Punjabi Monthly magazine PANCHAM becomes a Quarterly publication

Quarterly Pancham, Jan-Feb-March 2020
Eds. Faiza Raa’na & Maqsood Saqib

Lahore’s longstanding literary Punjabi magazine, Pancham, makes a smart move to become a quarterly after a prolonged struggle to be a self-reliant monthly publication. This may allow for a larger selection and even richer literary content.

Pancham publishes poetry, fiction, literary criticism and non fiction. Edited and published by renowned authors Faiza Raa’na and Maqsood Saqib, it has been recognized as being the best literary Punjabi magazine in both the East and the West Punjab.

Published in the Shahmukhi script since 1998, Pancham is a continuation of Maan Boli, a magazine that was brought out from Lahore by some of the same team leaders and members that had continued publishing from 1986 to 1997. For more, connect with the Pancham community on Facebook:
Pancham Sulaikh SaNg (Punjabi Literary Group)

Yearly Subscriptions
Pakistan RS1000
India RS1000
International US$20

To subscribe, contact Maqsood Saqib at
+92 306 1679936

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Punjabi monthly magazine Pancham now available online

Update: please view this post for updated information about Pancham:
Punjabi Monthly magazine moves to Quarterly publication

Lahore’s literary Punjabi monthly magazine ‘Pancham’ is now available to read online. Edited by Faiza and Maqsood Saqib, ‘Pancham’ publishes poetry, fiction, literary criticism and non fiction. The publication is a continuation, in spirit, of the fine traditions of monthly ‘Maanboli’.

Led by Maqsood Saqib, the team that produces monthly Pancham and publishes Punjabi books from Suchet Kitab Ghar, has also created two pages on Facebook that are initiating robust discussions on aspects of Punjabi literature.
Pancham Sulaikh SaNg
Fareed Rang

More on Maqsood Saqib

Pancham at Uddari Publishers’ page: https://uddari.wordpress.com/punjabi-authors-publishers/#PANCHAM

Contact Pancham
Street Address
11 Sharaf Mansion, 16 Queens Road
Chauk Ganga Ram
Lahore, Pakistan
(+92) 42 36308265

Novel ‘Skeena’ – Review by Sukhinder

This is a review of Fauzia Rafique’s novel ‘Skeena’. Please click the link below to read it in Gurumukhi Punjabi.
Aurat de tabahi lai zimevar shaktian di nishandahi, ‘Indication of factors contributing to woman’s oppression’.
View it in Word.

Sukhinder is a Toronto-based poet, writer, artist, editor, publisher and cultural activist. He has been publishing monthly SANVAD from Toronto for over twenty years. This review will also be included in his forthcoming book of criticism on Canadian Punjabi Literature, ‘Canadian Punjabi Sahit’ (Samikhia) (Part 3).
Contact Sukhinder
Box 67089, 2300 Yonge St.
Toronto ON M4P 1E0 Canada
Tel. (416) 858-7077
Email: poet_sukhinder@hotmail.com

For more on ‘Skeena’:

To order Skeena in Punjabi, send email to:

Not just ‘like’ – LOVE the Preetlari Trust

Preetlari Trust, the publisher of monthly Preetlari, is catching a second wind via Facebook where Activist Shumita Didi Sandhu, Editor Poonam Singh, Publisher Ratikant Singh and other supporters are coming together to strengthen a lasting literary publishing tradition in the Punjab.

The trust was formed in 1984 in the aftermath of the killing by the militants of the then Editor of Preetlari, Sumeet Singh. Since then, Poonam and Ratikant have been publishing the magazine, and in that, the guiding roles of Sh. P.H. Vaishnav, Dr. Maan Singh Nirankaari, Smt. Mohinder Navtej Singh and Smt. Santosh Balraj Sahni are much appreciated.

With the publishing of Preetlari magazine, Preetlari Trust also organizes literary and social events in Preetnagar, Chandigarh and Delhi. It has presented puppet shows, poster workshops, street plays, dramatised story readings, art workshops, exhibitions, talks and readings; and has hosted artists, writers and cultural activists coming from diverse areas and backgrounds to develop dynamic spaces for discussions and dialogue to take place.

