Urdu and I: A love affair

Published: June 1, 2013
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Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Perveen Shakir were the first poets I read. Soon, I added Ibne Insha, Ghalib, Mir Taqi Mir, Iqbal, Mir Anis and Ahmad Faraz to the list. DESIGN: IMAAN SHEIKH

In grade six, I handwrote Ibne Insha’s “Kal Chaudvin Ki Raat Thee” and gave it to a girl I firmly believed to be my soul mate. Her lack of enthusiasm at replying with an equally moving ghazal (or even replying at all) dismayed me so I delved further into Urdu literature than I had ever before.

“What was a grade six student doing reading Ibne Insha?” I hear you ask.

To put matters in perspective, I had grown up in a house full of books. I carried my Famous Five right next to Inspector Jamshed and His Gang. Books on history and Islam happened to be the easiest to access and were my first scalps. Daily subscriptions of newspapers Dawn and Jang ensured access to further reading material and Young World and Akhbar-e-Jahan became weekly fixtures. Reading the news paved way for an interest in politics and gradually it evolved into a taste for satire.

Thus, I came across Ibne Insha’s Urdu ki Aakhri Kitab. The vocabulary was like nothing I had ever read before so my parents bought me a Ferozul Lughat (popular Urdu dictionary) to help me understand. I fell in love and there was no looking back. Shafeequr Rahman, Dr Younis Butt and Patras Bokhari became friends that narrated wonderful tales to me. Once I had devoured as much satire as I possibly could, I ventured into the poetry collection in our house.

I felt confident enough to finally give these thick books with yellow pages a try. Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Perveen Shakir were the first poets I read. Soon, I added Ibne Insha, Ghalib, Mir Taqi Mir, Iqbal, Mir Anis and Ahmad Faraz to the list.

Since we study Urdu only as a second language under the O’ Level system, I aced my exam with ease and once A’ Level rolled around, Urdu got neglected, pushed aside and forgotten.

Two years later I packed my bags and headed to Toronto for university. Written Urdu had long been cast aside and now it was spoken Urdu that suffered the same fate. English was the global language, I reasoned, and soon I would have no use for Urdu in my daily life.

Much as I try to rationalise that piece of thinking, I cannot anymore.

I finished school in April 2012 and moved soon after to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It was here, in a new town, that I discovered how much I missed Urdu. Toronto had been a melting hub of cultures and, therefore, even when I wasn’t speaking in Urdu, I was always overhearing others converse in my native language. Saskatoon was a different case altogether and it was there in my Urdu deprived state that I stumbled upon Coke Studio.

Even though this was three years after the first episode had aired, it couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I diligently went through episode after episode taking it all in. I was proud of myself for remembering most of the lyrics of old works; I was blown away by the new tunes and creative fusions.

I moved onto older Pakistani and Indian music and then back to reading poetry. I found Iqbal’s Shikwa and Jawab-e-Shikwa, Ghalib’s Deewan-e-Ghalib and Faiz’s Zindan-nama and gobbled them up much like I had done when I was younger.

Urdu welcomed me back into the fold with both arms wrapped tightly against my insolent self. I could not fathom how or why I had let go of the language that taught me to express myself eloquently.

Much as I loved English, the lack of adjectives and even pronouns was bothersome. There is a well known cliché about how everyone is addressed as ‘you’ in English but Urdu does the job better for different relationships; ‘aap’, ‘tum‘ and ‘tu‘ all convey the same meaning, but cannot be used interchangeably.

Urdu poetry is unique. I tried to translate it into English for some of my friends but failed miserably. Therefore, like any zealot, I blamed it on the limitations of the English language. I started teaching my friends Urdu much like I had tried to back in grade six. This required me to write again.

I have to admit that writing again after seven odd years seemed more difficult than I thought. Even though I was regularly reading, it proved harder to put my thoughts into words on paper. I persevered, and much as I would like to say, it has been successful.

I’m still a bit hesitant when it comes to writing and often resorts to second guessing myself. I don’t mind one bit; it took me years to realise what I had thrown away and if I had to find my flair back the hard way. It’s the least I could do.

The important thing is I learned my lesson and no matter where I go in life from here, Urdu will always be a cherished part of it.

Read more by Nabeel here.

