Jashn-e-Rekhta

ScHEDULE

Day 1

Saturday- March 14, 2015

SEE DAY-2 SCHEDULEDOWNLOAD SCHEDULE PDF
watch

11:30 am to 12:30 pm

12:45 pm to 01:45 pm

AUDITORIUM

Javed Akhtar
in conversation with Sukrita Paul Kumar

AUDITORIUM Javed Akhtar in conversation with Sukrita Paul Kumar


It is hard to introduce someone who needs little introduction. Javed Akhtar, an award-winning poet, scriptwriter and lyricist, is one such distinguished personality. A mere mention of his name, which has become synonymous with Urdu and poetry, brings to mind his emotional and inspiring lyrics.

In what promises to be an immensely rewarding session, Javed Akhtar will be in conversation with Sukrita Paul Kumar, a recognized critic and writer.

Urdu aur Hindi: Qurbaten aur Faasle

Urdu and Hindi: Convergence and Divergence
Ashok Vajpeyi
, Kedarnath Singh
and Shamim Hanfi
Moderated By Pervaiz Alam

AUDITORIUM Urdu aur Hindi: Qurbaten aur Faasle

(Urdu and Hindi: Convergence and Divergence)

Urdu and Hindi may be different languages today, but they share similarities in terms of their linguistic structure and syntax. And while the two languages have evolved along divergent cultural and literary paths, the influence of one over the other has often manifested itself in many works of poetry, fiction and drama. This discussion will explore newer areas of sharing and enriching each other and how they can come together to contribute in the strengthening of our pluralist ethos.

CONFERENCE ROOM 1

Internet ki Duniya mein Urdu

Urdu in the World of Internet
Ajmal Kamal
, Ali Madeeh Hashmi
, Lalit Kumar
and Rana Safvi
Moderated By Pervaiz Alam

CONFERENCE ROOM 1 Internet ki Duniya mein Urdu

Urdu in the World of Internet

The Internet has revolutionized the world in unimaginable ways. There is today, as was once said of Gutenberg’s press, “a communication epidemic”. A large majority of people have taken to social media to assert their right to express themselves freely, and are connecting with each other like never before. The discussion in this track will center on what this means for the promotion of languages like Urdu, which could benefit from Internet’s mass appeal, especially amongst the youth.

Urdu-Insaani Wahdat Ki Zabaan

Urdu- The Language of Inclusion
Gopi Chand Narang
in conversation with Shafey Kidwai

CONFERENCE ROOM 1 Urdu-Insaani Wahdat Ki Zabaan

(Urdu- The Language of Inclusion)

Urdu is a language of rich linguistic lineage and didn’t always carry the ethnic associations that it does today. In reality, the language evolved and flourished as a result of contributions made by a cross section of society, across religious and cultural lines. However, somewhere along the way the truth about its secular philosophy and multi-cultural ethos was lost. This interactive session seeks to tell the complete story of Urdu language, as it evolved to become an inalienable part of the Indian culture.

GANDHI KING PLAZA

BAITBAZI
BOOK EXHIBITION
CALLIGRAPHY CORNER
DASTANGOI
GHAZAL SARAI
NUKKAD-NATAK
RECITATION

1:45 pm - 2:30 pm - Break

2:30 pm to 3:30 pm

3:45 pm to 5:00 pm

5:15 pm to 6:30 pm

"Padhant"

Recitation by Zia Mohyeddin

Introduction by Anis Azmi

AUDITORIUM "Padhant"


Zia Mohyeddin, a legend in his own lifetime, is a Pakistani writer, actor, director, producer and a narrator par-excellence. He has excelled in taking the art of recitation to unprecedented heights. His recitation of Urdu poetry and prose works are marked by great perfection that draws strength from his wide knowledge of the language and his extraordinary ability of voice modulation and adding a rhythmic pattern to his renderings. He has performed before enthralled audiences across the globe.

In this session Zia Mohyeddin will enchant the audience with recitation of his signature ‘Padhant’, with his silvery, orotund voice staying with the listeners long after.

Mushaire Ka Badalta Rang-Roop

The Changing Face of Mushaira

AUDITORIUM Mushaire Ka Badalta Rang-Roop

The Changing Face of Mushaira

Mushaira, which has seen a revival of sorts in recent times, is a gathering where Urdu poetry is recited by a group of poets. It has had a long tradition in Urdu culture and has evolved considerably in the last four centuries. What was once an event meant only for the royals and elites has now found popularity amongst the general public.

The panelists will share their views on the role Mushaira plays in promoting Urdu poetry and the process of its evolution and how it stands today.

-----

Krishan Chander- Afsane ka Naghmanigaar

Krishan Chander- A Lyricist in Prose

CONFERENCE ROOM 1 Krishan Chander- Afsane ka Naghmanigaar

Krishan Chander- A Lyricist in Prose

Krishnan Chander was a prolific Urdu and Hindi short-story writer and is talked of in the same breath as other celebrated fiction writers like Saadat Hasan Manto and Rajinder Singh Bedi. A master storyteller, he was also one of the main leaders of the Progressive Writers Association and dedicated most of his time to helping the underprivileged. A sensitive writer, he wrote poignant stories about the plight of the oppressed.

In his birth centenary year, this discussion will pay a tribute to Krishnan, one of the most gifted writers that Urdu literature has ever seen.

Urdu Adab Ki Taanisi Awaaz

Word of Woman in Urdu Literature
Amjad Islam Amjad
, Sukrita Paul Kumar
and Tarannum Riyaz
Moderated By Baran Farooqi

CONFERENCE ROOM 1 Urdu Adab Ki Taanisi Awaaz

(Word of Woman in Urdu Literature)

Urdu literature has traditionally been male-centric, written largely from a man’s point of view. This was true of Urdu poetry in particular. However, the second half of the 20th century brought in some changes when women poets like Parveen Shakir, Kishwar Naheed and Zehra Nigar entered into the domain and broke the mould with their work. They not only filled a void but also paved the way for other women poets to follow in their footsteps. The entry of women in Urdu literature brought the much-needed female perspective into the realm of poetry.

The discussion in this track will analyze female trends and experiences in Urdu literature.

Urdu mein Jasoosi Adab

Detective Fiction in Urdu
C. M. Naim
, Dinesh Shrinet
and Khalid Javed
Moderated By Danish Iqbal

CONFERENCE ROOM 1 Urdu mein Jasoosi Adab

Detective Fiction in Urdu

Modern fiction initially found its way into Urdu in the form of translations from western texts, primarily from English. However, soon original writings started to appear and gradually Urdu fiction saw itself establish as a powerful new literary genre. Detective fiction too shared the same evolutionary process and found its unique identity with the emergence of Ibn-e-Safi, who has since attained a legendary iconic stature. The panelists in this session will trace the development of pre and post Ibn-e-Safi detective fiction with special emphasis on the writer and the impact he made in the Urdu literary world.

BAITBAZI
BOOK EXHIBITION
CALLIGRAPHY CORNER
DASTANGOI
GHAZAL SARAI
NUKKAD-NATAK
RECITATION

FOUNTAIN LAWNS

Akhtari- A tribute to Begum Akhtar

Presentation by Vidya Shah and Danish Hussain

6:30 pm - 7:00 pm - Break

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

AUDITORIUM

Garm Hava

Film Screening
Director : M. S. Sathyu

FOUNTAIN LAWNS

Mushaira "Bazm-e-Sukhan"

FOUNTAIN LAWNS Mushaira "Bazm-e-Sukhan"


Jashn e Rekhta brings together Mushaira - ‘Bazm-e-Sukhan’ , an exclusive assembly of poets, with different affiliations, each reciting in their distinctive style , in what promises to be an absolute treat for the audience. Luminaries include Mohd Alvi, Wasim Barelvi, Anwer Shaoor, Amjad Islam Amjad, Ashfaq Hussain and Farhat Ehsas.

Day2

Sunday- March 15, 2015

SEE DAY-1 SCHEDULEDOWNLOAD SCHEDULE PDF
watch

11:30 am to 12:30 pm

12:45 pm to 01:45 pm

AUDITORIUM

"Tetwal ka Kutta"

A play based on Manto's short-stories
(The play starts at 11:00 am)Presented by Wings Cultural Society

AUDITORIUM Tetwal ka Kutta

A play based on Manto's short-stories

Saadat Hasan Manto, often called the F. Scott Fitzgerald of India, was one of Urdu’s most acclaimed writers. Although he published twenty-two short stories, he is best known for his troubled narratives on the partition of India and Pakistan. ‘Tetwal Ka Kutta’, which confronts the horrors of partition, is a play based on some of the famous short stories by Manto.

The stage play "Tetwal Ka Kutta", through the use of dramatic enactments, will use the metaphor of Saadat Hasan Manto’s famous parable on the relationship between two closest neighbors India & Pakistan. The play will present the ironical experiences of partition of our country, the honest and stark depiction of the underbelly of society, their cynicism and the entire absurdity of the underlying human situation.

Asri Adabi Manzarname mein Urdu

Urdu in the Contemporary Literary Scenario

MULTI-PURPOSE HALL Asri Adabi Manzarname mein Urdu

Urdu in the Contemporary Literary Scenario

Languages have always had their place in history. Their fortunes have risen and fallen with the tides of time. In today’s increasingly global world, different languages and literary traditions are vying with each other to occupy the center-stage, which is being primarily dominated by English. In such a scenario a language like Urdu faces questions not only of relevance but also of survival. The panelists will be dealing with these questions and sharing their views on the future of Urdu and its sister languages.

MULTI-PURPOSE HALL

Ghazal Ahd ba Ahd

Ghazal through the Ages

MULTI-PURPOSE HALL Ghazal Ahd ba Ahd

Ghazal through the Ages

In the last four centuries the Urdu Ghazal has gone through multiple transformations, both in form and in content. Born out of the Persian Ghazal, it struggled for long to find its unique identity in the latter half of the 16th century. Since then each century has seen Urdu Ghazal reinventing itself in its expression. This interactive session with Shamsur Rahman Faruqi will shed light on the creative evolution of the Urdu Ghazal.

Filmon Ki Zabaan Urdu

Urdu-the voice of Indian Films
Irshad Kamil
, Muzaffar Ali
, M. K Raina
and Nandita Das
Moderated By Danish Hussain

MULTI-PURPOSE HALL Filmon Ki Zabaan Urdu

Urdu-the voice of Indian Films

Urdu’s imprint on the Indian film industry has been a memorable one. Leading writers like Saadat Hasan Manto, Krishan Chander, Rajinder Singh Bedi and poets like Sahir Ludhianvi, Majrooh Sultanpuri and Qateel Shifai once made Urdu an integral part of their work, both in scripts and in lyrics. This trend seems to have changed somewhere around the 70's. The panelists in this track will talk about the contribution made by Urdu fiction and poetry to the Indian films over the years, and of how Hindi films have kept Urdu language alive.

