Last night I attended a mwshaira, a reading of Urdu poetry by a number of poets, some local here in Chandler, 3 from India and one from Pakistan.
Although I caught only words and seldom was able to make out the meaning of the poem as a whole, the impact on my Urdu was great. The assemblage of people was impressive, several hundred with women dressed in what Juan Williams would call “Muslim garb” (NB: I feel Juan Williams was unjustly fired from NPR and his follow-up to the Muslim garb comment was commendable). As far as I could tell by looking, I was the only non-Desi there except for an obviously Anglo woman who was nevertheless also dressed in traditional Pakistani clothing and clearly integrated into the community.
The cultural milieu alone (plus food) was worth the small price of admission and the Urdu, along with the passion of the poets, was a real treat. I bought one of the poets’ book and look forward to struggling through it.
Next Thursday I will attend my tertulia where we will discuss a Vargas Llosa novel. These are the experiences that make fl such an enrichment to one’s life.