An eloquent conversation between businessman Amin Hashwani and rock star Salman Ahmed covered a variety of topics as the former’s poetry book ‘Untouched Octaves’ was launched at a hotel on Saturday.
Hashwani, also a social activist, told the audience that he had never thought of publishing his poetry, but his mother had forced him to bring it out. “Poetry is a very private experience. Aboard a plane, I used to type it on my BlackBerry.”
Responding to Ahmed’s comment that Hashwani’s poetry reminded him of Sufi poet Bulleh Shah’s quest for the truth of the human existence, the poet said humans had set many false assumptions because of their obsession with finding specific answers. “It’s a false assumption that we can have the answers to all questions. After the latest discoveries, we now have more unanswered questions than before.
Expressing his views on love and affection, he said love in its original sense was more about sacrifice, as described in legendary tales.
He regretted that such pure feelings were being polluted due to artificial standards set by capitalism and consumerism.
He advised the audience to avoid an extremist approach in any aspect of life. “Enjoy yourself. Try to have a balanced life between Deen (religion) and Dunya (worldly affairs).”
Ahmed mesmerised the audience with a reading from ‘Untouched Octaves’. He said: “After a very long time a Pakistani poet has offered an eloquent commentary on his homeland and the world. They are infused with hope for the planet despite the despair and chaos of the present times. The book is beautifully illustrated with Bobby Sager’s pictorial documentary. A priceless piece of literature from Pakistan!”
He also read out views of two renowned personalities on Hashwani’s poetic work. “Art that is only concerned with self-expression or which seeks to endorse a cruel ideology, such as Soviet Realist Art, is doomed to be second-rate. This is not what you will find in this volume of poems, which is a collective cry for compassion that will compel readers to open their hearts to the world’s pain,” he quoted famed author, religious historian and speaker Karen Armstrong.
Renowned author and speaker Deepak Chopra’s quote read: “These poems by Amin will transport you to the essence of all existence, which is your innermost being. In a broken world desperately in need of healing, they are nourishment for the soul.”