English and Hindi books on Urdu are available at Urdu Ghar bookshop

The Anjuman has been publishing books since early 1930s after shifting to New Delhi for reasons unknown. A well appointed library and a book shop were also established by them during the same. Today, their address since 1977, Urdu Ghar, 212, Rouse Avenue – has been a favourite among booklovers for decades now.

The prices of their books are known to be very pocket-friendly and affordable for they do not include any overheads. After having dealt with Urdu books for years now, they are venturing into publishing of English books on any theme related to Urdu language and literature. This service will be extended to Hindi books as well gradually. As always, it is not possible without the support of its readers and hence they are urging all their readers and book-lovers to extend their support to them, like always in their new venture.

Raghib pays a heartfelt tribute to Rahat Indori (1950-2020)

Not many poets become famous enough to become a part of our day to day lives and  even fewer are frequently quoted to mark protests or dissent in times of social upheaval. His poetic age spans almost five decades where he participated in hundreds of mushairas and wrote several lyrics for Hindi cinema. Indori is very often quoted on social media platforms. Interestingly, he also trended for a while on Twitter too. His couplets are used as placards in several protests in India while he was also quoted many a time in Indian Parliaments and speeches in the public gatherings. All these led to his public popularity, making Urdu poetry  familiar to a wider range of audience who have less or no acquaintance to Urdu as a language. 

Bol ke lab azaad hai tere” is a famous poem by legendary Urdu poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Eleven artists from Singapore recited this poem to inspire others and pay homage to Faiz and his spirit of speaking up, and speaking truth to power. The artists shot their own clips at their homes using mobile devices, respecting the social distancing regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Money, money, money!

How much is a writer paid?

In an article in The Guardian, we are told : “Based on a standard 35-hour week, the average full-time writer earns only £5.73 per hour, £2 less than the UK minimum wage for those over 25. As a result, the number of professional writers whose income comes solely from writing has plummeted to just 13%, down from 40% in 2005.”

So, writing does not pay. Then why do writers write?

In a blog  at The Writing Cooperative, money or fame is not listed as a reason for writers to write. And yet, in a real world, writers cannot survive without money. 

But contradictions exist.

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There are twenty two ‘scheduled’ languages in India and dialects run into many more. The 2001 census put the count of all spoken languages and dialects at 780, second only to Papua and New Guinea which leads with 839 languages. 

With such a huge babel of words at it’s disposal, some languages languish from neglect. Some profess Urdu is one such victim. Recently, much is being written about how Urdu is dying in the bylanes of Old Delhi .

Urdu, a language of the court and poetry, graceful and elegant in its usage, came to be recognised fully around the eighteenth century in India. Before that, Persian was used in the Mughal courts. Urdu evolved as a language that was used by both Hindus and Muslims, perhaps a language of harmony. It used the elegant Nastaliq script.