Reviving children’s Urdu literature
“Mein ne Urdu apni maan ke doodh ke sath pi hei!” (I have consumed my mother tongue, Urdu with her breastfeeding me). This is how I express love for the sweetest and most civilised language of the world; of course never to look down upon other languages as these all travel in the same boat. While my mother used to recite Urdu songs like, Chanda mamun door ke… and the lovely stories, it all got percolated into my soul and gave me the impetus to write kids’ stories while as a kid only.
My children, who were wary and disapproving of learning Urdu, were warned by me that if they won’t read and write Urdu, my ghost would follow and scare them. The ploy worked and I enrolled them with Jamia Millia Islamia’s Arjun Singh Centre for Distance and Open Learning Urdu Certificate Course where anyone can learn Urdu via Hindi or English medium.
Quite interestingly, here I was told that even the USA settled granddaughter of Krishan Chander, celebrated Urdu short story writer and novelist, had enrolled herself here as she wanted to read the all-time favourite stories by him.
I’ve taught my children to read Urdu so that when I die, the stupendous collection of Urdu books and magazines I have, must not go to garbage collectors and are retained as proud cultural possession.