

    Thank you, Adil, for this post. I have learned something more today as I was not aware of
    Anwar Masood. Thanks to you I know him now and realize what I have been missing. His
    description of “qymah bh*areY kareyleYâ€

  7. Babar says:
    February 19th, 2007 4:08 pm

    Wonderful … had been waiting for this post since the blog started!

  8. mazhar butt says:
    May 11th, 2007 6:51 am

    3 Haikus by Matsuo Basho, 1644-94

    aawara chiryan
    phullaan dee jhootian siftaan kar kar
    saron day khait wich
    aa wardian nein !

    Wild sparrows
    In a patch of yellow rape,
    Pretending to admire
    The flowers.

    jangli chiryaan
    sarson kay peelay khait mein
    bahaney bahaney aati hein
    phoolon kee tareef keeye !

    laal sooha sooraj
    samay to bay parwah
    per hawa noo maloom ay
    tarkay dee thand da waada

    Red, red is the sun,
    Heartlessly indifferent to time,
    The wind knows, however,
    The promise of early chill.

    surkh angaara sooraj
    waqt say bay niaz
    hawa ko magar maloom hay
    waada subah ki awwaleen
    khunki ka !

    aithey diggan othey diggaan
    sarak tay diggan
    ik oh gal ay
    mein dig jay pia tay
    howaan ga dafn phullaan hee dee dheri wich

    No matter where I fall
    On the road,
    Fall will I to be buried
    Among flowering bush-clovers.

    sarak per giroon
    ya giroon kisi bhi maqaam per
    mujhe maloom hey kay gir kar
    mein nay dafn hee hona hay
    phool kee pationkay dhair mein !

    Translated(English) by Nobuyuki Yuasa

    Translated(urdu & Panjabi) by Mazhar Butt

  9. Mehmood Zaman says:
    May 16th, 2007 3:55 am

    Assalam o Alaikum

    I am very much fond of reading punjabi poetry, espicially the most famous poets likes Anwar Masood and Khalid Masood from Pakistan.
    I love both very much and pray for her longevity and prosperity.


  10. ali says:
    July 27th, 2007 11:17 pm

    It was so funny Anwar Masood is a great poet . mazah mein un ka saani hi nahin hai . He is a great poet.

  11. mazhar butt says:
    July 28th, 2007 10:37 am

    @Ali>>>>. mazah mein un ka saani hi nahin hai .

  12. mazhar butt says:
    July 28th, 2007 10:40 am

    yes, Anwer’s funny poems sound more funny when he reads them out. I have no intention to compete him as I don’t have the natural countenance and physiognomy to read poems as he does.

  13. basit says:
    August 30th, 2007 1:00 pm

    There is one particular thing which bothers me is the use of “Roman Urduâ€

  14. Faisal Chohan says:
    November 23rd, 2007 3:11 pm

    Anwar Masood is my favourite poet. Funny poetry un se achi koi nahi kar sakta aur un ka jo style hey wo koi aur nahi apna sakta. mein un ka bohat bada fan hoon

  15. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    November 23rd, 2007 5:59 pm

    @Anwar Masood,

    filbadih arz hay:
    Mizah-nigari mein, wo Anwaari masood hotay hein
    Goya hansi ko detaiy hein Goya’i, Anwar-e- Masood

    @ Mazhar Butt Saheb !
    Masood Saheb kay Unwan aur Tashbihat mein
    la’jawab ham’ahenghi hoti hay.

    Kaffi Arsay se
    app ki janib say koi Amed ?

    Sarson kay Khait ki Chirrian, bohot khoob !!

  16. Mirza Tariq Baig says:
    January 15th, 2008 12:38 am

    Hi Concerning person hope u will be fine and fit with grace of GOD.

    dear plz send me the complete link of anwar masood’s punjabi poetry in tex ot audio video plz.

    i searching on web nut i find only in audio or video but i want to read in punjabi text so plz send me the link of complete punjabi poetry link

    i will be very thankfull to you

  17. Aks Madhim says:
    January 17th, 2008 1:21 pm

    Array yaar maza aa gaya. Was searching for something for my lecture. Stumbled upon this blog. My good fortune. Anwar Sahib key shairy key to kya baat hai…and I repeat maza aa gaya.

  18. January 20th, 2008 3:51 am

    i really enjoyed anwar massod poetry i was looking since long to day i could found plz send me audio poetry of anwar masood mizah poetry at my mail address thankx
    Arshad minhas

  19. Usman says:
    March 26th, 2008 1:03 am

    Wah Wah… mazza aa gaya!

  20. Fakhar says:
    March 26th, 2008 2:56 am

    Anwar Masood the great poet of his style…
    a lovely person with a lot of love for Pakistan and the people of Pakistan.

  21. Qais zahoor says:
    March 26th, 2008 8:28 am

    I call this unique person uncle Anwar Masood.I learnt his poem by heart but na hova ain ka aandaz naseeb

  22. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    March 26th, 2008 6:20 pm

    Request to Adil Najm

    @ Halaat-e-Hazerah par
    Janab-e-Anwar Masood ki nzr hay


    Wardi utter gai’i hay, to Asraar bhi Khulain,
    Ab Dekhna hay, uqdah-e-Anwaar bhi khulain

    Pir-o-murshid rukh pay hain, maidan-e-karzar,
    Hosh-o-khirad ki Ramza-e-Adaat bhi khulain

    Fikr yun hay, keh Hosh ata hay, josh jata hay,
    Ai’ay Assembly kay, dasterkhawan pay chalain
    Rafay Kashmiri

  23. S U Janbaz says:
    April 12th, 2008 4:47 pm

    Anwar Masood a legend, a son of the soil, a voice of the mother earth, have a very delicate heart, deep thought and a unique style. He uses the words of common man in his poetry. Due to which, his poetry is enjoyed by every one.

  24. haji akhtar moazzam says:
    May 13th, 2008 6:31 pm

    I respect Mr.Anwar Masood punjabi local poet.Still i remember the last part of his poem TU ALOO CHIL MAHIYA in Zamindar Degree College gujrat,punjab,Pakistan.Love to every body.Long live Pakistan and God save Pakistan.Thaks for saying AMIN

  25. March 19th, 2009 4:03 pm

    dear recepient of this comment link
    as a matter of fact i wassurfing this site to find email contact of mr anwer maqsood famous humerous tv artist of pakistan
    also i need email contact of nayarra noor, ghazal singer ptv pakistan: kindly oblige and provide me internet contacts of above personalities and oblige
    warm regards
    sincerely yours
    naseem ahmed khan

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