Hyderabad: When one thinks of Hyderabad, first few things that strike one’s mind are the lip-smacking Biryani and ever-refreshing Irani Chai. But there is more to the city and its citizens than just these. Hyderabadis can mesmerise you with a constant flow of shayari that can perfectly describe many things that have been left unsaid.
A deep-rooted tradition in the city of Nizams, shayari brings people close to each other and makes an instant connection between the shayar (poet) and the listener. Making such an indelible impression on his listeners is Mohammad Furkhan Ahmed who has proved that even a non-Hyderabadi is drawn to his art and wit. Furkhan uses relatable shayari, extempore, to express his views on the daily grind and mundane happenings. This Pakka Hyderabadi’s popularity can be gauged by the incredible number of views for his shayari on Instagram.
Furkhan is popular in the old city not only for his funny and true-to-life shayari, but also for dressing up exactly like the ‘Bhai of Bollywood’ and so he is called “Hyderabad’s Salman Khan”.
Asked why he presents his shayari in a witty way, this talented bouncer says, “Lockdown made me do this; we were jobless. Everything was on a pause and it became difficult for most people to sustain. And so, I thought of doing something funny which can spread smiles and cheer in such gloomy times and also gives us some income. Also, I make my poems funny as humour reaches a wider audience and connects with them on a different level, especially on their not-so-great days.”
Furkhan hired a band and started posting videos, while presenting himself in a comic way. This approach was loved by the people who used to gather around on the streets to listen to his shayari. Ask him which is his favourite shayari, Furkhan shares, “The remix shayari of the English rhyme ‘Johny Johny’ gave me a lot of popularity. However, the Shaadi mein khana is my favourite as it talks about the reality of guests’ behaviour in a wedding.”
He recites the Shaadi mein khana, “Daawat mai jaake kha ke lifafe toh nakko rakho. Magar shaadi khane ke baahar nikal kar, khane ko chaar naaman toh nakko rakho (Even if you don’t give a gift envelope after eating well at a wedding, at least don’t make fun of the food being served to you).”
He also has a following in the UAE, the USA, and Australia. “I keep getting invites from different places. I get surprised when people from different places call me. They request me to make shayari which are related to their regular lifestyle,” he says with pride.
“I make sure I make impactful videos with at least a small message. With my videos I not only earn for myself but also provide some income to my band members who play background music for my shayari,” says the 28-year-old.
“I should thank my friends Faiyaz Ansari and Nazeer Shareef who supported me by shooting the videos and editing them. It takes at least an hour to shoot and edit them properly and post them on the social media,” concludes Furkhan, who also acted in three short-films.
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