Saturday, September 18, 2004

guzaarish ba zubaan-e-Urdu (गुज़ारिश ब-ज़ुबान-ए-उर्दू)

guzarish ba zuban-e-urdu (गुज़ारिश ब-ज़ुबान-ए-उर्दू) is an interesting, thought-provoking article written by मोहतरमा Hamida Banu Chopra. The article is available for your perusal in three formats: in the Urdu script, in the Hindi script, and in the audio form (mp3) read by Hamida Chopra herself. Please read/listen to the article and send your comments to or post them here.

A few words are warranted about the author, मोहतरमा Hamida Banu Chopra. Mma. Chopra has been a Lecturer of Urdu language and literature at the University of California, Berkeley, and currently offers Urdu classes via the auspices of the local India Cultural Center. She has an M.A in Philosophy from Rajasthan University and an advanced degree in Urdu from Aligarh University. Mma. Chopra has spent many a selfless decade in the service of Urdu language and literature, and holds a place of prominence amongst the Urdu connoisseurs of the San Francisco Bay Area. She has frequently organized Urdu poetry readings targeted towards educating the Indian diaspora of the Bay Area and elsewhere about the beauty of Urdu poetry and literature and familiarizing the masses with the works of the Classical Masters (Meer, Ghalib, Iqbal, et al). Mma. Hamida Banu also teaches Urdu at home on an entirely pro bono (free of charge) basis -- she asks only that you match her fervor and love for the Urdu language with your own (which, if you ask me, is much harder than it sounds, so great is her passion for the language). मोहतरमा Hamida Banu has released two audio tapes of recitations of Urdu nazms: banjaara (बंजारा) and parinde ki faryaad (परिंदे की फ़रियाद); these are prosodic readings of poetry (not to be confused with singing renditions for which artistes like Mehdi Hassan, Ghulam Ali and Jagjit Singh are famous). While nazms comprise a very large segment of Urdu poetry, most commercial recordings of Urdu poetry only showcase the Ghazal; मोहतरमा Chopra's recitations seek to remedy this imbalance to a certain extent. The cassettes are available upon request.


Accept my apologies for not keeping this blog up to date. I appreciate the patient understanding all of you have shown in the past few months while I have been trying to get my own life under control. Among other things, my better half and I had been trying to get the house in order for our first baby. I'm sure you (at least those of you who have kids of your own) understand how hectic and exciting that can be.

Enough about that. Let's move on to more poetic things.