GANDHI KING PLAZA

BAITBAZI
BOOK EXHIBITION
CALLIGRAPHY CORNER
DASTANGOI
GHAZAL SARAI
NUKKAD-NATAK
RECITATION

1:45 pm - 2:30 pm - Break

2:30 pm to 3:30 pm

3:45 pm to 5:00 pm

5:15 pm to 6:30 pm

"Padhant"

Recitation by Zia Mohyeddin

Introduction by Anis Azmi

AUDITORIUM "Padhant"


Zia Mohyeddin, a legend in his own lifetime, is a Pakistani writer, actor, director, producer and a narrator par-excellence. He has excelled in taking the art of recitation to unprecedented heights. His recitation of Urdu poetry and prose works are marked by great perfection that draws strength from his wide knowledge of the language and his extraordinary ability of voice modulation and adding a rhythmic pattern to his renderings. He has performed before enthralled audiences across the globe.

In this session Zia Mohyeddin will enthrall the audience with recitation of his signature ‘Padhant’, with his silvery, orotund voice staying with the listeners long after.

Lal Qile Ka Aakhri Mushaira

A Pierrot's Troupe Production
Written & Directed by M. Sayeed Alam

AUDITORIUM Lal Qile Ka Aakhri Mushaira

A Pierrot's Troupe Production

A Pierrot's Troupe Production written & directed by M. Sayeed Alam. Pierrot's group is a Delhi-based theatre company with many critically acclaimed plays like ‘Ghalib in New Delhi’, ‘Cut Cut Cut’, ‘Maulana Azad’, ‘K.L Saigal’ amongst many others, to their credit.

Dastangoi

Mahmood Farooqui
& Darain Shahidi
Introduction By Shamsur Rahman Faruqi

AUDITORIUM Dastangoi


Dastangoi is an Urdu art form of storytelling which has its provenance in the 16th century.

Performing at Jashn-e Rekhta are Mahmood Farooqui who has a significant role in revival of the art form in the 21st century and Danish Hussain. They will regale and spellbind the audience with their dastangoi which had literally faded away from the cultural scene.

Tarjuma: Haasil aur La-haasil

Lost (and found) in Translation
Ajmal Kamal
, Ali Madeeh Hashmi
, Anisur Rahman
and Mohammad Zakir
Moderated By Abdun Naseeb Khan

MULTI-PURPOSE HALL Tarjuma: Haasil aur La-haasil

Lost (and found) in Translation

Translating is a fine art. It not only requires skill and dexterity, but also a mastery of the two languages involved. This is especially true of Urdu, which presents many challenges owing to the language’s fine nuances that sometimes get lost in translation. Academicians often spend years studying texts before they attempt to translate them. In the recent years there has been a lot of discussion about Urdu translations and its overwhelming challenges.

The panelists in this track, who are accomplished translators themselves, will share their vision and experiences of the success and failure of their work.

Intizar Hussain
in conversation with Asif Farrukhi

MULTI-PURPOSE HALL Intizar Hussain in conversation with Asif Farrukhi


Intizar Husain is one of the most prominent Urdu-fiction writers of present times. Although a Pakistani national, he belongs to the entire subcontinent. Through his fiction Mr. Husain has eloquently illustrated the history and complex philosophy of our culture.

Asif Farrukhi, the renowned fiction writer, critic and editor from Pakistan will be in conversation with this living legend to bring out the most of his experiences of life and literature.

BAITBAZI
BOOK EXHIBITION
CALLIGRAPHY CORNER
DASTANGOI
GHAZAL SARAI
NUKKAD-NATAK
RECITATION

FOUNTAIN LAWNS

Qawwali

Dhruv Sangari & Group

FOUNTAIN LAWNS Qawwali

Dhruv Sangari & Group

Dhruv Sangari is an exceptional singer who is known for his Qawwalis and Sufiyana Kalams. He has trained with Ustad Meraj Ahmed Nizami, a Qawwal of the Delhi Gharana, and also been guided by the legendary late Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Saheb of Pakistan.

As the sun goes down, Dhruv and his Sufi troupe will put up a galvanic performance with their deeply melodic Qawwalis, which will reverberate in the minds of the audience for a long time afterwards

6:30 pm - 7:00 pm - Break

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

AUDITORIUM

Documentary

Film Screening

FOUNTAIN LAWNS

Saaz o Awaz

An evening of Ghazals
Radhika Chopra
and Ustad Hamid Ali Khan

FOUNTAIN LAWNS Saaz o Awaz

An evening of Ghazals

Few evenings can be more stirring than the ones spent watching a live Ghazal performance. There is something so alluring, so powerfully magnetic about this elegiac poetic-form that one is drawn to it instantaneously. . As Shelly rightfully wrote “Our sweetest songs are those”, that tell of saddest thoughts”.

When the hurlyburly's done and the two days have almost come to an end, Radhika Chopra and Hamid Ali Khan will light up the Fountain Lawns with their lyrical Ghazals. Radhika Chopra, who trained with Begum Akhtar’s celebrated disciple Smt. Shanti Hiranand, is a versatile singer and Hamid Ali Khan is a much-admired singer from the famed Patiala Gharana in Pakistan.

Program & attendance of participants is subject to change owing to factors beyond the control of organisers

Day 1

Saturday- March 14, 2015

SEE DAY-2 SCHEDULEDOWNLOAD SCHEDULE PDF

11:30 am to 12:30 pm

Javed Akhtar
in conversation with Sukrita Paul Kumar
AUDITORIUM

It is hard to introduce someone who needs little introduction. Javed Akhtar, an award-winning poet, scriptwriter and lyricist, is one such distinguished personality. A mere mention of his name, which has become synonymous with Urdu and poetry, brings to mind his emotional and inspiring lyrics.

In what promises to be an immensely rewarding session, Javed Akhtar will be in conversation with Sukrita Paul Kumar, a recognized critic and writer.

Internet ki Duniya mein UrduCONFERENCE ROOM 1

Urdu in the World of Internet
Ajmal Kamal
, Ali Madeeh Hashmi
, Lalit Kumar
and Rana Safvi
Moderated By Pervaiz Alam

The Internet has revolutionized the world in unimaginable ways. There is today, as was once said of Gutenberg’s press, “a communication epidemic”. A large majority of people have taken to social media to assert their right to express themselves freely, and are connecting with each other like never before. The discussion in this track will center on what this means for the promotion of languages like Urdu, which could benefit from Internet’s mass appeal, especially amongst the youth.

GANDHI KING PLAZA

12:45 pm to 01:45 pm

Urdu aur Hindi: Qurbaten aur Faasle AUDITORIUM

Urdu and Hindi: Convergence and Divergence
Ashok Vajpeyi
, Kedarnath Singh
and Shamim Hanfi
Moderated By Pervaiz Alam

Urdu and Hindi may be different languages today, but they share similarities in terms of their linguistic structure and syntax. And while the two languages have evolved along divergent cultural and literary paths, the influence of one over the other has often manifested itself in many works of poetry, fiction and drama. This discussion will explore newer areas of sharing and enriching each other and how they can come together to contribute in the strengthening of our pluralist ethos.

Urdu-Insaani Wahdat Ki ZabaanCONFERENCE ROOM 1

Urdu- The Language of Inclusion
Gopi Chand Narang
in conversation with Shafey Kidwai

Urdu is a language of rich linguistic lineage and didn’t always carry the ethnic associations that it does today. In reality, the language evolved and flourished as a result of contributions made by a cross section of society, across religious and cultural lines. However, somewhere along the way the truth about its secular philosophy and multi-cultural ethos was lost. This interactive session seeks to tell the complete story of Urdu language, as it evolved to become an inalienable part of the Indian culture.

GANDHI KING PLAZA

1:45 pm - 2:30 pm - Break

2:30 pm to 3:30 pm

"Padhant" AUDITORIUM

Recitation by Zia Mohyeddin

Introduction by Anis Azmi

Zia Mohyeddin, a legend in his own lifetime, is a Pakistani writer, actor, director, producer and a narrator par-excellence. He has excelled in taking the art of recitation to unprecedented heights. His recitation of Urdu poetry and prose works are marked by great perfection that draws strength from his wide knowledge of the language and his extraordinary ability of voice modulation and adding a rhythmic pattern to his renderings. He has performed before enthralled audiences across the globe.

In this session Zia Mohyeddin will enthrall the audience with recitation of his signature ‘Padhant’, with his silvery, orotund voice staying with the listeners long after.

Krishan Chander- Afsane ka NaghmanigaarCONFERENCE ROOM 1

Krishan Chander- A Lyricist in Prose

Krishnan Chander was a prolific Urdu and Hindi short-story writer and is talked of in the same breath as other celebrated fiction writers like Saadat Hasan Manto and Rajinder Singh Bedi. A master storyteller, he was also one of the main leaders of the Progressive Writers Association and dedicated most of his time to helping the underprivileged. A sensitive writer, he wrote poignant stories about the plight of the oppressed.

In his birth centenary year, this discussion will pay a tribute to Krishnan, one of the most gifted writers that Urdu literature has ever seen.

GANDHI KING PLAZA

3:45 pm to 5:00 pm

Mushaire Ka Badalta Rang-RoopAUDITORIUM

The Changing Face of Mushaira

Mushaira, which has seen a revival of sorts in recent times, is a gathering where Urdu poetry is recited by a group of poets. It has had a long tradition in Urdu culture and has evolved considerably in the last four centuries. What was once an event meant only for the royals and elites has now found popularity amongst the general public.

The panelists will share their views on the role Mushaira plays in promoting Urdu poetry and the process of its evolution and how it stands today.

Urdu Adab Ki Taanisi AwaazCONFERENCE ROOM 1

Word of Woman in Urdu Literature
Amjad Islam Amjad
, Sukrita Paul Kumar
and Tarannum Riyaz
Moderated By Baran Farooqi

Urdu literature has traditionally been male-centric, written largely from a man’s point of view. This was true of Urdu poetry in particular. However, the second half of the 20th century brought in some changes when women poets like Parveen Shakir, Kishwar Naheed and Zehra Nigar entered into the domain and broke the mould with their work. They not only filled a void but also paved the way for other women poets to follow in their footsteps. The entry of women in Urdu literature brought the much-needed female perspective into the realm of poetry.

The discussion in this track will analyze female trends and experiences in Urdu literature.

GANDHI KING PLAZA

5:15 pm to 6:30 pm

Urdu mein Jasoosi Adab DetectiveCONFERENCE ROOM 1

Fiction in Urdu
C. M. Naim
, Dinesh Shrinet
and Khalid Javed
Moderated By Danish Iqbal

Modern fiction initially found its way into Urdu in the form of translations from western texts, primarily from English. However, soon original writings started to appear and gradually Urdu fiction saw itself establish as a powerful new literary genre. Detective fiction too shared the same evolutionary process and found its unique identity with the emergence of Ibn-e-Safi, who has since attained a legendary iconic stature. The panelists in this session will trace the development of pre and post Ibn-e-Safi detective fiction with special emphasis on the writer and the impact he made in the Urdu literary world.