Nabeel.Jafri

Nabeel Jafri

A finance graduate who worked in the fashion industry and then went back to working in finance, he tweets as @nabeeljafri (twitter.com/nabeeljafri)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Sindhi_Pakistani

    Urdu is first language of hardly 5 to 6 %.It is however bridge between people of different language. It should be promoted. But Please, on the behest of URDU, dont look down upon on native languages of Pakistan, Sindhi, Punjabi, Balochi, Pushtoon and Siraiki. Even during British Raj, Sindhi language was promoted, all official documentation and reporting were done in Sindhi, even British officers were asked to learn it.But what a bounty of freedom to this land, today, no private school is ready to teach Sindhi seriously in Karachi. Language is getting second degree respect in its own heartland Karachi. All who live in Sindh, Please give due respect to Sindhi and learn from Bengla language controversy of 50s. Thanks.Recommend

  • Queen

    Very nice blog. :) It is so good to see someone having love for Urdu language :D

    You remind me of my school days. I was introduced to Urdu literature by my uncle who was a writer of Urdu fiction. I read Ibn-e-Insha’s “Chalte ho to cheen ko chaliye” and “Dunya gol hai” when i was in grade 7 but my love for Urdu had begun when I was in grade 2. I started reading Naunehal, Taleem-oTarbiat, and Aank Macholi magazines at that time. There were Enid Blyton’s stories in the English literature as well that were equally good :) Recommend

  • afzaalkhan

    Beautiful, while I never lost touch completely, I had to juggle 4 languages on constant basis and my urdu suffered. I am doing same as you. while I am glad I can read write and converse in 4 different languages urdu is the love of my life and nothing ever can come close to it. Thanks for sharing. Recommend

  • Hasseb

    Focusing attention on writing in Urdu might be suitable. Writing blogs in English requires learning punctuation, modifiers, and verbs etc.Recommend

  • Pakistani

    I wrote a similar post about my love for Punjabi language over a year ago, but ET never published it. I agree with Sindhi_Pakistani (the first comment) that every language is beautiful but it is very tragic that the original, native, and beautiful languages of Pakistan (Punjabi and its various dialects, Sindhi, Pushto, Balochi, Bruhi, Shina) are being repressed in Pakistan in order to promote a foreign language Urdu. Each language is the best for its native speakers, and its about time the Urdu speakers realize that Punjabis, Sindhis, and Pashtuns love their languages too and that these languages have rich folk, literature, songs, and culture that predates the birth of Urdu.

    It is alarming that nowadays, speaking Punjabi is considered paindu in Pakistan, while Sindhi faces a similar ridicule in Karachi, and Pashtuns are also made fun of for their accent. However, there are many places in Punjab, Sindh, and KPK, where natives don’t want to learn Urdu and prefer to speak in their beloved mother tongues. So, why this useless pressure to learn Urdu? Why not develop and promote Pakistan’s original languages? Has the writer read the excellent sufi poetry in Sindhi and Punjabi? Are you aware that Faiz has composed some of his best work in Punjabi? Are you aware that a Bengali poet Tagore is considered the greatest poet of the century in South Asia (contrary to the perception in Pakistan that Ghalib holds this title). Go into the heart of Balochistan and the locals don’t even care for any other language than their own. Also, you might be aware that UNESCO introduced World Mother Language Day in remembrance of Bengali and the struggle of Bengalis to save their language from unjust imposition of Urdu. You can hype all about your love for Urdu in a Karachi-based Pakistani blog, but I would like to see you (the writer) share this post describing the superiority of Urdu on a Bangladeshi/Bengali blog and just see their reaction…Recommend

  • Humza

    @Pakistani: I agree with a lot of what you say. As a 2nd generation Pakistani living in North America, I am more keen to learn the Pashtu of my mother’s family or the Punjabi of my father’s family. Frankly Urdu / Hindi is not necessary outside South Asia anyway since even educated Pakistanis or Indians prefer to speak in English. Urdu or Hindi is just too common and does not really tie me to my soil or ancestry. In fact when I hear Urdu or Hindi, it just makes me think of Bollywood type Indian movies which I really don’t care for anyways. It’s sad that people in Pakistan have been brainwashed to look down upon their own languages in favour of a Bollywood sounding language! I love the sound of Sindi and Baluchi even though I don’t understand either of them. I too feel that Pakistan should promote its own native languages.Recommend

  • Ali

    @Hasseb:

    And that’s the message you drew from this blog!! How inspiring, my freind (eat your heart out)…Recommend

  • True Karachiwala

    @Pakistani: There is no pressure to learn and speak urdu. Its natural to love one’s mother language.

