By Anindya Banerjee
In the male-dominated shayari circuit of India, Seema Iqbal has broken the glass ceiling, using the Urdu language and its vast nuances that made people take note of her creativity.
Virasat me mujhe shayari mili hai (I have inherited shayari),” says Seema Iqbal. She insists, her father Syed Wahid Ali’s keen interest in poetry introduced her to this world. She says, her brother Majid Ali also writes ghazals and so does another sibling, Dr Mujahid Faraz, who, too, is a shayar.
But Seema Iqbal always wanted to come out of their influence and carve a separate identity of her own. Be it ‘Naye Purani Chirag’ by the Urdu Academy or ‘Karvane-sher-o-adab-al-hind’ by the Ghalib Academy, Iqbal has been a prominent presence in all these recitation events.
But she accepts it has been a significant step for a woman to make a name in the discipline.
“Of course it will encourage a lot of women to take this up. If one has interest and talent, women too can pursue it. In fact, there are few who have made their mark in this field,” Iqbal tells IANS.
She adds that one day, she hopes to bring out a book of her own. “Shauq hai ki kitab likhungi zaroor, main apna kalaam laoongi in the public domain, insha-allah,” she quips.
She has also introduced many women to this ‘language of melody’ in the past, on behalf of the Urdu Academy. But this year, she claims, the pandemic has disturbed everything.
While her love for Urdu remains unchanged, she complains that this alone is not enough to financially sustain one self. “I will keep enlightening the world with the sheer brilliance of Urdu, but the unpredictability of income is real,” she says. No wonder, she has taken up a job at a popular insurance company.
However, it is shayari that keep her creative side alive. She says, “Ab to chup ho ja tu khuda ke liye, khud ko khamosh kar rahi hun main, jaane kya ho gaya hai mujhko ada, ab to khud se bhi dar rahi hun main.”
( Anindya Banerjee can be contacted at email@example.com )