Ode to desire

Farooq Sheikh, Kanwaljit Bakshi, Shabana Azmi, Minu Bakshi, Javed Akhtar and Muzaffar Ali at the book launchb

Farooq Sheikh, Kanwaljit Bakshi, Shabana Azmi, Minu Bakshi, Javed Akhtar and Muzaffar Ali at the book launchb

It was a star-studded launch of Urdu poetry book Tishnagi — The Thirst by Minu Bakshi at Hotel Pullman, Gurgaon, recently. Actress and social activist Shabana Azmi released the book along with Javed Akhtar, Farooq Sheikh and Muzaffar Ali in the presence of the city’s créme de la créme.

The book, published by Rupa Publications, comprises of a series of Urdu couplets, with transliterations in Hindi and English. The book has been designed by fashion designer Ritu Beri. “Minu’s verses are steeped in love and even more importantly in romance — a virtue fast disappearing in today’s world. There is a simplicity with which she surrenders to love and makes the reader yearn for more,” added Shabana.
After the book release, Farooq had audience in splits as he probed the author on choosing Tishnagi as a title of the book. “Tishnagi is the desire which keeps us alive — a desire to hold on to things that we have and at the same time, wanting to have the things we do not possess,” said the poetess taking Farooq’s humour head-on.
A fort-like red colour stage with pillars and jali-jharokha added to the ambience as Farooq and Minu read verses from the book. She also sang one of her favourite pieces from the collection.
“There’s a fragrance of honesty in Minu’s poetry, rather than the odour of effort, which is why it quickly engrosses you,” said Farooq about the book. The poetry reading was followed by a singing performance by upcoming artist Devashi. Shafqat Ali Khan sang a few ghazals while Pernia Qureshi performed to his mesmerising voice.
The glitterati present included Suneet Verma, Varun Bahl, Rina Dhaka, Paresh Maiti, Bubbles Sabharwal, Satish Gujral.
Talking about her book Minu said, “The book is my personal journey as an ardent follower of Begum Akhtar. Though I had been writing for years very hesitantly, I showed a few of my verses to Muzaffar,” she says.
“But I was impressed by the thoughtful and deep emotions that can memorise any reader,” responded Muzaffar.
Minu, a professor of Spanish at JNU, is all set to release her second book. Trained in Hindustani classical music, she is also a social worker and popular Punjabi singer.

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