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Talent Club, Lahore. (a mission with passion)

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Background

About Dr. Yasin Rizvi

My Contributions and Young Writers

First Anniversary of Talent Club

Numa-e-Gham and its future
Growing Community and future of the Club

Downfall of the Talent Club

Conclusion

My Distinctions at Talent Club

My Lost Friends of Talent Club

Open Message

 

 

A friendship pose at home

Picture Gallery (see all pictures with captions)

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Background

Talent Club was a project; conceived and launched by Dr. Yasin Rizvi in June 1979 at Lahore. It was an inspiration of European & American Literary Clubs; promoting book reading through correspondence. As the concept was best modified according to our culture and society, it was well-accepted by the young generation especially student community. And when it started membership against a nominal fee; hundreds of members approached from Peshawar to Karachi. Initially, Talent Club was not a pan pal club not it promote friendship by any means rather encouraged young people (like me) in three progressive manners:

motivation to write for its monthly magazine (no formal skill required)

inspiration to buy-n-read books

to publish books of young writers (poetry or prose)

As routine, Talent Club almost always offered reasonable discounts to its members on placing order for book(s) or personal letterheads (5 pads with club insignia), while postage paid by the club. It offered free counseling and professional guidelines to publish books of young writers (members only). As far club magazine is concerned; all manuscripts/articles/writings sent by members were skillfully modified (where needed) to make them professional and presentable. The magazine titled "Nashria" published monthly in Urdu, was dispatched regularly to members through surface mail. The first "Nashria" was published in September 1979 (according to my record).

In parallel to "Talent Club" Mr. Rizvi introduced "Talent Council" for females in July 1980 under chairpersonship of his wife. It was a ladies portal of "Talent Club". According to his plan. Mr. Rizvi want to move female members of "Talent Club" to this portal. In this way, separate membership and separate magazine (Nashria) was introduced and a variety of concessions were offered to motivate female members. This idea was somehow embarrassing for the ladies and "Talent Council"becom flop after few months'
 

About Dr. Yasin Rizvi - Chairman

Dr. Yasin Rizvi; M.A, Ph.D (now late) was a learned scholar, writer, publisher, journalist and diplomat. He worked in various government departments for at least seven years. He also worked for many foreign embassies in Pakistan and abroad in the capacity of Press Attaché, Iran, Iraq and Germany in particular. He was author of many Urdu and English books which were offered free to club members at the time of getting membership. Talent Club was not his business but a mission with passion. It was true to be said; Talent Club is actually "One Man Show" and Dr. Yasin Rizvi, in the capacity of club chairman is the sole authority. He often said, "There are many people working in the Talent Club; a Chairman, a secretary, a clerk, a typist, a dispatcher, a correspondent, an accountant and a peon, and all these posts are occupied by one person; and that's me". To justify all the responsibilities, he worked like a machine; dawn to dusk. 

He wrote many books and following are on his credit:

  • Kalay Naag (Ghar Se Hawalat Tak - Autobiography of Yasin Rizvi)

  • Iran (Arya Mehr se Ayat Ullah Khomainy Tak)

  • Afghanistan (Baghawat se Inqilab Tak)

  • Bangladesh (Barbadi se Azadi Tak)

  • Germany (An Overview) This book was published by the courtesy of German Embassy in Islamabad when he was Press Attache there.

  • Baran-e-Ghazal (Selected Poetry of Talent Club members) This book was dedicated to Iraqi President Sadam Hussein.
    Iraqi Embassy in Islamabad paid its publishing cost; Mr, Rizvi told me later.

He was a polished man, well educated, well groomed and Hafiz of 10 paras of the Holy Qura'an. He bear a good posture, wearing stylish dresses (preferably safari suite), speaking politely and a person without grudge. He had his own style of working and approaching. Offering a pure personal feel to club members, he always reply them personally by using elegant and decent white stationery without compromise. He was a straight forward person. Once, in his hard time, he asked me to lend him some money which I provided without hesitation. Next day, he came again carrying two huge volumes of coin albums which he had colleted during his diplomatic visits to various countries and asked to keep them as security. I strongly refused but he forcibly leave them on the table, saying, "I will collect them at the time of paying back your debt". He was a true friend of friends. I never forget the moments when he very kindly joined my wedding ceremony on August 20, 1982 at Lahore.

