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Jashn-e-Rekhta Urdu festival gears up for second edition

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New Delhi :Jashn-e-Rekhta, a festival celebrating Urdu is gearing up for its second edition in a bigger venue with a line up of acclaimed authors, poets, artists, litterateurs and singers.

Over 75 participants from India, Pakistan and the US are set to attend the festival to be held from February 12-14 at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts here, organisers said in a statement today.

Gopi Chand Narang, Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, Iftikhar Arif, Zehra Nigah, Javed Akhtar, Jeelani Bano, Mahesh Bhatt, Shabana Azmi, Tom Alter, Sabri Brothers, Tina Sani, Ashok Vajpeyi, Namvar Singh are a few names in the line up.

The festival aims to showcase the richness of Urdu through various forms like Mushaira, Qawwali, Dastangoi, Ghazals besides numerous film screenings, dances, plays and more.

The renowned Sabri Brothers from Rajasthan famous for their Qawwali, are set to open the festival on February 12 with their performance.

A special highlight of the festival will be the birth centenary celebration of legendary Urdu writers Ismat Chugtai and Rajinder Singh Bedi, known as the pillars of Urdu fiction.

The event has also planned a celebration for the birth centenary of Akhtar-ul-Iman, famed for his modern Urdu Nazms.

The event, organisers said drew over 20,000 visitors last year and had hosted eminent personalities like Zia Mohyeddin, Javed Akhtar, M K Raina, Muzaffar Ali, Nandita Das besides legends of Urdu literature Shamsur Rahman Farooqui, Gopi Chand Narang and Intizaar Hussain amongst many others.

Besides interactions and discussion on tracks on films, art and culture, the upcoming edition has also lined up a food court with authentic cuisines like Kashmiri, Deccani, Hyderabadi, Lucknowi and Purani Dilli.

A special focus is a children’s corner that will have storytelling, dastangoi, audio installations, fun drawing and other interesting activities aimed at reviving Urdu literature among children.

Ghazal singer from Pakistan Tina Sani is set to perform at the festival and other attraction at the festival is Urdu Bazaar, a special area dedicated to brass artifacts, variety of Itra (fragrances), film posters and much more.

The festival is being organised by the Rekhta foundation, which curates one of largest online repository of Urdu poetry in the world at Rekhta.org .

Sanjiv Saraf, founder Rekhta.org and the force behind Jashn-e-Rekhta says, “Jashn-e-Rekhta is a manifestation of our belief in the versatility, richness and the timeless beauty of Urdu. The success of its debut last year is a testimony to this belief. We were overwhelmed to see lovers of Urdu coming together to feel and experience its beauty through the savants of the language.”

PTI