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Saturday, 29 March 2014

Hindustani Awaaz event: Why the Buddha Speaks to me THrough Ghalib, 31 March, The Attic

Friends, I take great pleasure in inviting you to our monthly series of talks entitled 'Why It Speaks to Me'. Held in collaboration with the Attic, this monthly series features an eclectic range of speakers. This month we have Ashok Lal telling us why the Buddha speaks to him through Ghalib.


'Monthly Monologue: Why it Speaks to Me?'
Hindustani Awaaz, in collaboration with The Attic, presents a monthly series of monologues: poetry, literature, short stories, plays, essays, nazms, ghazals. On the last Thursday of each month, a series of eclectic speakers present/sing/recite their favourite Urdu text and explain why the text ‘speaks’ to them the way it does. They share their passion for a poet, a text, even a fragment and tell us why, from all they have read, those particular set of words speak to them with a familiarity that is at once unique and insistent.
monday 31st march
6.30 pm 'Why Buddha Speaks to Me Through Ghalib' by Prof. Ashok Lal
Born in a family of Urdu poets and literateurs (English, Urdu/Hindi) and civil servants, Ashok Lal learnt ‘aadaab’ (appreciation) of ‘Urdu shairee’ (poetry) from childhood, thanks to the frequent exposure to ‘nashists’ (Soiree) and ‘mushairas’ (social gatherings to read Urdu poetry). He started writing poetry, mainly Mazaahiya Kalaam while still a teenager. He pursued his academic studies in Science and Management and later a successful career in international business management for over two decades. After retiring from management he took up writing and teaching. He was Professor of Communication and Strategic Management at leading B-schools
Ashok’s creative urges also found expression in scripting, directing, acting, and voicing over- for stage, cinema, electronic and print media. He has also written some significant plays ‘Ek Mamuli Admi’ ‘Nahar Singh’, Classical Chinese plays- Cheeni Chashni, which have been performed at prestigious platforms nationally and internationally.
His books include publications for Rural, Urban and Continuing Education programmes; translations of Ikeda’s ‘The World is Yours to Change’ and Makiguchi’s ‘Education for Creative Life’
His active interest in poetry endured with a limited audience consisting of his elder brothers (Subodh ‘Saqi’ and Pramod ‘Yakta’), father, Vinod ‘Talib’ and Kaifi Azmi. With their guidance, Ashok had matured into a serious poet. He has written nazms, ghazals and geets for festive occasions like Holi and Mehndi, besides lyrics for his plays, Tazmeens and, lately, Dohas.
In the nineties. Ashok took to Buddhism and his poetry also took a new turn. He found that a Buddhist precept would lead to a couplet by Ghalib and vice-versa. The fascinating and intense connection between the sage and the poet found expression in his tazmeens of a few of Ghalib’s couplets. This led to an essay/book on the subject,- ‘Buddha Ghalib’ and a play ‘The Enemy Within’, based on the Buddhist legend of India’s ancient King, Ajatshatru.
Ashok lives in New Delhi with his wife, Kumkum, a known exponent of Odissi dance.

Friday, 7 March 2014

My book on the Progressive Writers' Movement in Urdu, pub by OUP

Photo: Here's the cover of Liking Progress, Loving Change, OUP, pp 576, Rs 1495
Delighted to announce that my ph d on the progressive writers' movement in Urdu has been published by the Oxford University Press. Here's a first look at the cover; some advance copies are available at the Book Fair and at Amazon:

My book on Dr Rashid Jahan

Photo: Friends, I am delighted to announce my latest book, a literary biography of Dr Rashid Jahan, being published by Women Unlimited in association with IGNCA.

Friends, I am delighted to announce my latest book, a literary biography of Dr Rashid Jahan, being published by Women Unlimited in association with IGNCA.

