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Laughter is the best Medicine



RIYADH – A condolence meeting organized in Riyadh Friday in remembrance of Talib Khundmiri, a renowned Urdu poet has turned into a memorable event where the melancholy mood was soon dispatched by burst of laughter.

The news of Khundmiri’s sudden death in India sent a shock wave among the members of the Indian community and enthusiasts of Urdu poetry. However, the condolence meeting that Riyadh-based Hindustani Bazm-e-Urdu hosted to pay a tribute to Khundmiri --  an Indian poet well known for his humor and satire -- consisted of seemingly unending applause and a joyous atmosphere.

Khundmiri passed away last week in India while returning to his hometown city of Hyderabad after addressing a mushaira (poetical evening) in Indian city of Pune.

The tribute given to Khundmir by a section of the Indian community represented by Hindustani Bazm-e-Urdu, a literary group in Riyadh would be remembered for a long time in Riyadh literary circles.

Architect A.R. Saleem, President, Hindustani Bazm-e-Urdu paid homage to Khundmiri by screening the video clippings of the poet. The guests that attended the condolence meeting could not resist enjoying the screening.

Hifz ur Rahman, an official of Indian Embassy was also present on the occasion.

K.N. Wasif, a columnist of a leading Urdu newspaper and a satirist himself spoke about Khundmiri, an architect by profession that became a poet of international fame.

Khundmir, the author of three books on humor and satire and wrote a number of couplets,  poems (satire and humor) including parodies and focused on social evils within the Indian society. He had visited Saudi Arabia a number of times to address mushaira organized by Indian Embassy in Riyadh and Hindustani Bazm-e-Urdu.

Among those that spoke on the occasion were Afzal J. Sanai, a leading businessman from Hyderabad, Mir Ahmed Ali, Muhammad Saifuddin and Ghouse Arsalan, the freelance reporters that contribute to Urdu newspapers in Hyderabad.

The gathering of Urdu poetry enthusiasts considered the condolence meeting something that enlivened the memories of Khundmiri, a joyous personality and they thought as if the poet was among them with his everlasting poetry.

“The evening would be remembered for a long time to come because the people that came to mourn the loss of a poet have enjoyed every moment by listening to his poetry,” said one attendee.

Note: The article that highlighted a condolence meeting held in Riyadh in remembrance of Talib Khundmiri was published (January 24, 2011) in The Saudi Gazette, a national newspaper in Saudi Arabia.

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