Akhtari- A tribute to Begum AkhtarFOUNTAIN LAWNS

Presentation by Vidya Shah
and Danish Hussain

6:30 pm - 7:00 pm - Break

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Garm Hava AUDITORIUM

Film Screening
Director : M. S. Sathyu

FOUNTAIN LAWNS

Mushaira "Bazm-e-Sukhan"FOUNTAIN LAWNS

Jashn e Rekhta brings together Mushaira - ‘Bazm-e-Sukhan’ , an exclusive assembly of poets, with different affiliations, each reciting in their distinctive style , in what promises to be an absolute treat for the audience. Luminaries include Mohd Alvi, Wasim Barelvi, Anwer Shaoor, Amjad Islam Amjad, Ashfaq Hussain and Farhat Ehsas.

Day 2

Sunday- March 15, 2015

SEE DAY-1 SCHEDULEDOWNLOAD SCHEDULE PDF

11:30 am to 12:30 pm

"Tetwal ka Kutta"AUDITORIUM

A play based on Manto's short-stories
(The play starts at 11:00 am)Presented by Wings Cultural Society

Saadat Hasan Manto, often called the F. Scott Fitzgerald of India, was one of Urdu’s most acclaimed writers. Although he published twenty-two short stories, he is best known for his troubled narratives on the partition of India and Pakistan. ‘Tetwal Ka Kutta’, which confronts the horrors of partition, is a play based on some of the famous short stories by Manto.

The stage play "Tetwal Ka Kutta", through the use of dramatic enactments, will use the metaphor of Sa’adat Hasan Manto’s famous parable on the relationship between two closest neighbors India & Pakistan. The play will present the ironical experiences of partition of our country, the honest and stark depiction of the underbelly of society, their cynicism and the entire absurdity of the underlying human situation.

Ghazal Ahd ba Ahd MULTI PURPOSE HALL

Ghazal through the Ages

In the last four centuries the Urdu Ghazal has gone through multiple transformations, both in form and in content. Born out of the Persian Ghazal, it struggled for long to find its unique identity in the latter half of the 16th century. Since then each century has seen Urdu Ghazal reinventing itself in its expression. This interactive session with Shamsur Rahman Faruqi will shed light on the creative evolution of the Urdu Ghazal.

GANDHI KING PLAZA

12:45 pm to 01:45 pm

Asri Adabi Manzarname mein UrduAUDITORIUM

Urdu in the Contemporary Literary Scenario

Languages have always had their place in history. Their fortunes have risen and fallen with the tides of time. In today’s increasingly global world, different languages and literary traditions are vying with each other to occupy the center-stage, which is being primarily dominated by English. In such a scenario a language like Urdu faces questions not only of relevance but also of survival. The panelists will be dealing with these questions and sharing their views on the future of Urdu and its sister languages.

Filmon Ki Zabaan UrduMULTI PURPOSE HALL

Urdu-the voice of Indian Films
Irshad Kamil
, Muzaffar Ali
, M. K Raina
and Nandita Das
Moderated By Danish Hussain

Urdu’s imprint on the Indian film industry has been a memorable one. Leading writers like Saadat Hasan Manto, Krishan Chander, Rajinder Singh Bedi and poets like Sahir Ludhianvi, Majrooh Sultanpuri and Qateel Shifai once made Urdu an integral part of their work, both in scripts and in lyrics. This trend seems to have changed somewhere around the 70's. The panelists in this track will talk about the contribution made by Urdu fiction and poetry to the Indian films over the years, and of how Hindi films have kept Urdu language alive.

GANDHI KING PLAZA

1:45 pm - 2:30 pm - Break

2:30 pm to 3:30 pm

"Padhant" AUDITORIUM

Recitation by Zia Mohyeddin

Introduction by Anis Azmi

Zia Mohyeddin, a legend in his own lifetime, is a Pakistani writer, actor, director, producer and a narrator par-excellence. He has excelled in taking the art of recitation to unprecedented heights. His recitation of Urdu poetry and prose works are marked by great perfection that draws strength from his wide knowledge of the language and his extraordinary ability of voice modulation and adding a rhythmic pattern to his renderings. He has performed before enthralled audiences across the globe.

In this session Zia Mohyeddin will enthrall the audience with recitation of his signature ‘Padhant’, with his silvery, orotund voice staying with the listeners long after.

Tarjuma: Haasil aur La-haasil Lost (and found) in Translation MULTI PURPOSE HALL

Ajmal Kamal
, Ali Madeeh Hashmi
, Anisur Rahman
and Mohammad Zakir
Moderated By Abdun Naseeb Khan

Translating is a fine art. It not only requires skill and dexterity, but also a mastery of the two languages involved. This is especially true of Urdu, which presents many challenges owing to the language’s fine nuances that sometimes get lost in translation. Academicians often spend years studying texts before they attempt to translate them. In the recent years there has been a lot of discussion about Urdu translations and its overwhelming challenges.

The panelists in this track, who are accomplished translators themselves, will share their vision and experiences of the success and failure of their work.

GANDHI KING PLAZA

3:45 pm to 5:00 pm

Lal Qile Ka Aakhri MushairaAUDITORIUM

A Pierrot's Troupe Production Written & Directed by M. Sayeed Alam

A Pierrot's Troupe Production written & directed by M. Sayeed Alam. Pierrot's group is a Delhi-based theatre company with many critically acclaimed plays like ‘Ghalib in New Delhi’, ‘Cut Cut Cut’, ‘Maulana Azad’, ‘K.L Saigal’ amongst many others, to their credit.

Intizar Hussain
in conversation with Asif Farrukhi
MULTI PURPOSE HALL

Intizar Husain is one of the most prominent Urdu-fiction writers of present times. Although a Pakistani national, he belongs to the entire subcontinent. Through his fiction Mr. Husain has eloquently illustrated the history and complex philosophy of our culture.

Asif Farrukhi, the renowned fiction writer, critic and editor from Pakistan will be in conversation with this living legend to bring out the most of his experiences of life and literature.

GANDHI KING PLAZA

5:15 pm to 6:30 pm

DastangoiAUDITORIUM

Mahmood Farooqui
& Darain Shahidi
Introduction By Shamsur Rahman Faruqi

Dastangoi is an Urdu art form of storytelling which has its provenance in the 16th century.

Performing at Jashn-e Rekhta are Mahmood Farooqui who has a significant role in revival of the art form in the 21st century and Danish Hussain. They will regale and spellbind the audience with their dastangoi which had literally faded away from the cultural scene.

QawwaliFOUNTAIN LAWNS

Dhruv Sangari & Group

Dhruv Sangari is an exceptional singer who is known for his Qawwalis and Sufiyana Kalams. He has trained with Ustad Meraj Ahmed Nizami, a Qawwal of the Delhi Gharana, and also been guided by the legendary late Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Saheb of Pakistan.

As the sun goes down, Dhruv and his Sufi troupe will put up a galvanic performance with their deeply melodic Qawwalis, which will reverberate in the minds of the audience for a long time afterwards

6:30 pm - 7:00 pm - Break

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

DocumentaryAUDITORIUM

Film Screening

MULTI PURPOSE HALL

Saaz o AwazFOUNTAIN LAWNS

An Evening of Ghazals

Few evenings can be more stirring than the ones spent watching a live Ghazal performance. There is something so alluring, so powerfully magnetic about this elegiac poetic-form that one is drawn to it instantaneously. . As Shelly rightfully wrote “Our sweetest songs are those”, that tell of saddest thoughts”.

When the hurlyburly's done and the two days have almost come to an end, Radhika Chopra and Hamid Ali Khan will light up the Fountain Lawns with their lyrical Ghazals. Radhika Chopra, who trained with Begum Akhtar’s celebrated disciple Smt. Shanti Hiranand, is a versatile singer and Hamid Ali Khan is a much-admired singer from the famed Patiala Gharana in Pakistan.

Program & attendance of participants is subject to change owing to factors beyond the control of organisers

PARTICIPANTS


  • Abul Kalam Qasmi

    ABUL KALAM QASMI

    Abul Kalam Qasmi

    ABUL KALAM QASMI

    Prof Abul Kalam Qasmi is a leading Urdu writer, academic, literary critic and translator. An extremely well-respected professor in the department of Urdu at the Aligarh Muslim University, he has been widely published. He has written more than two hundred research papers and two dozen books, which include original literary criticism, translations and compilations. He has also been editor of the renowned literary journal Alfaz.

    Prof Abul Kalam Qasmi received India’s prestigious literary honour, the Sahitya Academy Award for his Urdu book ‘Maasir Tanqueedi Rawaiyye’ in 2009.

  • Abdun Naseeb Khan

    ABDUN NASEEB KHAN

    Abdun Naseeb Khan

    ABDUN NASEEB KHAN

    Currently the vice principal of Jamia Senior Secondary School, Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi, Abdun Naseeb Khan is a writer, translator and editor. A well respected educator, Mr. Khan has written articles on diverse areas, such as translation studies, literature and peace education and Islam. His PhD thesis was, ‘Translation of Modern Urdu Poetry into English’.

    Mr. Khan has also written reviews and translations of modern Urdu poetry, apart from writing many short stories and critical essays. These have been published in journals such as, The Annual of Urdu Studies (Wisconsin University, Madison), Indian Literature (Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi), Urdu Alive (Ludhiana), Raza Library Journal (Rampur), Islam and the Modern Age (New Delhi), to name a few.

    Mr. Khan has formerly taught English at King Saud University, Riyadh

  • Ajmal Kamal

    AJMAL KAMAL

    Ajmal Kamal

    AJMAL KAMAL

    Ajmal Kamal is an Urdu critic, writer and journalist based in Karachi. He edits and publishes AAJ, an eminent Urdu journal that aims to connect the common man with intellectual works. It contains literary translations from different languages, including English, German, French and Indian vernacular languages, to name a few. In addition Mr. Kamal also runs two publishing houses, Aaj Ki Kitabain and City Press. The former, which he founded in 1998, prints Urdu, Sindhi and English literary works. The latter publishes books on contemporary social issues.

  • Ali Akbar Natiq

    ALI AKBAR NATIQ

    Ali Akbar Natiq

    ALI AKBAR NATIQ

    One of Pakistan’s most promising young writers, Ali Akbar Natiq is an Urdu poet and short story writer. Published by Penguin, Natiq's short stories are hailed as some of the finest in contemporary Urdu literature. His story, A Mason's Hand, which was translated by Mohammed Hanif into English, was featured in the Granta magazine's new voice section in 2011.

    Natiq’s stories, many of which are set against rural landscapes in which people lead oppressed lives, are powerful narratives that portray the plight of the deprived section of society. Natiq, who is no stranger to deprivation himself, started working as a mason when he was just fifteen to add to the family income. However, he was determined to continue his education, so he would work and read at the same time. He read everything from fiction, poetry, history, religion and philosophy, to books in Arabic. His first break came when he five of his stories were published by Aaj, an Urdu literary magazine. He hasn’t looked back since.

  • Ali Madeeh Hashmi

    ALI MADEEH HASHMI

    Ali Madeeh Hashmi

    ALI MADEEH HASHMI

    Grandson of one of twentieth century’s most powerful and influential Urdu poets, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Ali Madeeh Hashmi is a writer and prominent psychiatrist based in Lahore.

    While his columns in appear in leading Pakistani newspapers, Dr. Hashmi is best known for his pioneering biography on Faiz, which was released in 2012 as part of a commemoration of the revolutionary poet in his birth centenary. The book was extremely well received, as it not only compiles rare pictures of Faiz and his family, but also contains translations of more than fifty of his poems.