In 2011, the Trust expanded to include community building work for Preetnagar’s children by offering remedial education, nutrition information, computer literacy, and team building. The old community centre, Preet Ghar, has also been re-opened for villagers, visitors, artistes and volunteers.

To sustain its publishing and community building work, Preetlari Trust needs urgent support. Please donate through cheque/cash to:
Saanjhey Ranng Punjab De or ‘SRPD’
Payable at AXIS BANK, G.K.1, New Delhi
Account No: 049010100442916

Details here: Facebook Page
For more information contact Editor Poonam Singh: preetlarhi@yahoo.com

So, don’t just ‘like’ but LOVE the Preetlari Trust, and not only because it has such a beautiful name, ‘lovestring’.

End of an era: Dr. Darshan Gill passes away

Renowned scholar and secular journalist Dr. Darshan Gill passes away

Dr. Darshan Gill, a progressive and secular Punjabi writer who opposed religious fundamentalism in Vancouver lost his battle with cancer and passed away at Surrey Memorial Hospital on June 10, 2011.

Gill was the former editor of Canada Darpan, a Punjabi biweekly that gave a voice to moderates who were condemning extremism within the Sikh community during 1980s.

He founded Canada Darpan on November 1, 1982. This date was deliberately picked as it coincided with the anniversary of the founding of Gadar, a newspaper launched by secular Indian revolutionaries who fought against British imperialism.

He was a native of historical village Dhudike in Punjab. Dhudike was known as a village of Gadarites. Dr. Gill, who came from a progressive background had worked at Nawan Zamana, a leftist newspaper published in Punjab, India, before he immigrated to Canada in 1972.

After his arrival in this country, he was employed at sawmills in the B.C. Interior. He moved to Vancouver in 1982.

His newspaper was critical of Sikh fundamentalism and published articles written by prominent moderates, including Ujjal Dosanjh, who went on to become B.C.’s premier and a Liberal MP. Dosanjh was physically attacked for his liberal views in February 1985. During that era, Gill received threatening calls asking him to stop running Dosanjh’s articles. Undeterred, Gill continued to publish them. He also testified in a trial against suspects in the Dosanjh beating case.

The fundamentalists also tried to dissuade people from reading his newspaper; often copies of Canada Darpan were stolen and destroyed during those days. He narrowly escaped a physical assault when he went to attend a function at a Sikh temple in New Westminster. In 1987, his Surrey home was attacked with a firebomb, but nothing untoward happened to him.

In 1989, he sold Canada Darpan due to financial challenges.

Gill also hosted Sahitnama, a literary program on Radio India every Sunday. He has edited 20 books and translated three books from English into Punjabi. The Punjab government granted Gill a literary award for his contribution to Punjabi literature abroad.

Sixty eight year old Gill lived in Surrey with his wife, Charanjit Kaur and three children.

He was first diagnosed with cancer in 2007. Although his right kidney had been removed, he remained healthy until last summer. But the cancer had since invaded his right lung.

Gill remained in high spirits while struggling with cancer. “I will always be opposed to fundamentalism till the end of my life,” he said in one of his last interviews.

His funeral will be held at Five River Funeral Home, River Road, Delta at 12:30 pm on June 18. Later special prayers will be held at the Ross Street Sikh Temple, Vancouver at 3 pm.

Gurpreet Singh

Brilliante Punjab: Offering to a writer, an editor, and a reader!

This offering of appreciation is made to three individuals who have nurtured Punjabi with creative excellence for many years; and, in different ways, all three have inspired content at Uddari Weblog during its first year.

Likhari Amarjit Chandan
Sodhi Maqsood Saqib
PaRihar Bharat Bhushan

As we all have a bit of a likhari, a sodhi and a paRihar in us, it is height of pleasantness to find individuals who are brilliant in any one area. All three have a luminous aura of work that has enriched Punjabi literature and literary communities in South Asia and Abroad.

Indeed, our writer is also an activist and a photographer; the editor, a publisher and fiction writer; and the reader, a blogger and web publisher.