My Literary Contributions and Books by Young Writers

With first copy of Numa-e-GhamIt was year 1971, when I start writing poetry at a low spectrum but its flow increased year after year. Around 1975, I was  fully engaged in literary work and wrote poetry and prose on various aspects. My articles got published in newspapers and magazines from time to time. As a part of literary interest, I was occupied by various literary clubs & organizations and took active part in their activities for years. All in the first, I passionately joined Talent Club, Lahore and was among the pioneer members. To acknowledge my participation, contribution and passion toward the mission Dr. Yasin Rizvi has just launched, he came to meet me in person and impressed most. In coming days such meetings became a general routine, while we discussed and planned various new aspects to boost the club. Publishing books of young writers was such a decision we made in a meeting and he decided to publish my poetry book as the "first book published under the club banner". All the expenses borne by me while sale of the book was sole responsibility of the club and Mr. Rizvi. To avoid any discrepancy, we documented an agreement duly signed by both. But unfortunately, by violating the agreement, he published another book in conjunction. which left an irrecoverable impact on my book following a sudden loss. Following books were published by the Talent Club for its members:

  • Numa-e-Gham by Ajmal Naz (selected Ghazals and Words of Wisdom)

  • Nazish by  Narjis Afroze Zaid (Poetry)

  • Aks-e-Gull by Nisar Ahmed Qaier (Geets aur Naghmat)

  • Pather Mein Aag by Abdus Salam Toor (Hamd O Naat)

  • Mahwe Parwaz by Iqbal Shaheen Advocate (Poetry & Prose)

First Anniversary of Talent Club

In mid June 1980 (four months after publicized date), my Urdu poetry book Numa-e-Gham got published. Later, it was mutually decided that the formal inauguration ceremony will be held on the auspicious of the first anniversary of the club. While the venue was not yet decided, almost every member was urged to held the ceremony at his home town. Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, Rawalpindi and Peshawar were amongst the top claimants. Dr. Yasin Rizvi handled this situation very intelligently and said, "maximum numbers from a city would be the final criteria to select the venue". As a result, Peshawar city scored maximum points and was finalized as the venue of first anniversary of the club. 

Mr. Rizvi encouraged me to go to Peshawar and attend the inaugural ceremony of Numa-e-Gham in person. He very kindly offered his full support in this concern including conveyance and lodging in the hotel. Hence, availing the golden opportunity, I agreed upon to go with my two younger brothers; Amjad Beig and Jahangir Beig as care-givers. To honour his words, he traveled to Peshawar with us in the same wagon while we stayed at Dean's Hotel, where an air-conditioned room was already booked for us. On the same night, on June 30, 1980, two poetry books Numa-e-Gham and Nazish (written by Narjis Afroze Zaidi of Peshawar) were inaugurated at Dean's Hotel, Peshawar. After the inauguration, several confirmed "Talented Members" of the club (including me) were awarded certificates followed by refreshments. The members participated in the ceremony from all over Pakistan i.e Lahore, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Kahotah, Jehlum, Noshehrah, Mardan etc. Some dignitaries include Iftikhar Hussain Raaz (Kahota), Syed Mehr Shah (Kahota), Masood Akhter Anjum (Pind Dadan Khan), Tahira Kausar (Mardan), Syed Iftikhar Hussain Aseer Noshehrah), me with my two younger brothers namely Amjad Beig, Jahangir Beig and lot more. It was a gorgeous and graceful program held in the main hall and everybody enjoyed the ceremony in a friendly manner. After the ceremony, a remarkable "mushairah" was arranged in the lush-green lawn of the hotel.

 

In Dean's Hotel, Peshawar on 30th June 1980The people of Peshawar were very friendly, loving, caring and their hospitality was unforgettable as we heard years back. In honor to all guests came from other cities, they mutually arranged perfect lodging and offered them traditional meals as well. I never forget the breakfast of "Khamiri Roti and Malai" enriched with the aroma of their love and affection. I was told later that the special breakfast was sent by Narjis Afroze Zaidi. On the next day on 1st July 1980, the group of Peshawar members led by Iqbal Shaheen Advocate; President Provincial  Branch, Peshawar already have scheduled a pleasure trip to Torkham (Pak-Afghan border). The whole expenses of trip was contributed by the members of Peshawar city. Due to my disability, they arranged a comfortable red car for me while other members embarked on a hired bus. Onward to Torkham, We entered the historic Khyber Pass at Jamrud (Bab-e-Khyber). I recalled some historical invaders like; Chingese Khan, Alexander The Great and Nadir Shah Durrani who invaded sub-continent through these giant mountains on their horsebacks. There were high mountains, steep zigzag roads, blind turns, streams with crystal clear cold water and waterfalls in our way to Torkham. Our convoy halt at a waterfall where Dr. Yasin Rizvi invited us to see the "Durand Line" - a thin white zigzag line which is the natural boundary line between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