  • Anisur Rahman

    ANISUR RAHMAN

    Anisur Rahman

    ANISUR RAHMAN

    Anisur Rahman is a professor of English at Jamia Millia Islamia, a Central University in New Delhi. A scholar and critic of Postcolonial and Translation Studies, he has published extensively on new literary cultures and arts. His translations of poetry from English to Urdu have appeared in books and journals and those from Urdu to English in a collection called Fire and the Rose. Now, his translations of Urdu ghazal and nazm from the late sixteenth century to the present times are due for publication in two volumes.

    Professor Rahman has been a Shastri Fellow at the University of Alberta, Canada and a Visiting Scholar at Purdue University, USA. He is currently working on two volumes of essays on socio-literary cultures in South Asia and positions and paradigms in literary translation.

  • Ashok Vajpeyi

    ASHOK VAJPEYI

    Ashok Vajpeyi

    ASHOK VAJPEYI

    Ashok Vajpeyi is an award-winning Hindi poet, critic, translator and editor. One of India’s most respected cultural figures, he has authored more than twenty books in poetry and in literary and art criticism. His much-celebrated work has won him national as well as international honours, including the Sahitya Akademi Samman and the Dayavati Mody Kavishekhar Samman in 1994, the Kabir Samman in 2006, the Officer’s Cross of Merit from The Republic of Poland in 2004 and the French ‘Officier de L’Ordre des Art et des Lettres’ in 2005.

    Mr. Vajpeyi also founded Bharat Bhavan, a renowned multi-arts centre in Bhopal He was the first Vice-Chancellor of the Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University in Wardha and the chairman of Lalit Kala Akademi from 2008 to 2011. He lives in Delhi.

    Visit Ashok Vajpeyi's page on Rekhta.org

  • Asif Farrukhi

    ASIF FARRUKHI

    Asif Farrukhi

    ASIF FARRUKHI

    Asif Farrukhi is a Karachi-based author, critic and translator, who writes in Urdu and English. Educated at Dow Medical College, Karachi and Harvard University, he has translated several Urdu works into English. He is the editor of the Urdu literary journal Dunyazad and co-founder of the Karachi Literature Festival.Asif Farrukhi has also published six collections of short stories and two collections of literary criticisms.

    In 1995, he received the Prime Minister’s award for literature, and in 2005 he was awarded the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (Medal of Excellence) by the President of Pakistan.

    Visit Asif Faruukhi's page on Rekhta.org

  • Baran Farooqui

    BARAN FAROOQUI

    Baran Farooqui

    BARAN FAROOQUI

    Baran Farooqi is an associate professor in English Literature at Jamia Millia Islamia University. Daughter of eminent Urdu writer and poet, Shamsur Rahman Faruqui, she has translated innumerable Urdu works into English. Her literary interests include reading and reciting Urdu literature. Her translation, ‘Selected Literary Anecdotes’ was published in ‘The Oxford India Anthology of Modern Urdu Literature’.

    Dr. Baran specializes in critical theory, Shakespearean drama and Women's Studies. Her Doctoral work, which she completed from Jamia Millia Islamia, was ‘Early Nineteenth Century Shakespeare Criticism and Its Influence on Later Approaches.’ She is the chief functionary and secretary of Zakir Hussain Memorial Welfare Society, an NGO based in New Delhi.

  • C. M. Naim

    C. M. NAIM

    C. M. Naim

    C. M. NAIM

    C.M. Naim is an erudite American writer, academic and scholar of Urdu literature. In a stellar academic career that has spanned over fifty years, he has taught in top universities in the United States as well as India. Some of these include institutions like the University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, University of California at Berkeley and Aligarh Muslim University. A prolific writer, he has written hundreds of research papers, articles, essays and book reviews. He has also translated countless works of renowned authors like Saadat Hasan Manto, Intizar Husain and Ghalib to name only a few. C.M. Naim is the founder of two prestigious literary Urdu journals - Annual of Urdu Studies and Mahfil (the latter is now called Journal of South Asian Literature).

  • Dinesh shrinet

    DINESH SHRINET

    Dinesh shrinet

    DINESH SHRINET

    Dinesh Shrinet is a film critic, short story writer, movie buff, dreamer, rationalist, a fan of crime fiction and thrillers and believer of new media. Currently he is working as a Head of Project Management, Digital Business at Amar Ujala Publications.

    Having more than 14 years experience in print and online journalism, he is one of the pioneering journalists worked for the digital space in Hindi Journalism. He done media alliances on digital space with some most reputed media organizations in the world i.e. America Online, BBC, National Geographic and Radio Netherlands. Dinesh also writes on popular culture and internet.

    Dinesh born in 1972 in Gorakhpur, a small town in east UP. He is married and father of two sons.

  • Farhat Ehsas

    FARHAT EHSAS

    Farhat Ehsas

    FARHAT EHSAS

    Farhat Ehsas is a notable contemporary Urdu poet and writer living in Delhi. A specialist in traditional Persian and Urdu poetry, his work primarily dwells on the life of the common man, of his miseries and fortunes, and of the repercussions of government excesses and corruption on his life.

    Mr. Ehsas has been the editor of Qaumi Aawaz, a prestigious Urdu literary magazine in north India. In addition to this, he has been a commentator on current affairs with All India Radio and the Urdu Service of BBC. Currently he is associated with Rekhta.org, which boasts the largest online collection of Urdu poetry in the world. Mr. Ehsas has also written scripts for films and for several serials on All India Radio.

    Visit Farhat Ehsas's page on Rekhta.org

  • Gopi Chand Narang

    GOPI CHAND NARANG

    Gopi Chand Narang

    GOPI CHAND NARANG

    Professor Gopi Chand Narang, has the distinction of being recognized by the Presidents of both India and Pakistan. A writer, literary critic and scholar, Prof. Narang is unique in holding that record. He was awarded the Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence) by Pakistan and also received the Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri from the Indian government. The list of his awards, however, is not confined to the above. His work has won him numerous other laurels, some of which include the Mazzini Gold Medal from Italy, Amir Khusrow Award in Chicago, the Ghalib Award, the Canadian Academy of Urdu Language and Literature Award and the European Urdu Writers Society Award, to name just a few. The Sahitya Akademi conferred him with its prestigious Fellowship in 2009.

    Prof. Narang has written innumerable books in Hindi, Urdu and English. A strong advocate of Urdu, he vociferously rues the fact that the language has been a victim of politicization. He believes that Urdu has its roots in India and is a sister language of Hindi.

    Visit Gopi Chand Narang's page on Rekhta.org

  • Intizar Hussain

    INTIZAR HUSSAIN

    Intizar Hussain

    INTIZAR HUSSAIN

    Ninety-one year old Man Booker International prize nominee, Intizar Hussain is widely recognized as a living legend both in India and in Pakistan. Author of brilliant works like ‘’Naya Gar’, ‘Agay Sumandar Hai’ and ‘Basti’, and celebrated short stories like ‘The Seventh Door’, ‘A Chronicle of the Peacocks’ and ‘Leaves’, he is currently a columnist with Dawn, a Karachi-based English newspaper.

    Husain’s writings about the partition are not elegiac; rather, he looks upon the creation of a new state with optimism and hopefulness. Intizar Husain was awarded a Lifetime Achievement award at the Lahore Literary Festival in 2012 and is also the recipient of the prestigious French civil award, ‘Ordre des Arts et des Lettres’.

    Visit Intizar Hussain's page on Rekhta.org

  • Irshad Kamil

    IRSHAD KAMIL

    Irshad Kamil

    IRSHAD KAMIL

    Irshad Kamil is an eminent poet and lyricist. He holds a PhD in both Urdu as well as in contemporary Hindi poetry. A recognized writer, he has penned many popular songs, for films like 'A Wednesday', 'Jab We Met', 'Rockstar', 'Love Aaj Kal', 'Once Upon A Time In Mumbai', to name a few.

    Kamil, who says that “poetry is a free process, it is like flying in the sky”, has recently published his first book of poetry called 'Ek Maheena Nazmon Ka'. The book, is an anthology of thirty-one nazms, one for each day of the month and has been extremely well received. He was awarded a Filmfare Award for his song ‘Aaj Din Chadheyya’ in 2010

  • Kedarnath Singh

    KEDARNATH SINGH

    Kedarnath Singh

    KEDARNATH SINGH

    Eminent modern Hindi poet, literary critic and essayist Kedar Nath Sing, whose poems beautifully express the complex relationship of human beings and the nature, has been a professor and Head of the Department of Hind, Jawahar Lal Nehru University, New Delhi. His poetries have been widely published in various literary magazines, journals and got acclaimed worldwide. One of his long poems ‘Bagh’ is still read with the same fervour in Hindi literature. He was awarded with numerous awards including the prestigious Jnanpith in 2013 and Sahitya Akademi, for his poetry collection ‘Akaal Mein Saras’, ‘Zamin Pak Rahi’, ‘Abhi bilkul Abhi’ etc.

  • Khalid Javed

    KHALID JAVED

    Khalid Javed

    KHALID JAVED

    Khalid Javed is an Associate Professor at the Department of Urdu, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi. His books, ‘Maut Ki Kitab’ and Nemat Khana’ have won wide-spread acclaim, both in India and abroad. He is regarded as one of the finest Urdu fiction writers in India.

    Visit Khalid Javed's page on Rekhta.org

  • Lalit Kumar

    LALIT KUMAR

    Lalit Kumar

    LALIT KUMAR

    A technocrat and the founder of one of the largest Hindi poetry websites ‘Kavitakosh’, Lalit Kumar doesn’t need much introduction as those who are conversant with the Hindi script be it from the Indian sub-continent or other parts of the globe , not only recognize him but admire his work as well. The online hindi poetry repository that is continuously being upgraded in terms of content, covers poems from various languages and dialects of pre-post modern era in a systematic and well-organized way. The extremely user friendly website that has grabbed the attention of Hindi litterateurs, has also a huge collection of E-books.

  • M.K. Raina

    M. K. RAINA

    M.K. Raina

    M. K. RAINA

    Renowned actor, director and cultural-activist, M.K. Raina, is known as much for his innovative plays as for his socially-conscious documentaries and films. In a stellar career spanning more than three decades, Mr. Raina has directed countless short films, television serials and over 150 plays, which include masterpieces like Kabira Khada Bazar Mein, Karmawali, The Mother and Andha Yug, some of which were performed for festivals abroad. Mr. Raina’s work is known to explore and confront difficult questions of democracy and human rights in Kashmir. Graduation from the National school of Drama as the best actor, he has also acted in several films, the most memorable one being the award-winning ‘27 Down’. He is the recipient of prestigious awards, like the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Sanskriti Samman, the Swarna Padak (J&K), and the reputed B. V. Karanth Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatre.

    Mr. Raina has directed a production for the University of Hawaii and was recently an artist-in-residence at Stanford University.