    Since Pakisan is a multilingual country, therefore it needs a lingau franca. If there is a consensus that urdu shoul not be used as lingau franca, Pakistan would still need a language which is understood by every one.

    To speak urdu is not a favour to this langauge. It is its sheer ability to convey the ideas and feelings vividly, its adaptability that without any support and patronage from any Government in the world it is icluded in top 10 langauges of world (it is paired with hindi in this count).

    Allama Iqbal’s mother tongue is punjabi (I assume), but his poetry is in urdu and persian. He opted urdu for his poetry so that his message could reach the maximum number of people. And it worked.

    Urdu is getting richer and richer day by day.

    Haji Adeel Sb. of ANP recently said we did not need urdu. Ironically, this too he said in urdu. he could not find any other langauge to convey his intention to whole Pakistan. thanks. Love & respect to All.Recommend

  • Sindh Pakistani

    @Sindhi_Pakistani:

    First, I think you are stealing my display name my brother :)

    Secondly, I agree. Urdu is a bridge language and our countrymen should learn from Dhaka Language Riots which haunted this country in the past.Recommend

  • Javaria Hina

    A well written piece,showing the love for Urdu..I am an Urdu lover too and like the writer’s effort. :)Recommend

  • True Karachiwala

    @Humza: set aside languages, most second generation Pakistanis north America or europe do not even know how many Rakaats are there in Maghrib prayers.

    Pakistanis speak urdu when they need it, other wise they speak thier mother tongues. Where has brainwashing come from ? strange !!!!

    @Sindh Pakistani: Quaid e Aazam had himself announced that Urdu will be the official langugae of Pakistan. Pakistanis in the then East Pakistan felt it as threat to thier langauge, which was wrong.

    I bet Quaid e Aazam’s decision still holds good and Urdu is the only langauge whcih is lingua franca in our country ( this is no superiority complex, just simple fact)Recommend

  • Deep

    Although I am an Indian but I hav to say tat Bengali is one of most beautiful languages in th World nd kind of great scholars bengalis gave to th society, i mean frm poets to writers to philosophers to scientists to leaders to economists to film directors to singers, Bengalis wil never accept tat Urdu or any other language is better tan Bengali. No othr community has produced so many genius nd great ppl like BengalisRecommend

  • Polpot

    I want to ahre my love affair with Urdu
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    As a child I came across a book of Mirza Ghalibs poetry printed in Hindi. All the difficult urdu words were explained.While reading Mirza Ghalib I could feel him standing next to me with an amused expression. Anyway that how I built up my urdu vocab.
    Ishrate Katra hai dariya main fana hona aur dard ka had se badna hai dawa hona.Recommend

  • wajiha

    it is nice to see the people still having a love affair with urdu because usually nowadays we see the educated population speaking fluent english more than urdu. they think by speaking urdu the society will think of them as ‘paindus’Recommend

  • BlackJack

    Very well written article and an enjoyable read. Although having gone through a diametrically opposite journey (spending the first quarter of my life speaking only English and then gradually learning a couple of Indian languages), I can attest to the fact that our native languages communicate with us at a deeper level than, say English – part of this could the emotional superstructure of events and memories that tie into them rather seamlessly. And I say this despite being far more comfortable in English than in any other language.
    On the Urdu/ regional language debate, I tend to disagree with the lingua franca reasoning, despite its obvious logic. Forcing 90% of people to adopt a foreign language seems to be extremely inefficient – the actual rationale is clearly ideological and has nothing to do with aiding communication among diverse populations. I am glad that Hindi today has made inroads into non-traditional markets purely through soft power – cinema/ music and increasing number of Hindi speaking economic migrants, rather than any such imposition.Recommend

  • Sindh Pakistani

    @True Karachiwala:

    Jinnah was a Sindhi like me Recommend

  • Hassan

    @Sindh Pakistani:
    At the time of Jinnah’s birth, Sindh was part of the Bombay Presidency.Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    I have no idea how and where to start my comment or argument but I will say Urdu languag
    was even bigger spoken and reading/writing in our areas and not only us one of my friend from Hoshiarpur india Punjab told his father and uncle still writes in Urdu and like most of north Indians and north west Pakistanis its a good way to communicate and understand each others and nothing wrong in that and we are adopting it very fast in Hindko areas.
    one thing allways wonders me and its funny too Urdu/Hindi or any other lang in indopak are will dies soon in front of almighty English.(and I don’t understand it why Gandhiji,Jinnahji did not agreed on English making an indian national lang both were English speakers outsiders.Recommend

  • True Karachiwala

    @Sindh Pakistani: Jinnah was a Sindhi like me

    Yeah, that’s right. And this is an honour for our Sindh. Now please make efforts to implement his commands. Thx Recommend

  • Another view.

    Chidren of 1947 Bearocrates and Urdu migrants study English and native of this land read and write Urdu what a joke ….Recommend

  • http://India deep29

    No language is better tan Sanskrit as its one of the World’s oldest languages,the mother of all Ind-European languages and world’s most scientific language and also very poetic. India should encourage Sanskrit among its young generation.Recommend

  • heera

    @Humza: I may sound harsh ,but let me ask you,should we really care what diaspora think about our culture and language.Since they r in foreign land, it is quite natural that they should adopt language and culture of the land to where they have migrated.The native of the land will always love their language and culture. Sindhi is recognized descent in India. The migrant Hindus r preserving their language , culture and festivals though they r not on their native land.We never felt threatened by inclusion of one more language,yet Hindi speaking r growing in number.Recently Australia has announced to open institute for Hindi language .China is already doing it..Recommend

  • heera

    @Ali Tanoli: Hindi is dying in india????Really.Recommend

  • True Karachiwala

    @heera: Nice reply ! left Hamza alone.Recommend

  • Ayush

    @Sindh Pakistani:
    Unfortunately you are wrong. Jinnah was a Gujrati man who was only born in Karachi because that is where his fathers business was based. In fact, both Gandhi & Jinnah came from the same Rajkot district of Gujrat where Jinnahs’ ancestral village was not more than 30km from Porbander where Gandhi was born.
    The only two languages that Jinnah knew where his native Kutchi( a Gujrati dialect) & English.Recommend

  • http://. Abid P. Khan

    @Pakistani:
    “Are you aware that Faiz has composed some of his best work in Punjabi?”

    .
    What sort of work did Faiz produce in Panjaabi? Though I have possessed all of his books at one time or another but do not recall ever running into his Panjaabi production. Was it when he was a school student or just before his demise?Recommend

  • http://[email protected] Pakistani

    Thank you ET for publishing my comment.

    @ True Karachiwala: Iqbal’s mother language was not Punjabi. Iqbal was a Kashmiri Muslim whose family migrated to Northern Punjab, hence almost all his poetry is composed in Persian and Urdu. Also, don’t just lump all the second generation Pakistanis in the same category. I am also a second generation Pakistani in the U.S., and I personally know many young people who are religious and some are even more knowledgeable about religion than many Pakistanis from Pakistan (atleast some of whom I have met).

    Also, someone mentioned that Jinnah himself declared Urdu as the official language of then East and West Pakistan. I have read some historical books that suggest that Jinnah was not very fluent in Urdu and almost all his speeches were in English. Jinnah was a Sindhi by place of birth and spoke Kutchi/Gujarati as his mother tongue. The books mentioned that it was in fact Liaquat Ali Khan who pressurized Jinnah to favour Urdu (although Bangla was the most spoken language of combined Pakistan, closely followed by Punjabi, while Sindhi was used in government documents in Sindh during British Raj). It was done subtly to give preference to migrants from UP, Bihar, Delhi, Bhopal, Hyderabad, and other central states to excel in education and occupy all government jobs. I have personally met many Bangladeshis who say how difficult it was for their grandparents to learn Urdu just to compete for a job in those days. Also, how many Pakistanis know that Jinnah was booed off the stage by the Bengali students at the University of Dhaka in 1948, the moment he announced his decision of declaring Urdu as the sole national language.

