Mehfil is the Urdu word for a gathering, and at Prithvi Theatre, it is coming home as a gathering of those who have loved, are starting to love, or want to fall in love with Urdu.
There was a time when the common spoken language was Hindustani, and there was no barbed wire fencing of Urdu from Hindi. Some of our best-loved writers and musicians have used the language to create what we claim as our popular cultural legacy. Few of us have remained untouched by it and we continue to soak in the magic of its poetry through Sufi music, romantic ghazals, qawwalis, or old film dialogues. A sprinkling of Urdu stills soften our lips as we hum a popular film song, so what if we don’t know our zulf from our gesu, or the different meanings contained in the word sanam?
We do want to know, however. And Mehfil@Prithvi hopes to turn into a space where people can appreciate the language and its literature, where Urdu becomes more accessible to people of all ages. Mehfil@Prithvi will gather once a month at the Prithvi Adda and will discuss all things Urdu, ranging from the war-camps and bazaars that gave birth to the language, to Gulzar. Through ‘open house’ discussions, readings, music and film, we hope that a new generation will rediscover a part of our heritage. We will try to pronounce the ghs and the khs, and we will meet singers, poets and lyricists who have carried this beautiful language into a slightly bewildered new millennium.
The club will be led by a team of Urdu lovers, which includes laureates like Javed Siddiqui and Salim Arif and passionate Urdu novices like Urduwali Arwa Mamaji and Urduwali Priya Nijhara who run this blog.
Date: February 14th (second Tuesday every month)
Venue: Prithvi theatre, Juhu