Despite a brief and slender literary career, Rashid Jahan blazed like a meteor in the progressive firmament of pre-and post-Independence India. Doctor, writer, political activist, crusading member of the Communist Party of India, Rashid Jahan was radical in a way that defied all expectations -- from her social class, her comrades, her peers and colleagues.
In a remarkably perceptive, richly detailed account of this pioneering woman, Rakhshanda Jalil offers readers an unusual document: a warm and informed biography -- based on archival material, extensive interviews and critical commentaries -- together with fine translations of Rashid Jahan's best known stories and plays.
Through a subtle counterpointing of Rashid Jahan's political purpose with her literary and professional skills and sensibility, Jalil paints an arresting portrait of a woman deeply and passionately engaged with the great debates of her time: fascism, imperialism, nationalism, socialism and feminism.  This intense engagement is reflected in every facet of her life and literature, as they unfold here in vivid and compelling prose.
Rakhshanda Jalil is a writer, critic and literary historian. Her published work comprises edited anthologies, among them a selection of Pakistani women writers entitled, Neither Night Nor Day; and a collection of esssays on Delhi, Invisible City: she is co-author of Partners in Freedom: Jamia Millia Islamia and Journey to a Holy Land: A Pilgrim’s Diary. She is also a well-known translator, with eight published translations of Premchand, Asghar Wajahat, Saadat Hasan Manto, Shahryar, Intezar Hussain and Phanishwarnath Renu.
Demy 8vo                                ISBN: 978-81-88965-86-1                                           Rs.  395                                               Pp 246+xx                  

Published in association with
the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts
C.V Mess, Janpath, New Delhi- 110001

Saturday, 18 January 2014

A curtain-raiser for my new book on Dr Rashid Jahan

The Caravan has published this article by Aamer Hussein about my new book on Dr Rashid Jahan. Called A Rebel and Her Cause: The Life and Work of Dr Rashid Jahan, it has been published by Women Unlimited and is expected out by mid-February...

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Jashn-e-Urdu, Patna, 4-5 Jan 2014

Dear Friends and Well-wishers of Urdu,

  I take great pleasure in informing you that the Govt of Bihar is organising an Urdu Literary Festival, called Jashn-e-Urdu, on 4-5 January 2014
in Patna. I have conceptualised and coordinated the festival on behalf of Hindustani Awaaz, a small organisation that I have been running since 2002 to position and promote Hindustani zubaan and tehzeeb. Please join us in Patna as we ring in the new year with this Jashn-e-Urdu.

The venue is Premchand Rangshala; the events include panel discussions, film screenings, book mela, ghazal gayaki by Radhika Chopra and a play by Tom Alter. All are welcome. The festivities begin on 4th Jan from 11.00 am onwards. The details are as follows:


Organised by the Govt. of Bihar, 4-5 January 2014, Patna

4 January 2014, Saturday

Session I: Inaugural Session (11.30 am-12.30 pm)

·         Welcome Address
·         Introductory Remarks
·         Chief Minister’s Address
·         Vote of Thanks
Inauguration of Kitab Mela by the Chief Minister Mr Nitish Kumar

Lunch (1.00-2.00 pm)

Session II: Shabab se Inquilab Tak: Urdu Shayri ke Badalte Andaaz (2.00-3.30 pm)

            Moderator: Anwar Pasha
·         Kaleem Ajis
·         Razi Ahmad
·         Alimullah Hali
·         Aslam Azad

Tea (3.30-4.00 pm)

Session III: Bihar Mein Afsane ki Rivayat: Fasane se Afsane Tak ka  Safar (4.00-5.00 pm)

Moderator: Khurshid Akram
·         Shafi Javed
·         Shamoil Ahmad
·         Abdus Samad
·         Zakiya Mashhadi

Cultural programme: Sham-e-Ghazal by Dr Radhika Chopra, at Premchand Rangshala, Rajendra Nagar, Patna
5 January 2014, Sunday
Session IV: Mussarrat Se Baseerat Tak (9.30 -11.00 am)

Moderator: Mosharraf Alam Zauqui
·         Fakhruddin Arfi
·         Ashraf  Fareed
·         Khursheed Akbar

·         Moshtaque A Noorie

Tea: 11.00-11.30
Session V: Sheri Nashist
(Names not in order of sequence) KaleemAjiz, Noman Shauque, Alam Khurshid, Khalid Ebadi, Khursheed Talab, Rashid Taraz, Razi Ahmad Tanha, Jowsar Ayagh, Ain Tabish, Shamim Quasmi, Tariq Mateen, Jamal Owaisi, KehkashanTabassum , Quasim Khursheed, Abhay Kumar Bebak, Sultan Akhtar

Lunch: 1.00-2.00 pm
Session VI: Hindi-Urdu-Hindustani: Zubaan ke Buniyadi Masail (2.00-3.30 pm)

Moderator: Khurshid Akram

·         Hussainul Haq
·         Alok Dhanwa
·         Shafi Mashhadi
·         Razi Ahmad Tanha

Cultural Programme: Maulana Azad: A play by Tom Alter, produced and directed by M Sayeed Alam