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Gulshan-e-Ishq

Finding love--at last--in the garden of love.

It is almost impossible to say for sure when the story of prince Manohar and princess Madhumalti was told first and by whom. It may be safe to surmise that it is essentially a travelling tale that reached different people through folklorists. Supposedly, Sheikh Manjhan was the first to write this story in Hindi under the title of Madhumalti sometime in the mid-sixteenth century. During different periods of history, this story was written and re-written at least nine times in Persian and thirteen times in Urdu with different titles. The one written by Mohammad Nusrat Nusrati in 1657 is a memorable literary memento from the garden of love, so appropriately titled as Gulshan-e-Ishq.

Maha Laqa Chanda Poetess

When there was no woman poet in Urdu, there was Mah Laqa

The Importance of Being Mah Laqa Chanda

At the threshold of the nineteenth century, the Urdu language saw the emergence of the first woman poet with a complete divan to her credit.

Firaq Gorakhpuri

Shab-e-furqat bahut ghabraa rahaa hoon

Aane waali naslein tum per fakhr karengi ham asro
Jab un ko ye dhyaan aaiga tum ne Firaq ko dekha tha

Holi ki shaam hi to sehar hai Basant ki

Holi’s dusk is the dawn of Spring

Colours! Dance!! Music!!! Festivity!!!
All these sum up Holi in our popular imagination.
But Holi is more—much more—than fun and frolic, fete and fiesta.

Ghalib: More Than a Poet

Ghalib is a poet par excellence.

He remains unparalleled for his intellectual curiosity, as also for his wit and humour. We bring you some lateefas (jokes) that will bring a smile to your lips. But they will also make you sad.

Saqi and Alvi

We lived together till death did us apart

Two major voices of modern Urdu poetry would never be heard again.