Amarjit Chandan

Amarjit Chandan may be only one of the eight contributors and authors of Uddari Weblog but his presence is way more than his number share. Here are the top three.

Chandan made this most amazing contribution of over fifty portraits of Punjabi and South Asian writers, artists and poets to Uddari Art: Amarjit Chandan, a photographer’s profile

And, the second, by sending original photos of over a dozen great inspiring women, he hurried the creation of ‘Great women of Punjabi origin‘ in the very first month of Uddari. Photos included activists Gulab Kaur, Kewal Kaur, Tahira Mazhar Ali Khan, Vimla Dang and Sophia Duleep Singh.

Its only befitting than to begin the second year of Uddari with Amarjit Chandan being the first author to be added to Punjabi MaaNboli Writers Page next month. Till then, view:
Chandan’s website
Search results for ‘amarjit chandan’ at Uddari Weblog

Maqsood Saqib

Maqsood Saqib belongs to the breed of editors (and publishers) who will always prioritize quality over for example, a pressing dateline or social and monetary concerns. Though this breed may be rare in Punjabi literary journalism and at that, disappearing fast, Maqsood Saqib continues to gain strength with his ongoing output of high quality Punjabi literature in the form of books and magazines.

Saqib works out of a second floor office on a busy intersection in Lahore. The editing, production, retail and management of both Suchet Kitab Ghar and Monthly Pancham takes place in an equivalent of a two bedroom apartment with no balcony.

In 2007, i had the pleasure one time of entering that office and finding Maqsood Saqib not in his usual chair at the entrance behind a table and four guest chairs, but sitting in a fully furnished bed that had made an unexpected appearance in the middle of the production room.

The area designated here as ‘the middle of the production room’ is a 9’/12′ space erstwhile being used to get to the washroom in the right corner, to the kitchen counter straight ahead, the safe room in the left corner, photocopying and printing machines by the right wall, and the desktop publishing station by the left. Let me not forget however, that this exact area also works as a drawng room for staff and guests.

There, sitting upright in his sick bed with feverish red eyes, our editor/publisher was guiding the production of monthly Pancham from the tent of his comforter.

The second endearing episode relates to the camera ready Shahmukhi copy of my poem ‘Social self de loR’ (Need for a Social Self) that i had been asked to come and proofread for a 2006 issue of Pancham. There were a couple of typos, sure, and i handed it back to him. But… he said, this does not make much sense ‘performer dae leeRiaN andar vekhan vaal da pinda? (‘In the guise of a performer, the body of a spectator’). I said, yes, ‘vekhan vaal’ from Urdu ‘tmaashbeen’; he said, sure but ‘vekhan vaal da pinda?’

It was not until he actually held an imaginary solitary strand of hair above the table in front of me that i saw the mistake. The verse read as ‘viewing the body of a hair’ instead of ‘the body of the spectator’… It was hilarious to me but without affording a smile, he wrote it down: ‘vekhan-vaal’ as one word instead of ‘vekhan vaal’ as two.

I wonder if any other editor of Punjabi literature would have found, and then corrected, this ‘vaal-brobar’ mistake that was big enough to condemn a poem to an unintended hole of hilarity.

Here is some information on Maqsood Saqib’s work:
Another image in Uddari Photo Album

Bharat Bhushan

The first person who bought a book at Punjabi Books turned out to be none other than the Blogger at paash.wordpress.com who is determined to preserve everything written by Paash and about Paash. Bhushan believes that ‘the tragedy of Punjabi literature and culture has been that we have not done enough to preserve our history’.

