Urdu Heritage Festival | 10th – 15th Nov 18 | Central ParkTanu Dabral
Aaj bhī 'prem' ke aur 'krishn' ke afsāne haiñ
Aaj bhī vaqt kī jamhūrī zabāñ hai urdu
- Ata Abidi
Urdu Heritage festival(UHF) is an annual initiative by the Delhi Government and the Urdu Academy to create a platform whereby people from various walks of life interact with each other and share their love for the language of the जम्हूरी (masses), i.e. Urdu.
This initiative was started at the time of the Commonwealth Games in 2010. Ever since then, there has been no looking back. Urdu Heritage Festival has only expanded its roots and has managed to cater to the masses of varying interests. Because of Urdu's close relationship with the walled city, it was decided that Red Fort will host the gala event. But in February, this year(2018) the venue was shifted to Central Park, Connaught Place as it was more commutable. This year the event will take place from 10th November 2018 to 15th November 2018(12 noon to 9 pm). The event is free of cost in order to make it accessible to each and every Urdu Enthusiast and to engage as many people as possible. Artists like Javed Ali, Suresh Wadkar, Rashmi Aggarwal and Indira Naik will add their charm to the event.
A sense of connectedness is a peculiar feature of the UHF. There is a kind of uniformity that can be seen amongst the people, the मोहब्बत for Urdu, so much so that it brings goosebumps to the eye of spectators. “दिल्ली में इस तरहाँ के कल्चरल इवेंट्स में लोग इतना मसरूफ होजाते हैं की आपस की रंजिशें ख़तम होजाती हैं! ” says Abu Sufiyan, the founder of Purani Dilli Walo Ki Baatein. The only thing that a person does is appreciates each other’s differences and cultures. Urdu Heritage Festival, then not only appreciates Urdu but also brings people together in a close-knit network. It blurs the line between 'me' and 'you'. It reminds us of the India that has always stood for Unity In Diversity and that we must cherish the treasure of diverse and plural cultures that we have.
Jayshree Shukla, an Urdu lover and an enthusiastic participant of the UHF said,
“This man was my immediate neighbor at the Urdu Heritage Festival. Like me, he spent virtually the entire afternoon there. When a ghazal touched his heart, he quietly wiped his r with his handkerchief. He had brought a small packet of glucose biscuits which he offered to me and I said no. Now I wish I had not. I bonded with so many others in the audience. For this afternoon, we were one, one family.” Every year, many stories like hers are experienced at UHF, and many are waiting to be unveiled. So let’s go onboard on this beautiful 6-day journey and forget our differences and for once, be like an inseparable family.