When we reached at Torkham, the caring members picked me up sittings in a borrowed chair and climbed up to an adjoined hill from where a series of mountains and valleys in Afghanistan may be viewed in large scale. It was an unforgettable scenic view, full of natural beauty and high altitude dry mountains. Of course, iIt was a pleasant and enjoyable trip and we enjoyed every moment of it. In our way back to Peshawar we halt at Landi Kotal for refreshments. While my brother was paying for the refreshment, a club member rushed upon him and paid the amount instead. He was Jamal Nasir Ali Khattak. A little ahead, I was taken to a short trip of Jamrud Fort on special permission. We carefully reached back at our hotel after a tiring but memorable journey. The most hospitable person - Jamal Nasir Ali Khattak was with us till last and I cannot forget his hospitality and concern while he very kindly hired a vehicle and dropped us at Peshawar airport on our way back to Lahore. It was my first air journey on PIA Fokker aircraft.

Title of Numa-e-GhamNuma-e-Gham and its Future

As per plan, availability of my Urdu poetry book Numa-e-Gham was expected in February-March 1980.  The same information was publicized in the club magazine (February 1980 issue) and members were invited to book their copy beforehand. In the same issue, a second poetry book Nazish was also announced and its availability was expected in March-April 1980. Everything was going right at the path and I was satisfied with the progress.

According to our mutual agreement, no other book have to be launched in parallel with "Numa-e-Gham" but unfortunately Mr. Rizvi apparently poised my book and published the second book Nazish in conjunction. By violating the agreement, he decided to launch both books at the same time on the auspicious of the first anniversary of the club at Peshawar. This discrepancy left an irrecoverable impact on my book following a sudden loss. It also outcome my second book project "Majburi Kay Gunah" - a socio-romantic novel.

At the time of first club anniversary at Peshawar, only 5 of my books were sold due to price difference between Numa-e-Gham and Nazish. Moreover, Nazish being the local writer of Peshawar got the home-favour as well. Next month when Mr. Rizvi realized that "Numa-e-Gham" is no more a hot cake and flop, he very artfully shifted all books to my home and recommended me to dispatch the orders directly from my end. Thus by introducing "Beig Publications", I took every possible step to speed up the sale but when there have a starting fault to ignite the engine, one can never reach his destination. It's a mourning fact; I still have hundreds of books in stock, most of them are being effected by paper-worm. To get rid of this stock, I have decided to give off Numa-e-Gham free of cost. Golden Offer:  All readers to this page; can avail a copy of "Numa-e-Gham" (old version} absolutely free . send your request here

Growing Community and future of the Talent Club

Talent Club utilized every possible tactics to bring the young generation more closer. To achieve the goal, various inspiring schemes were maneuvered, more discounts on purchasing books were offered and every registered member were asked to introduce at least one new member from his/her circle. Moreover, as a final shot, personal visits to active members (either sex) were set out by the chairman himself. These methodologies brought positive results and the club community doubled its figure within next few months. During its first year of launching, Talent Club offered a collective concession of more than 40,000 rupees to its members; told Yasin Rizvi.

    InFlatti's Hotel, Lahore on 10th June 1982

Next two anniversaries were celebrated at Flatti's Hotel, Lahore. This historical hotel had well-decorated luxurious halls, elegant and dignified environment, well located and was easily approachable. The third anniversary was held on June 10, 1982. A record-breaking number of members participated in this function. It was because the club community was growing day after day. There were members from Multan, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, D.I.Khan, Peshawar, Rawalpindi and of course from the host city Lahore. There were excellent arrangements in the hall and separate seats and refreshment tables were provided for both male and female members. The functions held with great discipline and respectful manners which marked them highly successful. For many exclusive reasons these gala functions were unforgettable for most members. A Punjabi poem "Tu hukm te kar" by Asghar Sodai was an item to remember. Similarly that was the occasion when my fiancé  appeared in the public first. By using his connections with elites, Dr. Yasin Rizvi got sponsorship (Guard Filters) for this  occasion which helped him to achieve optimal results.