Residing in UK, Bhushan bought the Shahmukhi edition of collected works of Paash titled ‘Paash, Sari Shairi’, edited by Maqsood Saqib and published by Suchet Kitab Ghar. Bhushan considers himself to be a ‘voracious reader of literature, especially Punjabi poetry’. He is a Paash enthusiast, and shares with us his motivation to collect materials about him:

‘I noticed from so many blogs in Hindi and Punjabi that there are some excerpts from Paash poems, and people are asking for more information about Paash poetry in Punjabi, Hindi, English and other languages, and more about his life and times. So I thought why not collect all of his poetry and other writings, the stories behind his writings, his life and times, his photographs, and academic research on his poetry, all at one place– a sort of reference point whereby it would be easier for others to access all this information. Hence my Paash blog.’
Bharat Bhushan

Brilliante Weblog Award is heartfelt appreciation of this community to Amarjit Chandan, Maqsood Saqib and Bharat Bhushan (i wonder about it too! Bhushan Jee, is this your real name?).

Fauzia Rafique

Contact Uddari

Most viewed Uddari posts 2008-2009

April 2008 – April 2009

In April 2008, Uddari Weblog was viewed over 600 times, by March 2009 the number had risen to 5000 views with the totals reaching 41000

Top Posts

Photo Album: Foto Mandli 2,361 views

Great Women of Punjabi Origin:
Punjab deyaN ManniaN PerwanniaN ZnaniaN

Punjabi Poems: NazmaN 1,758 views

Cultural Events: Rehtal Mehfli Varqa 1,670 views

Punjabi MaNboli Writers: Punjabi MaNboli Likhari 1,444 views

Punjabi MaNboli Publishers: Punjabi Maanboli Chhapay1,202 views

‘Sanjh’ A New Punjabi Literary Magazine 897 views

Slumbering Over Islamic Unity 887 views

All-Time Favorites
April 2008 – April 2009

Autobiography of the Great Dada Amir Haider Khan (1904-1986)

1. Royalty Rights in Punjabi Publishing

2. Royalties for Punjabi Language Authors

Modern Punjabi Literature at UBC: A glass half full!

Amarjit Chandan’s Poem being Carved in Stone in Oxfordshire

3. Author Royalties Down to Definitions in the Punjab

Post Retirement Positions for Musharraf

Bhagat Singh Shaheed Statue

Kishwar Naheed to Ahmad Faraz

‘Identity Card’ by Mahmoud Darwish in Punjabi

Lost and (Not) Found: Teen Idol Afzal Sahir

Kikli 13 July

THE SHOCK OF RECOGNITION: Looking at Hamerquist’s ‘Fascism and Anti-Fascism’ by J. Sakai

Yaar da Ditta Haar by Fauzia Rafiq

‘Porn Creation’ by Fauzia Rafiq

Most popular posts on Uddari pages

Sixty Years of Unflinching Beauty, 1948-2008

Kishwar Naheed: A Great Woman from the Punjab

Sophia Duleep Singh: A Great Punjabi Woman

Recent Raves
‘No Heer please, we’re Sikhs!’

Punjabi MaaNboli and the Punjabis-1

Fauzia Rafique

Contact Uddari

‘Call for Submissions’ Page at Uddari

I am happy to introduce the new ‘Call for Submissions’ page at Uddari for Punjabi MaaNboli writers and publishers, artists and producers, readers and viewers to encourage development and presentation of our creative work/s.

As well, now in 2009, there are enough Punjabi Maanboli magazines, newspapers and literary journals around the world to populate this page. Even in the incomplete but growing List of Punjabi MaaNboli Magazines, we have 15 ongoing publications listed for Canada, India, Pakistan, United States and UK.

We begin with three journals of note, each with its own strengths. Monthly Pancham from Lahore is known to Shahmukhi readers for its literary and editorial excellence, Quarterly Sanjh from Lahore/Ludhiana is unique in publishing the magazine in both Gurumukhi and Shahmukhi, and Monthly Sanvad from Toronto combines Punjabi literature and popular Canadian Punjabi culture in Gurumukhi.

Fauzia Rafique

Contact Uddari

Poet Zahid Laeeq


Zahid Laeeq, an Urdu poet and the Chief Editor/Publisher of Canada based monthly magazine Shahpara, died in Islamabad on 31 October 2008 due to a heart attack.

He was 56 years old, and lived in Port Coquitlam with his family.

Shahpara was Laeeq’s passion that had begun within a year of his arrival in Canada in 2000. He published this magazine in Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi and English for the last eight years where no such literary-cultural magazine existed in BC Lower Mainland.

