stories, vikram, vetaal

Wondrous Literary Narratives

Baitaal Pacheesi and Singhasan Batteesi

Literary narratives are known to have a latent relationship between their oral and written forms. Two analogous Indian narratives–Singhasan Batteesi (Thirty-Two Tales of the Throne) and Baitaal Pacheesi (Twenty-five Tales of Baital)–that have passed from the oral to a variety of written forms over a long period of time may be mentioned in this context.

Situated on the eastern bank of river Hooghly, I have had many a name through ages. Some called me Gol Gotha, others named me Kilkila. Some believed I was Kol-ka-hata, others favoured Kalikata. Then came those who concluded I was Khal Kata, but still others chose to call me Kalkata and then Kalikota. Later, I became Calcutta; now I’m Kolkata. I have had many incarnations; each one looking at the other in the spirit of curious camaraderie. What is in a name, or appearance, after all? I’m indeed history; I’m witness. I’m over two millennia old. My tale is long; your time short. In short, I open up to you. You may pass on my tale to others. With many a name, I’ve many a face. I’m a port; I traded in opium. I’m the Nawab of Bengal; I’m the East India Company. I’m the capital of the Raj; a face of the independence movement. I’m Bengal renaissance. I stand partitioned, bombed, starved. I am revolutionary, but stagnated too. I refuse to grow, yet I do. I choke; I breathe; I live on.

Shahr Naamah Banaam Kolkata

Kalkatte ka jo zikr kiya…

I stand partitioned, bombed, starved. I am revolutionary, but stagnated too. I refuse to grow, yet I do. I choke; I breathe; I live on.

Nal_damyanti_rekhta Urdu blog

Qissa-Kahani: Ba-naam “NAL DAMYANTI”

Nal and Damyanti: An imperishable story of love, suffering, union.

Traced back to antiquity, that is even before the Puarnas, this story was narrated for the sake of entertainment during the exile of the Pandavas.

Hum ko junoon kya sikhlatey ho

Hum ko junoon kya sikhlatey ho

Majrooh Sultanpuri: Classicist, Romanticist, Humanist!

Majrooh Sultanpuri was one such poet who drew upon both and blended them together with distinction. He was a classicist in style and a romanticist in disposition. In addition, he was a humanist — a humanist at core.

Ishq-Namah-Kuli-Qutub-Shah_blog

Ishq Naamah: Banaam Quli Qutub Shah

'Suno log meri prem ki kahaani' - Quli Qutub Shah in His Elements

Quli Qutub Shah loved his flora and fauna, his people, and himself; he adored his romantic icons and eulogised them in his poetry.

Shaam Ka Pehla Taara(On cover)+ Title Zehra Nigah: Cheerfully Towards Eighty One (Sub-title) Urdu poetry is often appropriated to eulogize female beauty and grace. This notion about women has been reiterated by ghazal that literally translates to amatory conversation with women. In times when women were not encouraged as poets and were presented only as a subject of poetry, Zehra Nigah distinguished herself both as a poet and a woman and became, in turn, an inspiration for women. apna har andaaz aankhon ko tar-o-taza laga kitne din ke baad mujh ko aa’ina achchha laga jo dil ne kahi lab pe kahan aayi hai dekho ab mehfil-e-yaaraan mein bhi tanhaayi hai dekho koi hangama sar-e-bazm uthaya jaye kuch kiya jaye charaGon ko bujhaya jaye iss ummeed per roz charaG jalate hain aane waale barson baad bhi aate hain Zehra Nigah was a young petite girl when she first started to appear in mushairas. At her maiden mushaira, she shared the stage with many a legend including Jigar Moradabadi. Zehra has herself acknowledged at various occasions that it was Jigar who taught her the etiquettes of a mushaira. She fondly recalls an incident where Jigar had asked her not to bow down too humbly when accepting praise for her poetry, as women are above that: “sar ki KHafeef jumbish se bhi ye farz adaa kiya ja sakta hai.” Hawwa ki kahani Tumhein seb khaaney ki targheeb main ney naheen dee Wo genhoon ka daana meri dastras mein naheen thhaa Meri saanp sey dosti bhi naheen thhee Agar dosti thhee kisi se, wo tum they Agar koyi achchaa lagaa thha, wo tum they Zehra Nigah’s work is exemplary because she has been a voice of resistance against the atrocities of her times. Her hard hitting nazms still echo in our memories. Justifiably enough, they will continue to pass the message to the future generations. She once said in an interview, “A poet can never write poetry if s/he is not affected by his/her surroundings.” Main bach gayi maa Main bach gayi maa Tere kachche khoon ki mehendi Mere por por mein rach gayi maa Main bach gayi maa Gar mere naqsh ubhar aate Wo tab bhi lahu se bhar jaate Mera qad jo thoda sa badhta Mere baap ka qad chhota padta Meri chunni sar se dhalak jaati Mere bhai ki bagDi gir jaati Meri aankhein raushan ho jaati Tezaab ka surma lag jaata Satte watte mein bat jaati har khwab adhoore reh jaate teri lori sunne se pehle khud apni neend mein so gyi maan anjaan nagar se aayi thi anjaan nagar mein kho gyi maa main bach gayi maa Today on May 14, we celebrate the ever-graceful poet Zehra Nigah’s 81st birthday. A woman of substance, courage and resilience, she is an ideal example of how a woman may play different roles all through her life. She once expressed that life gave her the material for poetry in all its variety as a mother, observer, traveler and learner. Video of a London Mushaira https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7t3mm1h3Po Another video for consideration https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSnawcBzwUw

Shaam Ka Pehla Taara

Zehra Nigah: Cheerfully Towards Eighty One

A woman of substance, courage and resilience, she is an ideal example of how a woman may play different roles all through her life. She once expressed that life gave her the material for poetry in all its variety as a mother, observer, traveller and learner.