  • Munawwar Rana

    MUNAWWAR RANA

    Munawwar Rana

    MUNAWWAR RANA

    Winner of two dozen awards, Lucknow-based Munawwar Rana is one of India’s finest and most admired poets. Writing in both Hindi and Urdu, he has penned hundreds of couplets and Ghazals and is a prominent part of India’s Mushaira circles. His most famous poem was the ground-breaking ‘Maa’ in which he uses the genre of Ghazal to extol the virtues of a mother. His other works include ‘Muhajirnama’, ‘Ghar Akela Ho Gaya’ and ‘Pipal Chhaon’, amonst many others.

    Munawwar Rana was recently conferred with the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award for his poetry book, ‘Shahdaba’. This award adds to a long list of honors already bestowed upon him, some of which include the Ameer Khusro Award, Mir Taqi Mir Award, Ghalib Award, Dr. Zakir Hussain Award and the Saraswati Samaj Award, to name just a few. Munawwar Rana’s poetry has also been published in Hindi, Urdu, Gurumukhi and Bangla.

    Visit Munawwar Rana's page on Rekhta.org

  • Muzaffar Ali

    MUZAFFAR ALI

    Muzaffar Ali

    MUZAFFAR ALI

    Filmmaker, poet, artist, a fashion designer or social worker, Muzaffar Ali is a man of varied talents and interests. From writing and directing ground-breaking films like ‘Umrao Jaan’ and ‘Gaman’, to launching his own designer label ‘Kotwara’ (with wife Meera), Muzaffar Ali is known for the perfection he brings to his work.

    Belonging to the aristocratic family of Kotwara (near Lucknow), Muzaffar Ali is also a lover of Sufi music. He has been involved in the designing and organizing of Jahan-e-Khusrau, an annual three-day Sufi music festival. He was conferred with a Padama Shri in 2005. He also received the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award in 2014 for his extraordinary contribution towards communal harmony and peace.

    Visit Muzaffar Ali's page on Rekhta.org

  • Nandita Das

    NANDITA DAS

    Nandita Das

    NANDITA DAS

    Actor, director, social activist and playwright Nandita Das is a much-admired celebrity who has acted in almost forty films, including critically acclaimed ones like ‘Earth’, ‘Fire’ Kannathil Muthamittal and ‘Before the Rains’. Daughter of the famous painter Jatin Das and writer Varsha Das, Nandita has never shied away from broaching socially-sensitive topics, especially in her films. Her first directorial venture, Firaaq was released to world-wide acclaim in 2008. Premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, the film was screened at more than fifty other festivals and won over ten awards.

    Her film successes apart, Nandita has also written and directed a play, ‘Between the Lines’, which too was extremely well-received. Nandita’s work has won her many honours, which include the French Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters, Filmfare Awards,Santa Monica Film Festival Award and Cairo International Film Festival (best actress), to name a few. Nandita has been on the jury of Cannes Film Festival twice and is the former Chairperson of the Children’s Film Society, India.

  • Pervaiz Alam

    PERVAIZ ALAM

    Pervaiz Alam

    PERVAIZ ALAM

    Producer, writer, journalist and broadcaster, Pervaiz Alam is a professor and dean, Journalism & Mass Com at Apeejay Stya University based in Gurgaon. He is the award-winning director of the immensely popular BBC radio-drama series in Hindi called, Life Gulmohar Style. The series, which dealt with gender issues like equality and sex-selective abortion reproductive health and violence, were broadcast by more than fifteen FM Networks across India.

    Pervaiz has worked as a senior broadcast journalist with BBC World (Television) where he produced programmes like India Business Report, Mastermind India and HARD talk India, amongst others. Prior to this he was a producer with BBC World Service (Radio).

  • Qazi Afzal Husain

    QAZI AFZAL HUSAIN

    Qazi Afzal Husain

    QAZI AFZAL HUSAIN

    Erudite Urdu scholar, academic and writer, Prof Qazi Afzal Husain is the former Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University. In his forty years as a lecturer, he has written four books, more than fifty articles, supervised numerous volumes of seminar papers and translated both Urdu and English books. He has also been the managing editor of Urdu translations of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s writing, the director of Urdu Academy and chairperson of the Department of Urdu. Professor Husain has been given the Best Critic of the Year Award by the Urdu Academy in Lucknow, the Mir Award by the Mir Academy and the Uttar Pradesh Urdu Academy Award.

  • Rana Safvi

    RANA SAFVI

    Rana Safvi

    RANA SAFVI

    A passionate believer in the ganga jamuni tahzeeb. Founder and moderator of #shair a forum for poetry lovers across borders and languages. It's a one of a kind forum on social media with 4000 members and has been going from strength to strength since 2011. A heritage lover who wants to preserve and promote old world values and culture.

  • Ravish Kumar

    RAVISH KUMAR

    Ravish Kumar

    RAVISH KUMAR

    Ravish Kumar is an Indian journalist, news-anchor, editor, writer and blogger. A senior executive editor with NDTV, he is a well-known face on television and is known for programmes like Ravish Ki Report, Hum Log and Prime Time. His acclaimed work has won him many awards, which include the Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Award for Hindi journalism, the Creative Literature Award from the President of India and the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award for Journalist of the Year (Broadcast). In 2014 he also received the Indian News Television award Best News Anchor in Hindi.

    Apart from television, Ravish has many other literary interests. He is a poet, film critic and published author of two books - Dekhte Rahiye and Ishq Mein Shahar Hona. He also writes prolifically about social and political issues on his Hindi site, naisadak.org.

  • Reoti Sharan Sharma

    REOTI SHARAN SHARMA

    Reoti Sharan Sharma

    REOTI SHARAN SHARMA

    Known for his pioneering work in radio plays for All India Radio, veteran playwright Reoti Sharan Sharma has written over 150 radio plays, many of which have been translated into various Indian languages. Apart from radio, Reoti Sharan Sharma is also admired for his popular television plays like, Apni Dharti, Chirag ki Lau, Rang Aur Khoon and Purani Haveli, he was conferred with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2007. His television serials like Phir Wahi Talaash and the Great Maratha have proved to be extremely popular. Reoti Sharan Sharma has also been the president of Bhartiya Natya Sangathan.

  • Salma Siddiqui

    SALMA SIDDIQUI

    Salma Siddiqui

    SALMA SIDDIQUI

    Salma Siddiqui is the wife of the legendary Urdu fiction writer, Krishan Chander. Her father, Prof. Rasheed Ahmad Siddiqui, is known as one of the originators of humor writing in Urdu. She has also published Krishan Chander’s autobiography, which she completed after the author’s death.

  • Satyapal Anand

    SATYAPAL ANAND

    Satyapal Anand

    SATYAPAL ANAND

    Writer, poet and critic, Dr. Satyapal Anand published his first book when he was only twenty-one. At eighty-two, he is still going strong. In a career that has spanned well over sixty years, Dr.Anand has written countless novels, short-stories and poems in Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi and English. A professor of English and comparative literature, he has taught in universities around the world, including Canada, Saudi Arabia, USA UK and India. His favourite form of Urdu poetry is Nazm, his least favourite being the Ghazal.

    Dr. Anand is the recipient of the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship and the Urdu Markaz International Award, Los Angeles. He has also been given the Shiromani Sahityakar Award by the Government of Punjab. He lives in the United States.

    Visit Satyapal Anand's page on Rekhta.org

  • Shafey Kidwai

    SHAFEY KIDWAI

    Shafey Kidwai

    SHAFEY KIDWAI

    Distinguished academic, critic, writer and translator, Professor and Chairman of the mass communication department at Aligarh Muslim University, Prof. M. Shafey Kidwai is a widely respected intellectual, known for mentoring new journalists. Having taught for over thirty years, he has authored countless books and research papers for reputed journals. Some of his acclaimed work include books like, ‘Urdu Literature and Journalism: Critical Perspectives’, published by Cambridge University Press; and ‘Cementing Ethics with Modernism’, a ground-breaking work on the writings of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, which was received to widespread praise.

    Professor Shafey writes regularly on culture and literature in the Hindu and has presented papers in countries like England, Qatar, Syria, Thailand and Pakistan. He is the convener of the Bhartiya Jhanpith Advisory Committee (Urdu), member of the Language Development Board National Academy of Letters, Sahitya Akademi and part of the jury of the National Academy of Letters, New Delhi, and Govt. of Madhya Pradesh

  • Shamim Hanfi

    SHAMIM HANFI

    Shamim Hanfi

    SHAMIM HANFI

    Shamim Hanfi is one of India’s most respected and learned Urdu literary scholars and critics. He is the former Dean and Head of the Urdu department at Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi and editor of the prestigious magazine, Risala Jamia. Author of innumerable essays, critiques and books, some of Dr. Hanfi’s reputed works include titles like Khayal ki Musaafat’, ‘Qari say Mukalma’ and ‘Mazameen ka Majmua’. He has also written many stories for children, something he admits to enjoying immensely.

    A not-so-known fact about Dr. Hanfi is that he is extremely artistic and maintains a keen interest in painting, pottery and the performing arts.

    Visit Shamim Hanfi's page on Rekhta.org

  • Shamsur Haq Usmani

    SHAMSUL HAQ USMANI

    Shamsur Haq Usmani

    SHAMSUL HAQ USMANI

    Shamsul Haq Usmani is a professor and former Head of the Department of Urdu, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi. A renowned scholar, critic and compiler, he has carried out the colossal task of putting together and editing the complete works of the legendary Urdu fiction writer, Saadat Hasan Manto. The anthology has been published by Oxford University Press in several volumes. He also has many books on criticism to his credit.

  • Shamsur Rahman Faruqi

    SHAMSUR RAHMAN FARUQI

    Shamsur Rahman Faruqi

    SHAMSUR RAHMAN FARUQI

    Popularly referred to as the T.S. Eliot of Urdu criticism, Shamsur Rahman Faruqi,is a distinguished writer, poet and one of India’s leading Urdu theorists. An acclaimed critic, his work spans across different genres, from literary history and criticism to poetry and fiction. Considered an authority in ‘ilm-e bayan’ (the science of poetic discourse) and classical poetry, he is also a noted lexicographer.

    Shamsur Rahman Faruqi’s book ‘Ka’i Chand the Sar-e Asman’, written in 2006, has been hailed as a masterpiece of Urdu fiction. An English version of this book, called Mirror of Beauty, was published in 2013. He has also translated a collection of his stories into English in a book titled ‘The Sun Rose From the Earth’. He has also been credited with spearheading the revival of the Dastangoi style of storytelling in India.

    He was awarded the Saraswati Samman for his work ‘She`r-e Shor-Angez’, a study on the eighteenth-century poet Mir Taqi Mir.

    Visit Shamsur Rahman Faruqi's page on Rekhta.org

  • Sukrita Paul Kumar

    SUKRITA PAUL KUMAR

    Sukrita Paul Kumar

    SUKRITA PAUL KUMAR

    Author of many critical works, including five collections of poems in English, Sukrita Paul Kumar is a scholar, poet, lecturer, editor, writer and painter. She is an Honorary Fellow of International Writing Programme at the University of Iowa and an Honorary faculty member at the Durrell Centre at the island of Corfu in Greece, amongst others. Her critical works include ‘Narrating Partition’ and ‘Conversations on Modernism’. She has also co-written a book on Ismat Chughtaiand was the chief editor of a major book, ‘Cultural Diversity & Literary Traditions in India’ published by Macmillan. She was the director of a UNESCO project, ‘The Culture of Peace’ when she edited a volume of Urdu short stories, ‘Mapping Memories’, from India and Pakistan.