Surjeet Kalsey, a Punjabi Poet, fiction writer and dramatist who was working with Zahid on Sahapara, says: ‘Zahid Laeeq was basically a fine and sensitive mystic poet of Urdu and won hearts of his audiences by singing in his golden voice. His poetry, mostly gazals, sound romantic but they are dedicated to a higher spirit. He himself was a carefree, kind and mystic ‘darwesh’ who touched the hearts of many wherever he went and wherever he read his poetry. On his untimely demise, most people who are familiar with his poetry and his mysticism are shedding tears over this sudden separation.’

Zahid Laeeq’s Urdu poetry is published in three books – ‘Ziaey Hira’ and ‘Akas-e-Barmala’ in Shahmukhi, and ‘Aaks-e-Barmala’ in Gurmukhi.

The transliteration from Shahmukhi to Gurmukhi is done by Surjeet Kalsey and Daljeet Kalyanpuri. The book in Gurmukhi was published in Pakistan, and was released last year in Surrey in ‘Jashney Zahid’ where MLA Dave Hayer presented Zahid Laeeq, Surjeet Kalsey and Daljeet Kalyanpuri certificates of congratulation on behalf of the Provincial Government for their contributions to Urdu and Punjabi literature in Canada.

Representatives of International Multilingual Shahpara Publications, Kendri Punjabi Lekhak Sabha (North America), Indo-Canadian Seniors Centre Society, and Canadian Punjabi Cultural Association BC gathered together in Surrey to pay homage to Zahid Laeeq, and decided to dedicate to him the following:
A Special Issue on Zahid Laeeq
Shahpara International Magazine will publish the next issue (Nov-Dec 2008) as Special Zahid Laeeq issue. Zahid’s friends, readers and associate are invited to provide materials, photos and memories for it by November 15th.
Kendri Punjabi Lekhak Sabha (North America) Meeting
The Kendri writers meeting on 8 November 2008 will be dedicated to the memory of Zahid Laeeq.
Indo-Canadian Seniors Centre Society (Surrey) Mushaira
The monthly ‘Mushaira’ Poetry Fest on 30 November 2008, will be dedicated to the memory of Zahid Laeeq.

For more information and for contributing to these events please contact:
Surjeet Kalsey
Editor Multilingual Shahpara International
Mohan Gill
Vice-President Kendri Punjabi Lekhak Sabha (North America)
Nirmal Singh Nannar
General Secretary
Indo-Canadian Seniors Society Surrey
Daljeet Kalyanpuri
President Canadian Punjabi Cultural Association, BC

Fauzia Rafique

Contact Uddari

Pakistani Canadian Poet/Publisher Zahid Laeeq Moves on

Zahid Laeeq, a Surrey poet and publisher has passed on while visiting Pakistan.

Zahid was the publisher and the chief editor of multilingual monthly ‘Shahpara’, a publication that he initiated in 2003.

Contact Uddari

SANVAD, Toronto: Call for Submissions

Canadian Punjabi Journal SANVAD Toronto seeks submissions for its October Diwali Issue.

Send poems, short fiction, articles and reviews by October 24, 2008 to:
Sukhinder, Editor SANVAD at: poet_sukhinder@hotmail.com

For more information view:
SANVAD Diwali Issue Information poster in PDF

Postal address: SANVAD
Box 67089, 2300 Yonge Street
Toronto ON M4P 1E0 Canada
Tel. (416) 858-7077

Contact Uddari

Inside Uddari: Punjabi Publishers, Magazines and Artists

View and contribute to a growing list of Punjabi language publishers at Punjabi Authors and Publishers page with entries from India, Pakistan, Canada and US. As well, a list of Punjabi magazines is in the making at the same page.
List of Punjabi Language Publishers
List of Punjabi Magazines
The Cultural Events Page has information on a yearly multilingual poetry meet called Kavi-Durbar happening in Milpitas CA on July 27 at 2pm; and, about a workshop on Classical Music of South Asia in New Delhi August 22 and 23.
Read Ajmer Rode’s poem Kalli on Punjabi poems page.
Uddari Art Exhibition displays the works of two Punjabi women artists with diverse themes and styles, Ayesha Farooq from UK, and Navpreet Kaur from India.

