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Delhi's annual Jashn-e-Bahar mushaira returns to town this Friday. Japan, which so far has never been represented in this mushaira, is bringing its poet Prof Hiroji Kataoka. "This is the first time that we are getting an Urdu scholar from Japan. This year, we have three poets whose madari zabaan (mother tongue) is not Urdu," says Kamna Prasad, founder of the Jashn-e-Bahar Trust that organises the mushaira.
Among others, Prof Wasim Barelvi, Javed Akhtar, Mansoor Usmani, Sheen Kaaf Nizam, Nusrat Mehdi, Popular Meeruthi, Alok Srivastava and Aqeel Nomani from India will be sharing the stage with Fahmida Riaz, Kishwar Naheed and Harris Khalique from Pakistan. On Friday, Nazir-e-Benazir, a collection of verses of Nazir Akbarabadi will be released.
The mushaira will see a melange of established poets and some new faces. "The younger ones show us the change. After all, language keeps changing. You don't speak Shakespearean English anymore and the same is the case with Urdu. It's changing but it's not dying. If it's changing, it only means it is zinda (alive)," says Prasad.