Shafey Kidwai in his book ‘Urdu Literature and Journalism: Critical perspectives’ has given the language a new life in its old age. Kidwai has creatively nurtured the critical analysis of the top critics in the book and has brought it into a brand new light.

He has discussed the growth of the language, its shift from romanticism to progressive to modern day writing, and then rued over Urdu bearing the brunt of partition.

JavedSalim Khan has remained silent about the state of Urdu, after that Creation of Adam moment back in April when his hallowed fingers launched the site and issued a Nothing to See Here, Move Along: “Muslims find themselves safe in the country.” He does qualify it with a “They only need basic amenities, job, education, food,” which either reads as the particulars for a very good pet (“Friendly Muslim Seeks Good Home – it only needs a job, education and some food”) or the sequel to Roti, Kapda Aur Makaan. Salim Khan presents Naukri, Taleem, Roti – How Bharat Is Still Majboor. So no new work on Urdu for Salim Khan, and now no new words too.

The lost form of Urdu story telling — Dastangoi — was rediscovered at The Attic, a cozy little venue at the Regal Building in Connaught Place by a group of children.

The venue was packed to the brim with young kids, as well as adults on Tuesday to listen to an adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass titled Dastan Alice ki .

A remarkable collection of short stories translated from Urdu that are both thought-provoking and enduring: The Hindu

UrduCenturies ago, Urdu was born in the streets and markets of Delhi and became a language of middle-class North Indians. But, in the post-Partition India, it was replaced by Hindi and English. Ironically, it was adopted by Pakistan where the majority of people don’t speak Urdu. In India, though, it survived in Hindi film songs and in poetry symposia. The last few years have seen a renewed interest in this beautiful language but, alas, a majority of youngsters can’t read Urdu in the original Nastaliq script, as they are more comfortable with English. This anthology targets those Indian readers. What I liked most about this collection was the absence of Chugtai and Manto. These two writers have been translated and talked about so often that most non-Urdu speakers think that Urdu has produced just two short story writers.

Two translations of a seminal short story collection— experimental in form and style—that set north India aflame: Outlook India

angarey_coverIn 1936, in the last year of his life, the Hindi author Premchand traveled to Lucknow to address the first annual meeting of the All India Progressive Writers’ Association (AIPWA). In his forty-five minute speech titled “The Aims of Literature” he charted a course for the future of Indian literature that was progressive and realistic. His speech, and the AIPWA, was to change the course of Indian writing dramatically, for the coming decades and beyond.

anwarThe Naval Kishore Press established in Lucknow by Pandit Naval Kishore in 1858 was once the largest publishing initiative in South Asia and second only to the Alpine Press of France. Before it was closed in 1950, it had published Urdu translations of over 500 Hindi, Arabic and Persian texts, and 124 Sanskrit texts, including the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Bhagavad Gita and Manusmriti. In keeping with the legacy of Naval Kishore Press, popular Urdu poet Anwar Jalalpuri has translated The Bhagavad Gita into Urdu shayari. Former chairman of Uttar Pradesh Madarsa Board and former member of the Urdu Akademi (UP), Jalalpuri had earlier translated Rabindranath Tagore’s Geetanjali and Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat into Urdu poetry. Jalalpuri tells Aishwarya Gupta that through his latest book, Urdu Shayari mein Gita, he aims at an interaction of Hindu and Islamic worldviews.

Edited excerpts from an interview:

The 25th International Literature Festival organised by the Hindi-Urdu Sahitya Award Committe in association with the UP Sangeet Natak Academy , is dedicated to writers of Hindi and Urdu literature, Dr Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Majrooh Sultanpuri. The inaugural ceremony on Saturday witnessed the presence of famous personalities from the field of art, literature and politics. 

A truly incredible exposé of feudal aristocracy in the 1930s, writes Pradyot Lal in Tehelka

ANGAARAYAt a time when the country has been in the throes of a major debate on religious polarisation, this incredible collection of short stories by a distinguished set of writers is a significant event in itself. The sheer depth of this anthology and its searing search for the real face of north Indian Muslims explains why the colonial masters took the unprecedented step of banning Angaaray when it appeared in 1932.

Feroz-TajA Door Into Hindi comprises tutorials on Hindi while Darvazah has chapters in Urdu. Each tool has 24 progressively advanced tutorials comprising videos, animations, jokes, each aimed at drawing the learner closer to the language. Each video lasts 15-20 minutes, while the accompanying text describes the grammar, synonyms, among other issues related to what was shown in the video.