    It is interesting that the moment someone tries to highlight that Pakistan’s original languages are being neglected, it becomes an ego issue for Urdu speakers who defend it’s superiority with any justification they can find. Well then, we have the right to defend our dear, beloved, sweet mother languages too. Maybe you should appreciate that your fellow Pakistanis from other provinces are respecting a foreign language imposed on them. Have you made an effort to learn their languages? Or are these languages too inferior or low-class for you?Recommend

  • RZ

    @Sindhi_Pakistani:

    Sindhis also weren’t Muslims. So what’s your point?

    Same for the gent from Punjab. Why follow a foreign religion?

    Urdu has a wide history, and the influence it had on even the languages of the region is far greater than this regions languages had on Urdu. At the first glance, your script is Arabic based… ‘Hindis’ did not have scripts of Arabic.

    Who has stopped the native people from speaking their native languages? Go ahead and speak them. You want to promote them, go ahead, promote them too. I love Sindhi culture, it’s great.

    But such nationalistic zeal comes without sense. I studied Sindhi because I matriculated in Karachi. Would I have still studied it had it not been compulsory? Maybe, I could have.

    Do not make language an obstacle towards your reason. You ask for foreign people, talk of foreign things, and are willing to accept English as a language and not a language of one of your owns? How sad…

    And as per notice… most of the Urdu people around here are descendants of Arabs, Turks, Persians, Many Central Asian countries, and even some native communities that have integrated themselves as Urdu speakers. I did not emerge from out of nowhere and started speaking a language… it evolved… it had a history… it had a reason… learn it. Recommend

  • Humza

    @True Karachiwala: You are mistaken if you think that either first generation or 2nd generation Pakistanis are unable to recount the number of rakats offered in salat. Not only is your presumption misinformed but also demeaning. Many 2nd generation Pakistanis, myself included attended week end Islamic schools where we learned about Muslim practices, including recitation of the Holy Quran and Hadith by native Arab speakers. I would venture that my knowledge of Islam and my Arabic pronunciation is superior to that of someone in Karachi by virtue of my teacher being Egyptian. As for brainwashing, I was only expressing the opinion that Pakistanis have been taught to ignore their rich history and native languages by a confused media and a confused sense of what is fashionable. I for one don’t think that speaking Urdu / Hindi is fashionable when the nation’s native languages are so rich and colourful. Heera , you are welcome to ignore my opinions but I am as Pakistani as anyone in Pakistan because I can proudly claim a heritage to the soil of my ancestors. You forget that expatriate Pakistanis are amongst the most patriotic citizens and will always remain to support the country in hard times, such as during the Earthquake of 2005 or the more recent Floods.Recommend

  • http://www,hotmail.com Mohammad A Bajwa

    We should study English as the main language to give us edge over other nations. Urdu and Persian to remain bedded in our history.Regional languages for the beauty of native touch.Recommend

  • Sindh Pakistani

    @True Karachiwala:

    Being a fellow Sindhi does not mean I will OBEY THE COMMAND of Jinnah, Zardari, Qaim Ali Shah etc.Recommend

  • Sindh Pakistani

    @Hassan:

    Does matter if it was part of Bombay Presidency. Sindh was existent unlike Pakistan.

    BTW tribune people cut my comment in half.Recommend

  • heera

    @Humza: Frankly ,I couldn’t ignore you coz you r using Hindi in your comments and also included expatriate Indians while putting your arguments.Care to use Hindi and Urdu separately.Perhaps you have no idea about History of Urdu in the subcontinent.Urdu was the first language of UP and Bihar till early 80.Soon after partition a Maharashtrian Brahman started propagating Hindi in UP and Bihar. In earlier attempt,he failed.Many scholars of Hindi died without getting any recognition.Later he got govt support and in 80s Urdu diminished from the two states.Urdu is language of invaders and we really don’t connect with it.Hindi is very much native to the land..Moreover we Indians don’t glorify foreigners.An expatriate Indian is not considered to represent India on International forum..For an instance a NRI girl cannot represent India on Miss world stage…..So putting expatriate Indian in the comment is quite irrelevant.However they r very much patriotic like you. Having said that everyone is free to preserve their language,Heritage and I have no issue with that.Recommend