    Sukrita Paul Kumar is also a talented painter. She currently holds the Aruna Asaf Ali Chair.

  • Tarannum Riyaz

    TARANNUM RIYAZ

    Tarannum Riyaz

    TARANNUM RIYAZ

    Dr. Tarannum Riyaz is an award-winning Urdu writer, poet, critic and translator. A PhD in Education from University of Kashmir, she has written more than fifteen books, criticisms and essays. Her collection of Urdu short stories, ‘Mera Rakht-e-Safr’ was hailed as a major tour de force in Urdu literature. Her works have also been included in many anthologies, one of which has been edited by Gopi Chand Narang. She is also the recipient of the prestigious SAARC Literary Award of 2014.

    Dr. Riyaz’s other awards include the Best Book Award in Urdu from Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages (JKAACL), the Delhi Urdu Academy State Award for Fiction, the U.P. Urdu Academy Best Book Award and the Sahir Ludhianvi Adeeb International Award. Dr. Riyaz is a former member of Sahitya Akademy Governing Council. Her latest Urdu novel, ‘Barf Aashna Parindey’ has been extremely well received.

  • Danish Hussain

    DANISH HUSSAIN

    Danish Hussain

    DANISH HUSSAIN

    Award-winning theater actor and artist Danish Husain is best known for his extremely popular and acclaimed Dastangoi performances (a sixteenth-century story telling art from). He, along with fellow artist Mahmud Farooqui (who is credited with reviving this form of narrative), staged their first Dastangoi show in 2005. Ever since, they have performed more than four hundred acts across the world.

    Initially working in a bank and acting on the side, Danish gave up professional work in 2002 to take up theater full-time. Since then he has worked with some of the best names in the theatre world, which include Habib Tanvir, Barry John, Sohaila Kapur, M.K. Raina and Rajinder Nath, to name a few. Some of Danish’s popular plays include, A Cat on A Hot Tin Roof, The Crucible, Manto, Panchi Aise Aate Hain, Agra Bazaar and Rumi; Unveil The Sun. A self-professed Al Pacino fan, he recently based one of his plays on the star’s movie, ‘Chinese Coffee’. The play, which went by the same name as the movie, received rave reviews.

  • Danish Iqbal

    DANISH IQBAL

    Danish Iqbal

    DANISH IQBAL

    Danish Iqbal is one of the most prominent theatre personalities in India. He has written, directed and acted in many critically acclaimed plays, the most outstanding among them being ‘Dara Shikoh’, which has been staged the world over. Danish is presently associated with the All India Radio.

    Visit Danish Iqbal's page on Rekhta.org

  • Dhruv Sangari

    DHRUV SANGARI

    Dhruv Sangari

    DHRUV SANGARI

    Dhruv Sangari is an extremely versatile singer who holds a master’s degree in Hindustani classical music and also sings Qawwalis and Sufiyana kalams with equal fervour. Trained in classical music at a young age, Dhruv later developed a keen interest in Sufi music and trained with Ustad Meraj Ahmed Nizami, a Qawwal of the Delhi gharana. He also received guidance by the legendary late Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan saheb of Pakistan.

    Dhruv has been a professional singer for fourteen years and currently directs a celebrated Sufi music troupe called Rooh. They have performed at many festivals and institutes, like the House of World Cultures in Berlin, Smithsonian Institution Washington in DC and the National Centre for Performing Arts in Mumbai. Dhruv is also the lead vocalist of Humble Mystic, and has performed for Coke Studio.

  • Darain Shahidi

    DARAIN SHAHIDI

    Darain Shahidi

    DARAIN SHAHIDI

    A well known face in Urdu literary festivals, Darain Shahidi is, without doubt, one of India’s finest Dastangoi artists. A journalist, political commentator, anchor and storyteller, he is currently a presenter with Network 18’s IBN7. Darain has previously worked for the top media networks in the country, which include NDTV, Star News, ESPN, and Star Sports. He has also anchored the first the BBC TV news in Hindi.

    His professional successes apart, Darain Shahidi’s immense talent lies in the Dastangoi art of storytelling. He has delighted audiences with this narrative style at many festivals, the most recent ones being the Islamabad Literature festival, organized by Oxford University Press of Pakistan and the Lucknow Literary festival. Darain is a graduate in media from Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi.

  • Irshad Hussain Faooqi

    IRSHAD HUSSAIN FAROOQI

    Irshad Hussain Faooqi

    IRSHAD HUSSAIN FAROOQI

    It takes the extraordinary to pursue a dream when few resources are available to attain it. Irshad Hussain Farooqi is one such case in point. A gifted calligrapher, his vision and perseverance led him to develop his own unique style - Calligraphy on Wood. Realizing the importance of professional training, Irshad underwent a two-year program in Islamic Calligraphy Writing at the Ghalib Academy, where he trained under the guidance of Ustaad Anees Siddiqui.

    Irshad specializes in carving on single pieces of wood. Some of his most striking creations are words from the Quran in Arabic. He also creates decorated figures of the Cross, Ik Onkar and Om, amongst others. Irshad has introduced a third dimension to the fading art, which was largely two-dimensional till he broke the mould.

  • Mahmood Farooqui

    MAHMOOD FAROOQUI

    Mahmood Farooqui

    MAHMOOD FAROOQUI

    Dastangoi, a 16th-century Urdu storytelling art-form, would have died a slow death had it not been for the efforts of Mahmood Farooqui. A historian, writer and performer he has worked on the revival of Dastangoi along with his uncle and eminent poet, Shamsur Rahman Faruqi.

    Mahmood Farooqui also co-directed the much-feted film, ‘Peepli Live’. He has received a lot of commendation for his first book, ‘Besieged: Voices from Delhi 1857’, published by Penguin. It is a first-of-its-kind translation of the Mutiny papers from Persian and Shikastah (cursive) Urdu into English. Mahmood Farooqui’s mammoth efforts in putting this book together have not gone unnoticed. He graduated in History from St. Stephens College and from Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.

  • Moien Shadab

    MOIEN SHADAB

    Moien Shadab

    MOIEN SHADAB

    Moien Shadab is an anchor and assistant producer at Sahara TV’s Alami Samay Urdu News Channel. A regular at Indian and international Mushrairas, he is a poet who finds inspiration in the works of Urdu masters like Firaq Gorakhpuri, Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Irfan Siddiqui. Shadab is a graduate of Rajasthan University and Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.

    Visit Moien Shadab's page on Rekhta.org

  • Radhika Chopra

    RADHIKA CHOPRA

    Radhika Chopra

    RADHIKA CHOPRA

    Dr. Radhika Chopra, an exceptional Ghazal singer, is one of the few artists who has eschewed the new-age fusion music to retain the traditional, raga-based style. A purist at heart, she learnt Thumri, Dadra and Ghazal under the tutelage of Begum Akhtar’s legendary disciple, Smt. Shanti Hiranand.

    Born and brought up in Jammu, Radhika is extremely well-versed in Hindi as well as in Urdu. She has been selected by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) to perform at international venues as part of an initiative to promote Indian classical music abroad.

    Visit Radhika Chopra's page on Rekhta.org

  • Shagufta Yasmin

    SHAGUFTA YASMIN

    Shagufta Yasmin

    SHAGUFTA YASMIN

    Dr. Shaghufta Yasmin is a media person and a well- known broadcaster associated with Urdu Media (DD News & AIR) as an established News presenter. During her 10 years media career she anchored more than 1,200 episodes of programs for DD Urdu and Zee Salaam including 500 episodes of live Show. Dr. Yasmin gained prominence for her scholarly writings and she is an author of four books. She won the opportunity to be an alumnus of the U.S. State Department's prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program. Dr. Yasmin is working as a Senior Research Fellow at “Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India” and recently honored by Shakshiyat Award-2015”

  • M. Sayeed Alam

    M. SAYEED ALAM

    M. Sayeed Alam

    M. SAYEED ALAM

    Esteemed playwright, director and theatre-actor, M. Sayeed Alam, is the main force behind Pierrot Troupe, a legendary Delhi-based theater group. A PhD from Aligarh Muslim University, Alam is also an author and researcher and has previously been a journalist with Iran-based news agency, IRNA.

    Pierrot Troupe has produced more than two-thousand shows, which include masterpieces like Ghalib In New Delhi, Cut Cut Cut, Big B, Maulana Azad and K. L. Saigal. Some of the best names from theatre and cinema have acted in their plays, like Tom Alter, Rakesh Bedi and Simple Kaul.

    Visit M. Sayeed Alam's page on Rekhta.org

  • Qamar Dagar

    QAMAR DAGAR

    Qamar Dagar

    QAMAR DAGAR

    Reviving an art form is often an uphill task. This is exactly what calligrapher and artist Qamar Dagar has been able to achieve. She founded Qalamkaari Calligraphy Trust in order to give this fading art a new lease of life. As part of an initiative of this trust, Qamar organized a festival, Qalam Aatma, in which a dozen calligraphers and artists from across the globe displayed their stunning works.

    Qamar is a graduate in Sociology and comes from the prominent family of Dhrupad musicians. An artist by birth, she has found inspiration in the works great calligraphers like Hassan Massoudy from Iraq and Mohammad Elbaz from Morrocco. Qamar has held several solo exhibitions in India, France and the United States.

  • Hamid Ali Khan

    USTAD HAMID ALI KHAN

    Hamid Ali Khan

    USTAD HAMID ALI KHAN

    Hailing from the prestigious Patiala Gharana, classical singer Ustad Hamid Ali Khan comes from a rich lineage of singers. His father was the famed Ustad Akhtar Hussein Khan and his brothers are award-winning vocalists and Ghazal singers in Pakistan. He has held countless live performances in India and abroad, often collaborating with international artists like Partha Sarathi Mukherjee and Fida Hussain.

    Hamid Ali’s unrivalled talent and his deep, resonant voice has won him many laurels and honours. He was awarded the Pride of Performance Award in 2007 and with the Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 2010.

    Visit Ustad Hamid Ali Khan's page on Rekhta.org

  • Vidya Shah

    VIDYA SHAH

    Vidya Shah

    VIDYA SHAH

    Vidya Shah is a trained classical singer, composer, musician and writer. Born into a family of rich musical lineage, she initially trained in Carnatic music. Later she trained with the iconic Shubha Mudgal in Khayal Gayaki and with Shanti Hiranand in Thumri, Dadra and Ghazal. A gifted singer Vidya has held performances across the globe, some of which include the Tansen Samaroh in Gwalior, The Kennedy Centre in Washington D.C., Asia Society in New York, Bode Museum in Berlin and the Kala Utsav in Singapore.

    A popular performer and a prolific composer, she received the Charles Wallace Award and a senior fellowship from the Indian government for her project ‘Women on Record’, which highlighted the contributions of forgotten women performers in the Gramophone era.