Downfall of the Talent Club

In our materialistic society, it is a matter of fact; we almost always expect more than we pay. Similarly, most club members were expecting more than they deserved; paying less and insisting for more. This situation aroused heaps of complaints; of course were hard to considered. The first brick slipped down from the wall, when some members blamed him for his activities and favoritism in the club. Furthermore, when methodology to expand the club membership was imposed, some narrow-minded under-matric dwarfs entered the club community. They cunningly effected the moral concept of the club by sending direct letters to female members acquiring their addresses from Club Directory; introduced in February 1980. Dr. Yasin Rizvi published this directory in good sense to check out the moral uplift of the club members. I think it was a serious mistake by him. The situation worst when this directory allegedly reached in the hands of non-members. A more serious situation arise when a male member from Karachi disguised himself as a young girl and send love letters to a male member from Peshawar. They communicate each other for several weeks making the Peshawar side more serious and involved. When he cannot control the flare of love. he reached Karachi at the given address to show his peak of love and loyalty but... (This story was summarized by me and published in the club magazine later under the title of "...Achcha Hua Tum Iss Ghar Se Chale Ghaye").

 

Presiding over a meeting at Flatti's Hotel, LahoreWhen complaints piled up from victims (including my cousins), Mr. Rizvi took an urgent notice of all these nonsense and unbearable instances by canceling memberships of involved members but it was too late and the smoke never subsided. Mr. Rizvi never assumed that his club platform would be used for such social iniquities. At this stage, he was very much dishearten and uncertain about the future of the club. I personally believed; these pessimistic situations diverted his mission and passion. With great grief and pain, he decided to burn his boats and gradually made himself off the screen.

Not every member know that Dr. Yasin Rizvi was the only working person behind the Talent Club and that it was not his whole time business. It was the last brick slipped down from the wall, when he shifted to Islamabad from Lahore regarding his employment in a foreign embassy. He couldn't spare sufficient time to handle the club matters as effectively as before. So members got suffer, orders of books dishonored, mails were pending and publishing of monthly magazines were delayed. These circumstances demoralized the serious members (like me) and some of them (not me) introduced parallel clubs or organizations so the majority of Talent Club members dispersed and joined them as well as other literary clubs. There are two examples on the record; Majlas-e-Fikr-o-Saqafat, Lahore. (by Mr. Nisar Qaiser Chaudhary) and Halqa Adab-o-Saqafat, Peshawar (by Mr. Tanveer Ahmad Nisar).

  Conclusion 

As Mr. Rizvi had already loose his heart and interest in the club due to false acknowledgment by the members, he disappeared from the screen very silently leaving an ample room for others. Thus, his withdrawal,  pushed the Talent Club into grave forever without funeral.  It was 2nd December 1980 when our last meeting held  at my residence. We never met again. Soon after this he permanently moved from his Gulberg flat to Islamabad. There was no contact between two of us by any means. After years, I watched him once on TV; hosting a current affairs program from Islamabad. I never heard about him later. I joined a private school and all my concentration diverted there. After resigning, I launched my home-based computer institute; Pentium Graphics Center & Training Institute.

And one day, I received an email from his son, notify me about his death. إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ With his demise, the life chapter of multi-dimensional Yasin Rizvi closed forever. But his efforts and contributions in the fields of Diplomatic Affairs, Current Affairs, Literature, Scholarship, Translationship, Press, Journalism, and Publishing are highly commendable and will be remembered forever.

May Allah be pleased with him and rest his soul in jannah. Ameen Ya Rubbul Lilalamin.

 

My Distinctions in the Talent Club

  • First member whose picture was published on the title of club magazine (October 1980 issue)

  • First "Talented Member" (certificate was awarded at Dean's Hotel, Peshawar on June 30, 1980)

  • First "Award Member" whose book was published under the club banner (Numa-e-Gham)

  • Personal friendship (It was rumored among members; "due to close friendship, Rizvi Sahib cannot refuse to Ajmal Beig")

My Lost Friends (Literary Era 1979-1989)

Farhat Parveen Karachi

Sabiha Nafees Karachi

Shaheen Naqvi Gujranwala

Zarina Chughtai Faisalabad

Asmat Naz Multan

Narjis Afroze Zaidi Peshawar

Shamshad Nazli Peshawar

Dildar Ali Qamar Gilgit

Shafique Ahmed Malik Jacobabad 
Arshad Ali Sahiwal
Asim Sanjrani Dalbandin

Zahoor Anver Nadeem Multan

Khalid Ahmad Aftab Quetta
Habib-ur-Rehman Peshawar

Jamal Nasir Ali Khattak Peshawar

Asim Sanjrani Dalbandin

Tabarak Hussain Zaidi D.I.Khan

Siraj Ahmed Niazi D.I.Khan

Tanveer Ahmad Nisar Lahore

Open Message

Talent Club members (lost and others) are cordially welcomed to resume moral relationships as previously.
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