  • http://. Abid P. Khan

    @Pakistani:
    Can you kindly provide the outstanding work you mentioned earlier which was produced by Faiz. Who hailed from Sialkot, Northern Panjaab, whose ancestry according to some claims, was of Afghan origin. He has a very good command of Persian too.Recommend

  • stevenson

    @RZ: What do mean “Sindis also were not Muslims” – No one was Muslim until about 1423 years ago, including the Arabs. What is true is that the first Muslims in South Asia were in Sind within 100 years of the appearance of Islam. Islam in South Punjab is 1000 years old too- before other parts of South Asia. That’s why Sind is called Bab Ul Islam or Gateway of Islam for South Asia. If you want to say Sind or Al Sind is an ancient land which is older than Islam, Hinduism or even Judaism, then I agree. Sind is the birthplace of Mohenjendaro which is amongst the world’s oldest civilization. The previous religion and culture of Sind is older than Hinduism by thousands of years. If Pakistan wants to choose a language closer to Islamic roots then it should choose Sindi over Urdu which is like Hindi. If not Pakistan is better off with English.Recommend

  • RZ

    @stevenson:

    Read up Hindi – Urdu controversy. People here are talking as if Pakistan was a built state already and people just walked in from neighboring India to settle in over here. That was not the case. Recommend

  • Saqib Shah

    At least we educated Sindhis haven’t given up our language, as sadly our Punjabi brethren have done. My Punjabi friends think its funny when they hear me speak their beautiful language, even though I speak far better than them.
    Sadly, there is an extremely small number of educated Punjabis who haven’t abandoned their language. It makes me extremely happy when I encounter a Punjabi family (including females of the family, of course) holding on to their lively language.
    Recommend

  • Saqib Shah

    Urdu is a mother-tongue of just 15% of Pakistan’s population….around 85% of Pakistanis are not obligated to learn it. One can only blame the Native Urdu Speakers for not knowing their native-language, NOT the rest of Pakistanis.

    Examples:
    Catalans are not expected to know Spanish
    Quebecois are not required to learn English
    Tamils/Malyalees do not have to study Hindi

    I can go on and on with examples……….Recommend

  • http://. Abid P. Khan

    @Saqib Shah:
    “Urdu…85% of Pakistanis are not obligated to learn it….”

    .
    Very very true. One is not “obligated” even to go to school. This is not an industrialised country.Recommend

  • shuja ul islam

    that shair by Allama Iqbal Sahab…and your love for urdu made MY day…Thank you..!!Recommend

  • AB

    Well… Well…Well… After reading around 40 comments on this Blog from around the world I can assure one thing i.e Hatred for “URDU” is common not only in Pakistan but also in the hearts of ppl u left Pakistan and residing Abroad for good. Nabeel wrote this nice blog and shared his valuable experience and love for this sweat language. He didn’t used any foul language or hatred towards others but somehow the readers came up with their weird comments. Hats off to the sick mentality of people, whether they are in Pak or outside Pak. Anyhow vey nice article Nabeel. Keep it upRecommend

  • RZ

    @stevenson:

    Apparently the ET has certain issues with certain things. I just mentioned the Hindi-Urdu controversy in my last comment, and it did not pass through the moderation.

    I guess now things have changed and the things that initiated what we are do not matter anymore.

    Urdu speaking people are actually the third largest denomination of the whole Indian subcontinent; even more than Punjabi speaking people (this is all the three countries combined). It’s numbers in Pakistan are not actually even 1/5th.

    The difference between Bengali and Urdu arise when although, Bangladesh is also Muslim, Bengali is not solely a Muslim language, while Urdu is the spoken language of only Muslim people, came from Muslims after their arrival, and became the lingua franca of the Muslim State that reigned India for quite some time.Recommend

  • Grace

    @AB: If Nabeel is living in Canada, he has probably learned that no one cares about Urdu anyways- people here think it is the same as Hindi. After all it most of it is the same even though the writing is different. Pakistanis always try to pretend that it is so much like Persian or Arabic or Turkish when the truth is that it only has some foreign words and even Arabs look down on Urdu like its Hindi! The sooner that people abandon Urdu and learn English, the better. He should just learn to speak and use English instead.Recommend