‘Sanjh’ A New Punjabi Literary Magazine

Quarterly Temahi Sanjh is a one-year new magazine on Punjabi literary scene that simultaneously publishes in Gurumukhi and Shahmukhi from Indian and Pakistani Punjab. In doing so, Sanjh attempts to fill two of the steepest gaps in Punjabi culture; the gap of division, and that of diversity.

In the past few decades, on both sides of India Pakistan border, Punjabis have experienced with pain the consequences of physical divisions created by foreign and local political interests. This has prompted many of us to increase our efforts to communicate with each other as people. For years, human rights and cultural activists in Pakistan and India have worked together to form a consensus on this issue whereby both governments are lobbied, for example, in favor of less restrictive borders. From West Punjab, Fakhr Zaman, Karamat Ali, Mohammad Tahseen, Imtiaz Alam and Ahmad Salim are among the many people who have worked hard on the ground to bring about discussions and joint actions among Punjabis.

We have not had that same clarity when dealing with the gaps created by our diversity; foremost among them, the usage of two different scripts. In this case, instead of yielding the ‘bad guys’ such as the local governments in case of divisive borders, the discussion on the diversity of Punjabi language scripts leads to a level of confusion where intellectuals and cultural activists shirk back before a consensus can be formed in our literary and cultural communities.

The issue of two scripts raises many questions pertaining to our history as Punjabis, and the fact that the Arabo-Persian script was instituted by Muslim invaders replacing the indigenous script does not endear it to many Punjabis. Also, the ambivalence created by this situation manifests itself in larger communities where the two major respective religions of Punjabis, Sikhism and Islam, begin to take ownership of the language turning the scripts into scriptures. In this equation, each religious stream develops their ‘own’ script overlooking the other. A glaring example of it is found in the ‘Sikh Chairs’ in the institutions of learning around the world that blatantly exclude the Shahmukhi script and with it the literature of 60% of Punjabis by patronizing Punjabi language courses pertaining to Gurumukhi alone. Likewise, in West Punjab, authors recognized by authorities are the ones writing in Shahmukhi.

Being a ‘Shahmukhi Punjabi’, if i can say so for now, i feel a terrible squeeze. First, there is not a possibility that getting a few ‘Muslim chairs’ will work to develop my mother tongue because the ‘Muslim’ identity in Pakistan is attached to Urdu not Punjabi; Second, the ambivalence of Punjabi opinion leaders on this issue is perpetuating a situation where Shahmukhi Punjabi faces gross neglect in most language development efforts.

‘Sanjh’ is not the first to acknowledges this issue. Magazines such as ‘MaaNboli’, ‘Pancham’ and others have shown a commitment to publish writers from both East and West Punjab, and have printed the writings of many Gurumukhi writers in Shahmukhi. Academy of the Punjab in North America (APNA), the Publisher of Temahi ‘Sanjh’, publishes Shahmukhi and Gurumukhi writings as well as the conversions. However, Sanjh is the first Punjabi magazine to affirm both the scripts by publishing the magazine in both.

Another valuable aspect of ‘Sanjh’ is that it brings the ownership of both the scripts where it belongs, to cultural and literary activists. In that, it finds common ground where Punjabi is being eroded by Urdu/Persian and Hindi/Sanskrit vocabulary in Pakistani and Indian Punjab.

Another interesting aspect of Sanjh is that it publishes from East and West Punjab while its editorial resides in Washington DC. Related humorous comments aside, this fact allows the publication to transcend some of the limitations faced by cultural organizations working in the Punjab, and enables it to reach out to both cultural communities while affirming the presence of the third.

View the Fourth issue of quarterly ‘Sanjh’ here: http://www.apnaorg.com/sanjh-4/

For more information, contact Safir Rammah, the Editor of Sanjh and Coordinator of APNA, at:rammah@apnaorg.com

APNA Website: www.apnaorg.com