  • Ziya Mohyeddin

    ZIA MOHYEDDIN

    Ziya Mohyeddin

    ZIA MOHYEDDIN

    Every century brings with it a few luminaries whose stellar achievements span such a wide spectrum that it is impossible to summarize them succinctly. Zia Mohyeddin, a lionized writer, actor, director, producer and narrator, is one such celebrity. A gifted performer, he has acted in several critically acclaimed films, television shows as well as in plays held on Broadway and West End. He is a well-known figure in Britain, where he has starred in numerous television shows, the most popular ones being ‘Here and Now’ and ‘Family Pride’. Zia Mohyeddin has also penned two books, ‘A Carrot is a Carrot: Memories and Reflections’ and ‘Theatrics’.

    Apart from his acting and literary work, Zia Mohyeddin is also extremely well-known for are his enchanting recitations. He has recorded all of Iqbal’s Urdu poetry, a collection of Ghalibs’s Ghazals and hundreds of other readings. Mr. Mohyeddin’s infinite talent, stylish persona and his deep, sonorous voice have made him a legend in his own lifetime.

    Visit Zia Mohyeddin's page on Rekhta.org

  • Amjad Islam Amjad

    AMJAD ISLAM AMJAD

    Amjad Islam Amjad

    AMJAD ISLAM AMJAD

    Pakistani poet, playwright and lyricist Amjad Islam Amjad is best known for his dramas like ‘Waris’, ‘Dehleez’, ‘Samandar’, ‘Raat’, ‘Waqt’ and ‘Apnay Log’. A master’s in Urdu Literature from Punjab University, he is a prolific writer. He has written more than ten books, apart from innumerable essays, columns and criticisms, and is a former director of Pakistan Television Corporation.

    Amjad Islam Amjad was conferred with the Pride of Performance and ‘Sitara-e-Imtiaz’ by the Pakistani government for his contribution to Urdu literature and poetry.

    Visit Amjad Islam Amjad's page on Rekhta.org

  • Anwer Shaoor

    ANWER SHAOOR

    Anwer Shaoor

    ANWER SHAOOR

    A Pakistani poet renowned for his sehl-e-mumtina (a form of poetry that uses simplistic language to communicate profound thoughts), Anwer Hasan Khan writes under the pen name, Shaoor. An immensely respected writer with a large following, he contributes a daily qat’aat (four-line) to the widely-read Pakistani newspaper, Jang. His writings also feature in Funoon, a recognized Urdu literary magazine in Pakistan.

    Anwer Shaoor has written three collections of Ghazals called ‘Andokhta, Mashq-e-Sukhan’, and ‘Mee Raqsam’. His book, ‘Dil Ka Kia Rang Karon’, was released with much fanfare in May 2014.

    Visit Anwer Shaoor's page on Rekhta.org

  • Ashfaq Hussain

    ASHFAQ HUSSAIN

    Ashfaq Hussain

    ASHFAQ HUSSAIN

    Recipient of the prestigious Presidential Pride of Performance by the government of Pakistan, Ashfaq Hussain Zaidi is one of modern Urdu’s most prominent poets. Widely recognized as an authority on works of the great Urdu poets, Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Ahmad Faraz, Ashfaq migrated to Canada in 1980 where he founded the Writers Forum of Pakistani Canadians.

    Currently, he is an associate producer at Asian Television Network in Newmarket Canada. A well-known face on television, he hosts popular shows which include, Urdu Rang, Asian Horizon and Asian Digest. In his long career he has interviewed numerous celebrities, like Dilip Kumar, Javed Akhtar, Ghulam Ali, Zia Mohyeddin and M. F. Husain, amongst others. An author of more than two dozen Urdu books, many of them written for children, Ashfaq has won many awards, some of which include the Indian Maulana Mohammad Ali Johar Award and the Asian Television Network Life Time Achievement Award 2007 awarded in Canada.

    Visit Ashfaq Hussain's page on Rekhta.org

  • Javed Akhtar

    JAVED AKHTAR

    Javed Akhtar

    JAVED AKHTAR

    Javed Akhtar needs little, if any, introduction. An eminent scriptwriter, lyricist and poet, he has a rich, literary lineage. His father, Jan Nisar Akhtar, was a renowned Urdu poet and film lyricist and his grandfather, Muzter Khairabadi, was an acclaimed Urdu poet as well.

    Mr. Akhtar’s inimitable work has won him countless awards; many of which he has won numerous times, like the National Award for Best Lyricist (five times), Film Fare Award for Best Script / Best Lyricist (sixteen times), Screen Award for Best Lyricist (four times) and IIFA Award for Best Lyricist (three times), to name only a few. He was awarded with the Padma Bhushan in 2007 and Sahitya Akademi Award in Urdu in 2013.

    Visit Javed Akhtar's page on Rekhta.org

  • Mohammad Alvi

    MOHAMMAD ALVI

    Mohammad Alvi

    MOHAMMAD ALVI

    One of contemporary Urdu’s most distinguished poets, Mohammad Alvi has won many laurels for his invaluable contribution to Urdu poetry. He received the Sahitya Academy in Urdu for his work ‘Chautha Aasmaan’. He has also been conferred with the Gujrat Urdu Sahitya Academy Award and the prestigious Ghalib Award.

    Born in Ahmedabad, Mohammad Alvi is known for his simplistic style. He has published several works, which include ‘Khali Makaan’, ‘Akhri Din ki Talash’ and ‘Tisri Kitaab’. The poems in these collections are monologues that broke away from the rhetoric of reformists.

    Visit Mohammad Alvi's page on Rekhta.org

  • Nida Fazli

    NIDA FAZLI

    Nida Fazli

    NIDA FAZLI

    Indian poet and lyricist Nida Fazli, made famous by his couplet, 'Duniya jise kehte hain jaadu kaa khilona hai, mil jaaye to mitti hai, kho jaaye to sona hai', is known for his poignant and sensitive poetry. An author of two dozen books and innumerable collections of poetry, he has also written memorable songs for Indian films, like Sarfarosh and Razia Sultan, and for popular television serials. Many of his compositions have been sung by renowned artists, like Kavita Krishnamurthy. His album, ‘Insight’, produced in collaboration with Jagjit Singh, was hailed as a masterpiece.

    Nida Fazli, whose views against the partition of India and politics of fundamentalism are well known, has received the Sahitya Akademi Award, Star Screen Award (best lyricist) and a Padma Shri, amongst others.

    Visit Nida Fazli's page on Rekhta.org

  • Wasim Barelvi

    WASIM BARELVI

    Wasim Barelvi

    WASIM BARELVI

    Wasim Barelvi is a celebrated Urdu poet who is known for his exemplary work on Urdu poetry. Winner of several national and international awards, his poetries have been widely published in literary magazines in India, Pakistan and other countries. Some of these include Tabassum-e-Gham (Urdu) (1966), Aansu Mere Daman Tera (Hindi) (1990), Mizaj (Urdu) (1990), Aankh Aansu Hui (Urdu) (2000), Mera kya (Hindi) (2000), Aankhon Aankhon Rahe (Urdu) (2007), Mausam Andar Bahar Ke (Urdu) (2007).

    Mr. Barelvi is the recipient of the Firaq International Award. His ghazals and compositions have touched a chord with people from India and Pakistan alike, as he is equally admired in both countries. Many of his ghazals and compositions have also been sung by prominent singers from Indian film industry.

    Visit Wasim Barelvi's page on Rekhta.org

IN THE PRESS


A celebration of Urdu

The Friday Times

Ali Madeeh Hashmi

Delhi’s picturesque India International Centre (IIC) was the recent venue for the first ‘Jashn-e Rekhta’, a festival celebrating the beauty and elegance of the Urdu language. Organized by the Rekhta foundation whose founder, Indian businessman Sanjiv Saraf visited Lahore recently to drum up support for the festival, the two day event was a smash hit and was attended by tens of thousands of Delhi’ites demonstrating that a passion for Urdu remains alive and well across the border. The festival included panel discussions, lectures, exhibitions, readings from Urdu prose and poetry, a mushaira and musical performances by renowned artists from both India and Pakistan.

“Rekhta” is the name given to the language spoken in the Northern Indo-Pak subcontinent from the late 17th to the late 18th century after which it evolved into “Hindi/Urdu”. It evolved from the ‘khari boli’ (literally ‘standing dialects’) spoken in and around Delhi to ‘Urdu’ after Persian and Arabic words were incorporated into it because of the influence of the Mughal court where the official language was Persian.

The master himself, Ghalib, referred to the language when he wrote the verse:

Rekhta kay tumhiN ustaad nahiN ho Ghalib

kehte haiN aglay zamanay maiN koi Mir bhi tha

As an aside, Urdu did not form in the camp of the Mughal armies contrary to popular belief although the word ‘Urdu’ is derived from the Turkic word “Ordu” (Army), the same root from which comes the English word ‘horde’.

‘Jashn’e Rekhta’ was a live celebration of the cyber world that is the website ‘Rekhta.org’. Set up less than a year ago, the website has a global readership and is a huge (and growing) repository of Urdu poetry and prose. Its founder, Sanjiv Saraf ambitiously claims that his dream is to eventually have the entire corpus of Urdu literature and poetry available on the website. While that dream may be some time away, ‘Jashn-e Rekhta’ proved that there is no shortage of Urdu enthusiasts to support this effort.

The first day of the festival kicked off with our panel ‘Internet ki duniya main Urdu’ (‘Urdu in the world of the internet’) moderated by Indian academic Pervaiz Alam. My fellow panelists included Karachi based publisher, translator and writer Ajmal Kamal, Lalit Kumar, the founder of the hugely popular website ‘Kavita-kosh’ (sadly inaccessible to Pakistani readers since the entire content of the website is in the Devanagri font) and Rana Safvi, founder and moderator of #shair on Twitter. Our session highlighted some particular problems of Urdu (and Hindi) in the cyber age. While the internet has given a global platform to lovers of Urdu, it has also introduced new challenges including the central problem of which script should be used to transmit the language. As Pakistanis, we often do not realize that in many countries, including India, the number of people who can read the classic Urdu script (derived from Persian and Arabic scripts) is dwindling rapidly since Urdu is not a compulsory language in schools and colleges.

The highlight of the afternoon session was a recitation titled ‘Padhant’ by none other than Zia Mohyeddin. While Zia sahib looks visibly frailer, he hasn’t lost his knack of performing and entertaining audiences. His recitation to a houseful auditorium was also live-streamed to several other locations at IIC with several dozen people or more watching and applauding.

A simultaneous session in another room on the famed Progressive short story writer Krishen Chander was marred by a slightly distasteful exchange between one of the presenters who ran over his allotted time for his initial presentation and was then upset that he was interrupted by the moderator. This pointed to one of the weaknesses of the panel discussions which were scheduled over one hour with four participants and a moderator. This allowed precious little time for anything other than an ‘opening statement’ by the moderator and each panelist and even less time for audience questions. It might have helped if the time reserved for such sessions was extended to 90 minutes to allow all the presenters to have a say and also to involve the audience.

