‘Magic happens when you least expect it’, this beautiful dictum happened to me in three days of colourful and majestic celebration of Hindustani Zubaan at Jamia Hamdard. The occasion was ‘Jashn – E – Adab’, A celebration of Hindustani etiquette, refinement, manners, morals, decorum, decency and humaneness. This was magical for me because I experienced a harmonious mix of Urdu and Hindi, celebrated in the works and words of poets, writers, historians, actors and musicians. I not only got a chance to meet celebrated artists but also humans of Jamia Hamdard who belonged to a different faith.
When I entered campus of Jamia Hamdard, it felt and smelt different, I don’t know if it was wide and green space in otherwise jammed Delhi or Hijaab clad women driving scooty, Jamia hamdard was atypically non conforming. At the end of a very long road there was a beautifully decorated lawn with colourful flags, flowers and fairy lights. You know one of those places which are lit with setting sun and cool breeze, where just your mere presence makes you joyous, such was evening aura at Jashn- E – Adab. But there are days when god is brutal to his children, within minutes sunshine disappeared and a strong storm appeared. It was a huge challenge and disappointment for Jashn-e-adab team since their all arrangements for the evening were al fresco. Weather went crazy and Jashn- e – adab team within minutes took all equipments inside the convention hall. Without any sign of disappointment on face, team managed to pull a spectacular evening. There were praises all over. During that time I met a very beautiful woman who wore even more beautiful hijab over her kurti. I felt aliveness in her eyes when she came to talk to me. We instantly connected and started chatting about Islam and Hinduism. From religion we went on to spirituality, from spirituality we came back to Jashn E Adab. She very innocently said, “When I came to Jashn-e-adab, it felt mine. This is my tehzeeb. These clubs or pubs are not for me, this Sufism is mine.” I understood how content she was feeling by the shine in her eyes. Such was the magic of Jashn E Adab.
2nd day of Jashn-E-Adab was marked by two very talented and veteran artists, Piyush Mishra and Yashpal Sharma. During the event, Yashpal Sharma was asked how he reached Bombay from Delhi. His one liner reply threw light on his life full of struggle. He said, I didn’t reach Bombay from Delhi, I started from my village to town, from town to Chandigarh, From Chandigarh to Delhi, then from Delhi to Bombay.” Indeed Ranbeer Kapoor and Alia Bhatt are talented but they haven’t seen the struggle that Piyush Mishra and Yashpal Sharma saw, and today this struggle is their legacy. Day 2 was houseful because of these wise legends.
3rd day was most magical for me because it started with disappointment while it ended with enchantment. Previous night I got to know that I was rejected by my dream organization. It broke my heart and confidence. Because of my responsibilities as a volunteer, I came to festival while at the same time I wanted to shift my mind to something else. Jashn- E- Adab was a buffer for me in this time of hardship. On day three two very strong women journalists formed a panel to discuss women empowerment in the festival. Disturbed by the events of my life I asked them why freshers in industry are so exploited. The people at top have luxury to practice unbiased and civil journalism while people at bottom remain jobless if they even think of doing so. Understanding my condition Sonia Singh gave me an avowal and assurance. She said that the people like us are working hard for the people like you, but world cannot change in a day. Just do justice to your work and you will notice the change. Perhaps that was something I needed to hear.
After that when the day passed away, I wasn’t able to realize. I was so busy with interviewing revered personalities that I didn’t notice when the moon replaced the sun. When I was about to leave for home, a lady security guard came to me and said that she also wants to stay with me. I mockingly replied that I myself don’t have a job, where will I keep you. She laughed and asked me if I can get a picture clicked with her. After that she gently put her hand on my head and said ‘Jeete raho’. A tear rolled down from my eyes and she hugged me tight. That was the moment of the day.
Three days of Jashn-e-adab made me realize the magic called life. Time in life takes you up, pushes you down. In really happy days there can be seconds of monumental sadness and in worst days of your life there will moments which you will remember for years. This is what life is. This celebration of life and living will always be a fond chapter in my life’s book.