  • Raza Sajjad

    I think everyone in the comments missed the point about the whole blog entry. Everyone this is not a competition of Urdu vs Sindhi or another language that is spoken in Pakistan. It is the story of one person cherishing his roots, especially living abroad when that seems to be difficult. Let him admire the works of previous poets whose magnificent work is still loved today. And let me reiterate the question never was which language is best for poetry or which language is best just cause a person thinks so. This whole purpose of this blog wasn’t to strike that question but people have twisted and interpreted it as an attack on their own identity. Great job Nabeel.Recommend

  • http://lahore K. Salim Jahangir

    My dear Nabeel Jafri, One is not aware of your proficiency in Urdu Language,but,surely your English is too good to encourage you to keep writing. The selection of subjects you venture to write on,of course,remains your sole prerogative.Wishing you good luck,Best regards,K.Salim Jahangir Recommend

  • True Karachiwala

    @Humza:

    I did not make a sweeping generalization, its good that you are attendind to religious education as well, but you and a lot of other Pakistanis there are witness to my statement.
    Evey one is responsible for the protection and promotion of his/her culture and langauge. Please exactly point out who is responsible for brain washing or teaching them to ignore thier culture. i am sure it will be aperson of the same linguistic back ground.

    I started my debate by describing “Urdu” as lingua franca, nothing more nothing less. If you can suggest any other langauge, please do so. Thanks.
    Recommend

  • http://. Abid P. Khan

    @Abid P. Khan:
    @Pakistani:
    Can you kindly provide the outstanding work you mentioned earlier which was produced by Faiz.

    .

    @Pakistani: you made the following statement:
    Are you aware that Faiz has composed some of his best work in Punjabi?
    .
    I have requested you to substantiate this. Missing response from you is due to what?Recommend

  • Nabeel

    So this blog for the love of Urdu has turned out to be the hatred one for Urdu. I can imagine how racist we are as a nation that we can’t eachother on basis of lanugage forget about caste, creed or color. Master any language for the love of language not for your own personal EGORecommend

  • http://. Abid P. Khan

    @Nabeel:
    “….I can imagine how racist we are as a nation that we can’t eachother on basis of lanugage forget about caste, creed or color….”

    .
    Results of the recent elections amply prove that the nation is strictly divided on linguistic (read:racist lines).
    .
    Question is whether can it be hoped that someday the parochial division would vanish. I am not that sanguine about it. Recommend

  • Nabeel

    @Abid P. Khan:
    Keep your hopes high by hoping someday this linguistic division will be vanished but i don’t think it will be the case with Pakistan.Recommend

  • hamza khan

    @Pakistani:

    disagree entirely. urdu is the preferred language of many poets because of its sweetness, which punjabi lacks entirely. sorry. punjabi poetry is nice and our sufi poets certainly wrote their kaafis and poems in punjabi, but urdu is THE national language of pakistan, and thus its promotion is good and well. the option to learn your native tongue should be offered along with it, but the government and all mediums of learning function off of urdu, and that will never change. Recommend

  • Nabeel Jafri

    Thanks for the feedback everyone! :)Recommend

  • Fareha

    Good to see such love for a beautiful language that is so neglected!Recommend

  • World peace

    @stevenson:
    The civilization of Harappa and Mohanjodaro- the civilized dravidian people who lived then have no continuity with the people who occupy the area today….and they certainly didn’t speak Sindhi.

    They were Dravidians…who were eventually pushed towards the peninsula by hordes of invading nomadic,homeless barbarians/Indo Aryans from the west (above Turkey)-these are the present day North Indians.

    And not meaning to be a pot stirrer, but is Sindh really the gateway to Islam in south Asia ? I think not. Arab traders brought Islam with them across the sea to peninsular India…the Malabar coast…(later they also took it to China to Genghis khans grandson’s court)

    Not all the Islam in South Asia has come via Sindh- malabari and Tamil muslims being among the exceptions.

    Nice blog. Interesting to read- both the blog ( and the comments !)Recommend

  • Brahui are Dravidians like the Harappans

    Maybe the residents of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro spoke some earlier version of Brahui which is a Dravidian language.

    The rest got pushed down to South India and Srilanka…apart from Brahui people in Pakistan, the prominent Dravidians in south India are Tulus,Coorgis,Tamils,Andhrites,people of Canara/Mysore,Telugus,Keralans etcRecommend