An evening session on “Urdu main jasoosi adab” (Detective fiction in Urdu) was also greatly appreciated by the audience since the venerable C.M Naim was one of the panelists. Naim sahib, originally from Barabanki,

The evening was capped off by a soulful rendition of some of the best and most popular works of Begum Akhtar. Titled ‘Akhtari-A tribute to Begum Akhtar’, it was hosted by none other than ‘dastaan-go’ Danish Hussain who kept the audience in stitches in his inimitable style while singer and composer Vidya Shah performed Begum Akhtar’s compositions and did justice to all of them. Vidya, of course, has been to Lahore more than once and has also recorded and released a CD of Faiz which became very popular in India. The evening Mushaira featured poets from India, Pakistan and abroad including Lahore’s own Amjad Islam Amjad, Nida Fazli, Ashfaq Hussain (from Canada) and others. They recited their works to a packed, very appreciative, open air audience of several hundred with threatening rain clouds overhead.

The highlight of the second day was a lecture by another living legend of Urdu; Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, a poet, writer, critic and novelist who has rewritten the rules of Urdu appreciation. He is now eighty years old but as spry and energetic as ever and he held the audience of several hundred spell bound in his talk titled ‘Ghazal-ahd ba ahd’ (Ghazal through the ages). Starting from the thirteenth century, through the times of Wali Muhammad Wali “Deccani”, the founder of the Urdu ghazal and onwards to the present day, Faruqi sahib’s discourse was an inspiring education in the evolution of the ghazal to its present form. In between, he kept the audience entertained with anecdotes, tit-bits and jokes about the various historical poetic figures that have played a key role in the ghazal as it exists today.

Our afternoon session was on Translations and was titled ‘Tarjuma-haasil aur la-haasil’ (Lost and Found in Translation). I was again joined by Ajmal Kamal, Professor Anisur Rahman of Jamia Millia University as well as Zakir Hussain as we discussed the intricacies of translating works of prose and poetry from one language to another. The next day I was invited to Delhi’s huge Jamia Millia Islamia University for another session on translation, specifically the recently published “What will you give for this beauty?”, my translation of acclaimed Pakistani author Ali Akbar Natiq’s popular short story collection ‘Qaim Deen’. Faruqi sahib again presided over the session which included a conversation between the author and Indian writer, director and ‘dastan-go’ Mahmood Farooqui (who also happens to be Shamsur Rahman Faruqi sahib’s nephew). Once again, the highlight of the session, other than the very entertaining conversation between Natiq and Farooqui was Shamsur Rahman Faruqi sahib’s summing up of the session in which he compared recent prose works from India and Pakistan and dissected out what makes a good work of fiction different from an indifferent one.

In between I found time to reconnect with my very dear friend, the noted Indian writer, scholar and translator Dr. Rakhshanda Jalil, granddaughter of the celebrated poet, writer and scholar Ale Ahmad Suroor. We discussed some of the difficulties facing Urdu writers and scholars in India starting with the fact that Urdu is fast losing ground to Hindi as young people (especially non-Muslims) become unable to read Urdu script. In addition to the many ills inflicted on the sub-continent by partition, one was the ‘linguistic’ partition in which Urdu was unofficially declared the language of ‘Muslims’ (which, as the experts repeatedly pointed out at Jashn-e Rekhta was absolute rubbish) and thus shunned by the non-Muslim majority of India’s citizens. This process has accelerated in the last few years with the increasing emphasis on business and technical education to position graduates for the ‘market’.

Thanks to people like Sanjiv Saraf (who taught himself Urdu from scratch in the last few years) and his team, it appears that a revival of Urdu may be on the horizon.

  1. The Friday Times

    24 Apr, 2015
  2. The Citizen

    24 Apr, 2015
  3. The Times of India

    19 Apr, 2015
  4. Yathavat Magazine

    15 Apr, 2015
  5. The Times of India

    13 Apr, 2015
  6. SADA-E-WATAN JADEED

    5 Apr, 2015
  7. TNS

    5 Apr, 2015
  8. THE HINDU

    2 Apr, 2015
  9. Jansatta Express

    29 Mar, 2015
  10. DAWN.com

    29 Mar, 2015
  11. THE TIMES OF INDIA

    29 Mar, 2015
  12. THE WEEK

    28 Mar, 2015
  13. THE INDIAN EXPRESS

    27 Mar, 2015
  14. THE SUNDAY GUARDIAN

    24 Mar, 2015
  15. INQUILAB

    22 Mar, 2015
  16. THE HINDU

    20 Mar, 2015
  17. THE SIASAT DAILY

    20 Mar, 2015
  18. THE HINDU

    20 Mar, 2015
  19. ROZNAMH EXPRESS

    19 Mar, 2015
  20. HUM SHEHRI ONLINE

    19 Mar, 2015
  21. ROZNAMH KHABAR

    19 Mar, 2015
  22. HINDUSTAN EXPRESS

    19 Mar, 2015
  23. AWAZ TODAY

    19 Mar, 2015
  24. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA

    19 Mar, 2015
  25. ROZNAMAH EXPRESS

    19 Mar, 2015
  26. MILAAP

    18 Mar, 2015
  27. SADA-E WATAN URDU DAILY

    18 Mar, 2015
  28. ROZNAMAH EXPRESS

    18 Mar, 2015
  29. EXPRESS

    18 Mar, 2015
  30. BBC

    18 Mar, 2015
  31. SIAYSI TANZEEM

    18 Mar, 2015
  32. HAMARA SAMAJ

    18 Mar, 2015
  33. SAEBAN URDU DAILY

    18 Mar, 2015
  34. INQUILAB

    17 Mar, 2015
  35. DECCAN HERALD

    17 Mar, 2015
  36. Navbharat Times

    16 Mar, 2015
  37. INQUILAB NEWS

    16 Mar, 2015
  38. I AM IN

    16 Mar, 2015
  39. I AM IN

    16 Mar, 2015
  40. THE YOUNG BIGMOUTH

    16 Mar, 2015
  41. DNA

    16 Mar, 2015
  42. THE INDIAN EXPRESS

    15 Mar, 2015
  43. DNA

    15 Mar, 2015
  44. BUSINESS STANDARD

    15 Mar, 2015
  45. IBN LIVE

    15 Mar, 2015
  46. STATESMAN

    15 Mar, 2015
  47. ASAIN AGE

    15 Mar, 2015
  48. HINDUSTAN

    15 Mar, 2015
  49. DECCAN HERALD

    15 Mar, 2015
  50. ONE WORLD NEWS

    15 Mar, 2015
  51. HINDUSTAN

    15 Mar, 2015
  52. NAVBHARAT TIMES

    15 Mar, 2015
  53. DAINIK JAGRAN

    15 Mar, 2015
  54. HINDUSTAN

    15 Mar, 2015
  55. JAGRAN

    14 Mar, 2015
  56. INQUILAB

    14 Mar, 2015
  57. JAYPORE

    14 Mar, 2015
  58. NEWS BULLETIN TODAY

    14 Mar, 2015
  59. PRAHAR

    14 Mar, 2015
  60. HINDUSTAN

    14 Mar, 2015
  61. DAWN

    14 Mar, 2015
  62. INDIAN EXPRESS

    14 Mar, 2015
  63. LIVE MINT

    13 Mar, 2015
  64. ROZNAMA SAHARA

    12 Mar, 2015
  65. LIVE MINT

    12 Mar, 2015
  66. THE INDIAN EXPRESS

    12 Mar, 2015
  67. ROZ NAMAH SADA E WATAN JADEED

    11 Mar, 2015
  68. HINDUSTAN EXPRESS

    11 Mar, 2015
  69. TIMES CITY

    10 Mar, 2015
  70. STATE TIMES

    10 Mar, 2015
  71. WN

    10 Mar, 2015
  72. BUSINESS STANDARD

    10 Mar, 2015
  73. BUZZ IN TOWN

    10 Mar, 2015
  74. SO DELHI

    10 Mar, 2015
  75. ALL EVENTS

    10 Mar, 2015
  76. HEY EVENT

    10 Mar, 2015
  77. SIYASI TAQDEER

    10 Mar, 2015
  78. DNA INDIA

    10 Mar, 2015
  79. DECCAN CHRONICLE

    10 Mar, 2015
  80. ROZ NAMAH JADEED KHABAR

    10 Mar, 2015
  81. AKHBAAR E MASHRIQ

    10 Mar, 2015
  82. Business Standard

    8 Mar, 2015
  83. Dainik Bhaskar

    1 Mar, 2015
  84. KITAAB

    1 Mar, 2015
  85. HINDUSTAN TIMES

    1 Mar, 2015
  86. Siasat Daily

    28 Feb, 2015
  87. MillenniumPost

    28 Feb, 2015
  88. MillenniumPost

    28 Feb, 2015
  89. SIASAT

    28 Feb, 2015
  90. BUSINESS STANDARD

    27 Feb, 2015
  91. INDIA TV

    27 Feb, 2015
  92. YAHOO! NEWS

    27 Feb, 2015
  93. NEWS 24

    27 Feb, 2015
  94. LIVE INDIA

    27 Feb, 2015
  95. WEB INDIA 123

    27 Feb, 2015
  96. EENADU INDIA

    27 Feb, 2015
  97. SeattleIndian

    27 Feb, 2015
  98. TwoCirles

    27 Feb, 2015
  99. NEWKERALA

    27 Feb, 2015
  100. NERVE

    27 Feb, 2015
  101. ODISHA SUN TIMES

    27 Feb, 2015

ABOUT


Urdu hai jiska naam hamiñ jaante haiñ 'Dagh'
Hindostañ meñ dhoom hamari zabaañ ki hai

A Jashn, a celebration, a tribute. Rekhta Foundation presents Jashn-e-Rekhta, a unique festival celebrating Urdu’s inimitable beauty, its soul-stirring cadence and its lyrical splendor.

Organized in collaboration with the India International Centre (IIC), Jashn-e-Rekhta will celebrate the quintessential spirit of Urdu, its inclusive ethos, creative richness and linguistic heritage. For two mesmeric days, some of the Urdu’s finest poets, authors and artists will come together to bring alive Urdu’s lyrical beauty and resonating eloquence through live performances, panel discussions and interactive sessions.

From melodious musical renditions, dastangoi and recitations to enthralling mushaira, dramas, film screenings, panel discussions and interactive sessions , Jashn-e-Rekhta will explore and showcase various genres of the language through diverse mediums. No matter what the audience’s area of interest or familiarity with the language, the festival will offer something for everyone. At Jashn-e-Rekhta you will not have to be an Urdu connoisseur to appreciate its timeless magnificence. The Jashn aspires to engage, enlighten and entertain audiences from diverse backgrounds, both Urdu and non-Urdu speaking, in a vibrant, participative and festive ambience.

  • The festival is being held at India International Centre on 14'th & 15'th March 2015 (Sat & Sun)
  • The festival is open to all
  • Entry to the sessions is on a first come, first served basis

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* MARKED FIELDS ARE MANDATORY

FESTIVAL VENUE

INDIA INTERNATIONAL CENTRE

40, MAX MUELLER MARG, NEW DELHI

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REKHTA FOUNDATION

B-37, SECTOR -1,
NOIDA, U.P. - 201301
INDIA

Zamarrud Mughal

+91-88265-37919

contact@jashnerekhta.org

VENUE


India International Centre

40, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi