Call For Submissions: Dhahan International Punjabi Literature Prize – March 15/14

For months, i have watched with apprehension and excitement the development of Dhahan International Punjabi Literature Prize, and now after its launch(es) i am happy to report that it is indeed a giant(!) leap(!) forward for Punjabi literature. Not just because the prize money is substantial at $25,000 (all scripts, and with two runner-ups of $5,000, one each for Gurumukhi and Shahmukhi), but also because it is one of the few initiatives that recognizes Punjabi in it’s totality and so claims the history and development of its literature across scripts, national/ethnic boundaries, and religious divides.

Submission Guidelines
Date January 15 – March 1 (online), with hard-copies due by March 15.
Format PDF version and a Printed Copy
Genre Fiction – novels, novellas, short story collections
Edition Original first editions only. Reprints or translations are not eligible.
Publishing Date During 2013
Books Published by ‘recognized’ and ‘independent’ publishers only. No self-published books.

Download Call for Submissions
English
Gurumukhi
Shahmukhi
(Note revised date: Jan 15 – March 1 (online), with hard-copies due by March 15)

Uddari fully supports this wonderful initiative as it is one of the fruits of our labour. Dhahan Prize is so valuable because it recognizes:
. Punjabi writers anywhere in the World. In South Asia and outside.
. Punjabi literature in both its major scripts, Gurumukhi and Shahmukhi.
. Importance of fiction, long and short, in the development of a literature.
. Rights of Punjabi writers by offering them the first yearly living wage.

The Prize will for sure get some serious attention from Punjabi writers around the world where only a few can or have depended on their creative writing for a living. I am talking about those stubborn people who insisted on writing in Punjabi when their world was pushing it aside and saying that there’s no future in writing in Punjabi; the people who were told by non-royalties-paying Punjabi publishers that their work is not good enough for money; and, that not many wanted to read them anyway.

Dhahan Prize will create a surge in the readership of Punjabi books because writers are the very first readers of books.

At Uddari Weblog, we are in a celebratory mode because Dhahan Prize strengthens many of our goals and objectives.

Fauzia Rafique
gandholi.wordpress.com
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Related posts on Uddari
Dhahan International Punjabi Literature Prize – Launch Vancouver Oct 8/13
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A Short History of Punjabi Literature

Punjabi literature refers to literary works written in the Punjabi language particularly by peoples from the historical Punjab region of India and Pakistan including the Punjabi diaspora. The language is written in several different scripts, of which the Shahmukhi, the Gurmukhī scripts are the most commonly used.

Early Punjabi Literature (11-15th centuries)

Although the earliest Punjabi literature is found in the fragments of writings of the eleventh century yogis Gorakshanath and Charpatnah, the Punjabi literary tradition is popularly seen to commence with Fariduddin Ganjshakar (1173–1266) whose Sufi poetry was compiled after his death in the Adi Granth.

The Janamsakhis, stories on the life and legend of Guru Nanak (1469-1539), are early examples of Punjabi prose literature. Nanak’s own poetry was fused Punjabi, Khari Boli and Braj Bhasha, with vocabulary from Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian as was much of the literature of the later Sikh Gurus.

Mughal and Sikh Periods (16th century to 1857)

Punjabi poetry developed through Shah Hussain (1538–1599) and the Sufi tradition of Sultan Bahu (1628–1691), Shah Sharaf (1640–1724), Ali Haider (1690–1785), and Bulleh Shah (1680–1757). In contrast to Persian poets, who had preferred the ghazal for poetic expression, Punjabi Sufi poets tended to compose in the Kafi.

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Punjabi Sufi poetry also influenced the Punjabi Qissa, a genre of romantic tragedy which also derived inspiration from Indic, Persian and Quranic sources. The Qissa of Heer Ranjha by Waris Shah (1706–1798) is among the most popular of Punjabi qisse. Other popular stories include Sohni Mahiwal by Fazal Shah, Mirza Sahiba by Hafiz Barkhudar (1658–1707), Sassi Punnun by Hashim Shah (1735?–1843?), and Qissa Puran Bhagat by Qadaryar (1802–1892).

Heroic ballads known as Vaar enjoy a old oral tradition in Punjabi. Prominent examples of heroic or epic poetry include Guru Gobind Singh‘s in Chandi di Var (1666–1708). The semi-historical Nadir Shah Di Vaar by Najabat describes the invasion of India by Nadir Shah in 1739. The Jangnama, or ‘War Chronicle,’ was introduced into Punjabi literature during the Mughal period; the Punjabi Jangnama of Shah Mohammad (1780–1862) recounts the First Anglo-Sikh War of 1845–46.

 The Colonial Period (1858-1947)

The Victorian novel, Elizabethan drama, free verse and Modernism entered Punjabi literature through the introduction of British education during the Raj. The first Punjabi printing press (using Gurmukhi) was established through a Christian mission at Ludhiana in 1835, and the first Punjabi dictionary was published by Reverend J. Newton in 1854.

The Punjabi novel developed through Nanak Singh (1897–1971) and Vir Singh. Starting off as a pamphleteer and as part of the Singh Sabha Movement, Vir Singh wrote historical romance through such novels as Sundari, Satwant Kaur and Baba Naudh Singh, whereas Nanak Singh helped link the novel to the story telling traditions of Qissa and oral tradition as well as to questions of social reform.

The novels, short stories and poetry of Amrita Pritam (1919–2005) highlighted, among other themes, the experience of women, and the Partition of India. Punjabi poetry during the British Raj moreover began to explore more the experiences of the common man and the poor through the work of Puran Singh (1881–1931). Other poets such as Dhani Ram Chatrik (1876–1957), Diwan Singh (1897–1944) and Ustad Daman (1911–1984), explored and expressed nationalism in their poetry during India’s freedom movement.

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Modernism was also introduced into Punjabi poetry by Prof. Mohan Singh (1905–78) and Shareef Kunjahi. The Punjabi diaspora also began to emerge during the Raj and also produced poetry whose theme was revolt against British rule in Ghadar di Gunj (Echoes of Mutiny).

Post-Independence literature (1947- )

West Punjab (Pakistan)

Najm Hossein Syed, Fakhar Zaman and Afzal Ahsan Randhawa are some of the more prominent names in West Punjabi literature produced in Pakistan since 1947. Literary criticism in Punjabi has also emerged through the efforts of West Punjabi scholars and poets, Shafqat Tanvir Mirza (b. 1932), Ahmad Salim, and Najm Hosain Syed (b. 1936). The work of Zaman and Randhawa often treats the rediscovery of Punjabi identity and language in Pakistan since 1947.

Urdu poets of the Punjab have also written Punjabi poetry including Munir Niazi (1928–2006).

East Punjab (India)

Amrita Pritam (1919–2005), Shiv Kumar Batalvi (1936–1973), Surjit Paatar (1944–) and Pash (1950–1988) are some of the more prominent poets and writers of East Punjab (India). Pritam’s Sunehe (Messages) received the Sahitya Akademi in 1982. In it, Pritam explores the impact of social morality on women. Kumar’s epic Luna (a dramatic retelling of the legend of Puran Bhagat) won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1965.

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Socialist themes of revolution meanwhile influenced writers like Pash whose work demonstrates the influence of Pablo Neruda and Octavio Paz. Meanwhile, modern drama developed through Ishwar Nanda’s Ibsen-influenced Suhag in 1913, Gursharan Singh who helped popularize the genre through live theatre in Punjabi villages and Kartar Singh Duggal, and Balwant Gargi.

Diaspora Punjabi literature

Punjabi diaspora literature has developed through writers in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and the United States, as well as writers in Africa such as Ajaib Kamal, born in 1932 in Kenya. Themes explored by diaspora writers include the cross-cultural experience of Punjabi migrants, racial discrimination, exclusion, and assimilation, the experience of women in the diaspora, and spirituality in the modern world. Second generation writers of Punjabi ancestry such as Rupinderpal Singh Dhillon (Roop Dhillon) have explored the relationship between British Punjabis and their immigrant parents as well as experiment with surrealism, science-fiction and crime-fiction.

* First published by me in Wikipedia under “Punjabi literature”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punjabi_literature

Poet Romantic Revolutionary – Faiz Ahmed Faiz – Bradford July 16/11

Tribute to Legend in Bradford
Poet, Romantic, Revolutionary – Faiz Ahmed Faiz

We cordially invite you to attend a centenary event to pay tribute to one of the greatest international poets of the twentieth century, even in death, Faiz’s extraordinary ability to bring together nations, often entangled in bitter disagreements, persists. His continuing importance, to the 21st century, as a major literary voice whose words continue to have the power to move peoples’ hearts and minds the world over cannot be overstated.

7.00 p.m.
Saturday, 16 July 2011
Kala Sangam
St. Peters Squire, 1 Forster Square, Bradford BD1 4TY

Program
Introduction: Laiqa Shiekh & Dr. Geetha Upadhyaya (7/8 minutes)
Message from Councillor: (5 minutes)
Talk on Faiz ahmed Faiz: Helen Goodway (15 minutes)
Poem of Faiz: Mehmooda Hadi (5 minutes)
Song: Dr. Ashfaq Ahmad Khan(5 minutes)
Talk on Faiz: Professor Nazir Tabbasum (7/8 minutes)
Poem for Faiz: Tasneem Hassan (5 minutes)
Recitation of Faiz by other participants: (10 minutes)
Song: Dr. Ashfaq Ahmad Khan (5 minutes)
Discussion and Contribution from the floor and Questions and Answers (20 minutes)
Thanks: Lala Younis, Bradford Faiz National Centenary Organising Committee
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

RSVP
Co-ordinators:
Mohsin Zulifqar, 07540 829564
Prof Nazir Tabassum, 07828 174854
Lala M. Younas, 07878 996658
Ajit Singh, 07720 400242
Cllr Mohammad Shafiq, 07904120986
Pervez Fateh, 07958 541672
Sarwan Singh, 07989 062965
Khalid Saeed Qureshi, 07869433475
Dr Geetha Upadhyaya, 01274 303340
Cllr Mohammad Shafiq, 07904120986

Jointly organised by Faiz Centenary National Organising Committee and Kala Sangam Bradford.
http://uk.faizcentenary.org
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‘Skeena: a Woman Beyond Borders سکینہ: سرحداں توں پار دی عورت’ Review by Surjeet Kalsey

Presented by Surjeet Kalsey at the launch of novel ‘Skeena’ by Fauzia Rafique (Libros Libertad, 2011) in Surrey on April 9, 2011

سکینہ: سرحداں توں پار دی عورت
(فوزیہ رفیق دا ناول “سکینہ”)
ریویو: سرجیت کلسی

فوزیہ رفیق دے ناول “سکینہ” نال میرا رشتہ بہت پرانا ہے کوئی ویہہ پنجھی سال پہلاں جدوں میں فوزیہ نوں اک کانفرنس تے ٹورانٹو ملی سکینہ ناول اودوں دا ہی لکھیا جا رہیا سی۔ اس دے کانڈ ہولی ہولی وگست ہوندے گئے تے ہن آخری روپ وچ ساڈے ہتھاں وچ پہنچیا ہے۔ ناول دی شروعات مادھو لال حسین دی اس کافی نال بہت ہی خوبصورت ڈھنگ نال ہوندی ہے اتے کافی دی ہر سطر ناول دا اک کانڈ ہو نبڑدی ہے:

جھمے جھم کھیڈ لے منجھ ویہڑے، جپدیاں نوں ہر نیڑے
ویہڑے دے وچ ندیاں وگن، بیڑے لکھ ہزار
کیتی اس وچ ڈبدی ویکھی، کیتی لنگھی پار
اس ویہڑے دے نو دروازے، دسویں قلف چڑھائی
تس دروازے دے محرم ناہی، جت شوہ آوے جائی
ویہڑے دے وچ آلا سوہے، آلے دے وچ تاکی
تاکی دے وچ سیج وچھاواں، آپنے پیا سنگ راتی
اس ویہڑے وچ مکنا ہاتھی، سنگل نال کھہیڑے
کہے حسین فقیر سائیں دا، جاگدیاں کوں چھیڑے
(مادھو لال حسین لاہور، ١٥٣٩-١٥٩٩)

بھاگ (١) منجھ ویہڑے (پنڈ ١٩٧١)، سماں “لوڈھے ویلے”،” نماشیں” تے اگلا پاٹھ “رات” ہے۔
بھاگ (٢) مکنا ہاتھی (لاہور ١٩٨١)، جس وچ “میلہ” تے میلے وچ محبوب نوں ملن دا تصور –
رات ویلے محبوب نوں ملن جاندیاں ہولی ہولی تر کدھرے تیری پازیب دی آواز توں لوکاں نوں خبر نہ ہو جائے؛ “اگلے دیہاڑے” دیکھی جائے گی کیہ ہوندا اے تاں جاں فیر “کنڈھے رہی کھلو” ١٩٨٢ دا واقعہ ہے۔

بھاگ (٣) سنگل نال کھہیڑے (ٹورانٹو ١٩٩١) دی “سویر”؛ ٹورانٹو دی “رات” تے ٹورانٹو دے ہی “سرگی ویلے” ساریاں گھٹناواں دا پسار پیکا گھر پاکستان، تے سوہرا گھر ٹورانٹو دا بہت نیڑے دا آلا دوالا ہے جس نال سکینہ دا کوئی واسطہ نہیں پیا ہووے۔ ملک بدلن نال اوہ سماج اوہ دھارناواں اوہ وطیرے تاں نہیں نہ بدلدے، جویں دے تویں ہی رہندے ہین، تے عورت دا درجہ وی اوہی رہندا اے جو گھردیاں نے دتا ہوندا ہے؛ سماج تاں پچھوں آؤندا ہے۔

بھاگ (٤) جاگدیاں کوں چھیڑے (سرے ٢٠٠١) جس وچ “ناں” وچ کیہ پیا اے، ناں تاں کوئی وی ہو سکدا ہے پر ناواں دے بھلیکھے کئی وار زندگی دے اینے وڈے بھلیکھے ہو نبڑدے ہین کہ جیہناں چوں نکلنا مشکل ہو جاندا ہے تے کجھ اس طرحاں دیاں گھٹناواں واپردیاں ہین “اگ”، “رولا”، تے “میری کوئی تواریخ نہیں”۔

سکینہ دا پسار دو ملکاں پاکستان تے کینیڈا وچ وچردا وگسدا تیہہ سالاں دا برتانت حاضر ہے۔ اک بالڑی دیاں معصوم اکھاں آس پاس جو دیکھدیاں ہین تے اوس دے کن جو وڈیاں نوں کہندیاں سندے نے تے فیر اوس دی آپنی نرچھوہ پاردرشی سوچ اوہناں گلاں تے گھٹناواں نوں جس طرحاں گرہن کردی ہے اوس دا ویروے سہت بیان دلچسپ ہے۔ سکینہ روشن دماغ تے سوخم دل والی کڑی دی حیاتی دا روچک تے بے باک ورنن ہے۔ گھٹنا-در-گھٹنا چھوٹیاں وڈیاں گھٹناواں اک دوجی دا ہتھ پھڑی لڑی ہار تردیاں ہین جویں اک سین بعد دوجا سین آ جاندا ہے تے فلم اگے ودھدی جاندی ہے۔ ناول دی ایہہ ودھاء جتھے جیون-برتانت ہون دا بھلیکھا پاؤندی ہے اوتھے اک پاتر-پردھان ناول والے سارے گن سمائی بیٹھی ہے۔ جگیاسا پاٹھک نوں نال لے کے چلدی ہے، اگے کیہ ہووےگا دی چیٹک لاؤندی ہے، پاٹھک نوں انگلی لا کے سکینہ دوڑی جاندی ہے۔

سکینہ دی بولی دی روانگی تے پچھمی پنجاب دی گھیو-گھنی پنجابی پڑھ کے اک وکھری قسم دا احساس ہوندا ہے جس وچ موہ، جھڑک، اپدیش تے صلاح دا احساس ہندا ہے محاورہ شدھ پنجابی تے شبد-چون ڈاڈھی ڈھکویں تے کھچ پاؤ۔ بھا دا رعب داب لہجہ، اماں دا گھر دے ہور جیاں تے دبدبے والا، موہ والا تے سلاہیا لہجہ بولی توں ہی انوبھو ہوندا ہے۔

سکینہ دا وشا-وستو: عورت۔ عورت دا پیکے گھر وچ، عورت دا سوہرے گھر وچ تے سماج وچ درجہ/رتبہٰ سبھیاچارک تے روائتی پچھوکڑ وچ سکینہ عورت دا اک بمب بن ابھردی ہے؛ جس بارے پیکیاں دے سوہریاں دے، تے سماج دے (ہینکڑ جاں اونر والے)، وچار جاں وچاردھارا تے دھارنواں دا کچا-چٹھا پیش کردی ہے۔ اوس دی بولنی، کہنی، رہنی، کرنی تے انسکھاوے ورتاریاں تے کنتو کرن دی سمرتھا نوں جو کھنڈھا کرکے رکھدے ہین کیونکہ اوہ اک عورت ہے جس دا رول حداں وچ رہنا ہے، ایتھوں تک کہ دند کڈھ کے ہسن دی وی مناہی ہے۔ ناول وچوں اگے دو بند پیش کردی ہاں ایہہ دو سین ہین جو پیکیاں دے پیار دیاں موہ دیاں ریشمی تنتاں وچ نوڑی سکینہ وڈی ہوندی ہے

١٩٨٢ وچ جدوں “کئی سیاسی پارٹیاں دے لیڈراں نوں گھر-بندی دا پتہ ہونا اے۔ سرکار کسے نوں اوہدے گھر وچ قید کردی اے، اخباراں وچ خبراں لگدیاں نیں، لوکی لیڈر نوں آزاد کراؤن لئی سرکار تے زور پاندے نیں۔ اوس لیڈر تے اوس پارٹی دا مل ودھ جاندا اے۔

“پر میں، آودے بھا تے ماں جی دی گھر-بندی وچ بس اک اینجہی زنانی آں جیہنوں آودے آپ نوں درست کرن دی لوڑ اے۔نہ اخبار وچ خبر آئی اے، نہ کسے نے میری آزادی لئی کسے نوں کجھ آکھیا اے، تے نہ میرا مل ودھیا اے۔

“ایہہ قیدن سوہنا پاؤندی، چنگا کھاندی تے سانبھ کے رکھی جاندی اے۔ اک گھر دی اتلی منزل تے اک بیڈ تے باتھ اے، کمرہ شاہی قلعے دیاں کئی کوٹھڑیاں توں وڈا ہونا اے۔ روز سویرے ساڈھے چھ وجے چاندی دی ٹرے وچ ناشتہ آ جاندا اے۔ قیدن ست وجے توڑی آودے چار سادی کاٹن دے سوٹاں وچوں اک پا کے تیار ہندی اے۔ نماز پڑھ، قرآن شریف دے تیہاں پاریاں وچوں اک پڑھنا شروع کردی اے۔ اوہ پارہ دس یاراں وجے توں پہلوں ختم ہو جاندا اے، کیدن اوہنوں ولاء پڑھدی اے، اس واری اردو وچ۔”

پیکیاں دے گھر وچ سانبھ سانبھ کے رکھی جاندی چیز وانگ عورت جد اچانک بیگانے گھر تور دتی جاندی ہے پتی دے گھر اودوں نو-ویاہی اتے اوتھوں دے نیم لاگو کر دتے جاندے ہن؛ سکینہ دی شادی کینیڈا دے اک رجے پجے گھر دے آدمی نال کر دتی جاندی ہے تے سکینہ ہن آپنا ملک چھڈ بیگانے ملک تے بیگانے گھر وچ نواز کردی ہے اجے اوس نوں اوتھوں دے ماحول وچ انکولن وی نہیں ہون دتا جاندا کہ میہنے طعنے تے کھروا ورتاؤ پہلاں ہی شروع ہو جاندا ہے۔ نویں ووہٹی دا چاء کدھرے اڈ پڈ جاندا ہے صرف اینا ہی واسطہ رکھیا جاندا ہے کہ گھر وچ اک عورت لیاندی گئی ہے جس دا فرض بندا ہے کہ اوہ باقی دے سارے جیاں دی خدمت کرے، جے کوتاہی کردی ہے تاں اوس نال جو سلوک کیتا جاندا ہے اوس دا دل-ونوا بیان ہے ٹورانٹو دا پتی دا گھر:

“لوکاں شور پایا ہویا اے، کوئی مینوں کھچ کے کھلاردیاں کہندا اے “گیٹ اپ سلٹ، اٹھ کنجری”!  کھلوندیاں ڈھڈ وچ پیڑ دا گھسن وجدا اے، آندراں پنجر نوں وجدیاں نیں، میں کبی ہو جانی آں۔ کوئی وال دھرو کے سدھیاں کردا اے، متھا کسے موڈھے دے ہڈھ وچ وجدا اے؛ گمڑ دیاں وسمدیاں چنگاں مچ پیندیاں نیں۔

“احتشام مینوں قالین تے چھکدا کچن دے فرش تے لیا سٹدا اے۔ ٹائیلاں ابھر کے میرے منہ تے وجدیاں نیں’ ممی جی نے ایہہ کیویں سوچیا کہ برینڈا ایہناں نوں ادھو-ادھ کر لگی اے؟ ٹائیلاں دور جان لگ پئیاں نیں، کوئی مینوں کھلاردا پیا اے۔

“وھاٹ دا فک از دس؟ اوہ میرا سر مائیکروویو وچ تن دیندا اے۔ ناساں  کچے چکن دیاں بوٹیاں وچ کھبھ کے پھیپھڑیاں نوں سڑے لہو دی ہواڑ نال بھر دیندیاں نیں۔

“تے ایہہ؟” اوہ مینوں گھسیٹ کے چلھے کول لے جاندا اے، دیگڑی دا ڈھکن چا، دھون تے ہتھ رکھ، میرا منہ وچ واڑ دیندا اے۔ گچی پیڑ دا شکنجہ، سر کھوہی دا ڈول، دماغ وچ سڑے لہو دی بوٰ ۔

“تیری ایہہ جرأت؟ توں میری ماں نوں بھکھیاں ماریں؟” کوئی مینوں ٹائیلاں تے پٹکاندا اے، وکھیاں فرش تے وجدیاں نیں، “کسے دی ماں تے نہیں مر گئی اے؟”

توں (عورت، اک بیوی) آپنے آپ نوں سمجھدی کیہ ایں؟ جویں سکینہ صرف اک نوکرانی ہووے تے صرف ممی جی دی تیمارداری تے سیوا لئی لیاندی گئی ہووے جویں اوس دا آپنے پتی احتشام نال کوئی دور دا وی واسطہ نہ ہووے اوہ صرف آپنی ممی جی دا تابعدار پتر ہووے تے ماں لئی نوکرانی توں کم کرواؤنا اوس دا دھرمی فرض ہووے؛ پرمپراوادی پتر دا فرض۔

خیر کہانی اگلے پڑ ول جاندی ہے۔ اینی کٹ مار کھا کے سکینہ جدوں رڑھدی کھڑدی گھروں نکل جاندی ہے تے اڈا دتا جاندا ہے کہ اوہ آپنے بوائے-فرینڈ نال بھج گئی اے آپنی عزت تے آنر بچاؤن لئی عورت دی عزت تے آنر نوں مٹی وچ ملا دتا جاندا ہے جویں اوس دی نہ کوئی عزت ہے نہ کوئی آنر۔ تے عام جنتا نوں کیہ؟ اوہناں دی سوچ پرم پراں دے سنگلاں وچ جکڑی سوچ اس توں اگے جا ہی نہیں سکدی تے اوہ سچ من کے عورت نوں بھنڈن لگ پیندے ہین۔ عورت اتے ہوندے تشدد دا مدعا سماج وچ بدل دا غبار بن کے رہ جاندا ہے؛ پیڑت دی حالت دھندلی کر دتی جاندی ہے تے تصویر کجھ اس طرحاں پینٹ کیتی جاندی ہے کہ لگے عورت قصوروار ہے۔ایہی کارن ہے کہ اجے وی آپنے پنجابی/بھارتی بھائی چارے وچ عورتاں/ماواں/دھیاں دے قتل پتیاں/باپاں ولوں کیتے جان دیاں خبراں آئے دن سنن نوں ملدیاں ہین۔ جدوں دوشی چارج کیتے جاندے ہین کیس کورٹاں وچ جاندے ہین تاں بچاء پکھ وچ قتل کیتیاں عورتاں اتے بدکاری دے دوش لا کے اوہناں دے قتل جسٹی فائی کیتے جاندے ہین۔گھناؤنے جرم کرن توں بعد وی دوشی آپنے ورتارے دی ذمہ واری عورت دے سر ہی مڑھ دیندے ہین۔

برینڈا دی مدد نال تے اک پنجابن بلوندر نال ہوئی جان پچھان صدقہ سکینہ ٹورانٹو توں بی سی صوبے دے شہر سرے آ جاندی ہے۔ جتھے اوہ ذکر کردی ہے کہ پچھلے دساں سالاں وچ پہلی وار اوس نوں آزاد آسمان تھلے ساہ لین دا احساس ہوندا ہے تے کینیڈا وچ آؤن دے دس سال بعد پہلی نوکری فارم ورکر دے طور تے ملن دا خوشی بھریا احساس اوس نوں باوری بنا دیندا ہے حالانکہ اوس نوں پتہ ہے کہ اوس دے بھا تے ماں جی نوں ایہہ کم پسند نہیں ہونا۔ ایتھے ہی فارم تے اوس دی ملاقات فارم دے مالک اقبال نال ہوندی ہے۔آس دی اک نویں کرن جاگدی ہے۔

سکینہ نوں لگدا ہے کہ اقبال اک بہت ہی سمجھدار تے ودھیا انسان ہے اتے اس اک خاص پاردرشی درشٹی ہے جس وچ ایہہ سبھ کجھ سنچت ہے:درد نوں سمجھن دا احساس تے شدت نال پیار کرن، کسے دا دکھ سن سکن تے ہر کسے پرتی ستکار ہے۔شبداں دی روح (ارتھاں) نوں سمجھن دی یوگتا ہے، بھاوکتا ہے جو بے شک عورت ہون دا گن ہے (جو کسے کسے وچ ہی ہوندی ہے)، حق انصاف دی سنجیدگی، نیتکتا دے اصولاں دی سوجھی ہے، صبر، سنتوکھ، سہنشیلتا۔ پیارے دے ہلار نے اوس دے سارے سوخم بھاو جگا دتے ہین تے اوس نوں اقبال وچ اوہ سارے گن دکھائی دے رہے ہن- کوملتا، ویدنا، سمندروں ڈونگھا ویدنا بھریا دل ہے تے جو پیار دے قابل (سچجا) ہے جو اوس دی زندگی دی ہاری ہوئی بازی مڑ توں جتا سکن دی شکتی رکھدا ہے۔ سکینہ نوں اقبال دا ملنا کجھ اس طرحاں دی مڑ-سرجیتی دا احساس دے دیندا ہے؛ اوس نوں چڑھدی جوانی دا پیار “اچا متھا” چیتے آ جاندا ہے۔ بے شک آپا نچھاور کرن والی عورت اک وار آپنا سبھ کجھ دل و دماغ، موہ پیار تے ضمیر دی سچمتا نال ارپن کر دیندی ہے بھانویں اوہ چھن-بھنگری ہو جاوے اس دا غم نہیں کردی۔

سکینہ دا پاتر آس پاس دی سوجھی تے آپنے عملاں دا آلے دوآلے تے پیندے اثر توں واقف تے چیتن شخصیت ہے -آلے دوآلے دا خیال رکھن دی سوجھی دانی سبھاء (ماں جی وانگراں)، بولن والے شبداں دا احساس ہے، دوسرے دے بولے شبداں دا صحیح ہنگارا بن جان دی سمرتھا ہے۔عورت اجیہی زندگی دی کامنا کردی ہے فیر اوس دی کامنا اوس نوں سماج دی دلدل وچوں کڈھن توں اسمرتھ کیوں رہندی ہے۔اوس دے پیار نوں پاپ تے اوس دی شخصیت نوں بھنڈیا جاندا ہے سکینہ لئی اقبال اوہ ربی روپ بن کے آیا جس نے اوس دے زخماں تے مرہم دا کم کیتا پر آس پاس وچردے فارماں وچ کم کرن والے ورکر جدوں سکینہ تے آوازے کسدے تاں “سلٹ” کہندے اوس دا جرم صرف ایہہ سی کہ اوس نے اقبال نوں جی-جانو پیار کر لیا سی۔

سماں بدلدا رہندا ہے ملک بدل جاندے ہین پر روڑیھوادی وچاردھارا تے جس طرحاں دا ورتاؤ عورت نال ہوندا ہے، جاں کیتا جاندا ہے اس وچ تبدیلی آؤندی نظر نہیں آؤندی۔ عورت دی ہونی نہیں بدلدی۔ ہاں، اوس در-وہاری ماحول نوں چھڈ کے کتے ہور چلے جانا، سرکھیا گھر وچ پناہ لے کے کینیڈا ورگے ملک وچ پراپت سہولتاں تے سپورٹ ورکراں دی مدد نال آپنی زندگی نوں مڑ کے جیون دا یتن کرن دا سنیہا ابھر کے ساہمنے آؤندا ہے، ایہی سنیہا پچھلے سال چھپے ناول “بلیک اینڈ بلو ساری” وچ وی ملدا ہے۔ عورت دی آپنی وتھیا نوں لوکاں ساہمنے پیش کرنا تے در-ووہاری موہل وچ دکھ-درد دا جیون کٹ رہیاں عورتاں لئی بھرپور تے شکتی شالی سنیہا ہے، مثال ہے جے میں دلدل چوں ابھر سکدی ہاں تے تسیں وی ابھر سکدیاں ہو ہمت کرو، پہلا قدم چک لوو، دہلیز توں پیر باہر پا کے تاں دیکھو، دنیا بدل جائے گی۔کیہ سچ مچ دنیا بدل جاوے گی؟ بہت شکتی شالی سنیہا ہے۔پر عورت نوں چوکھٹ چھڈن سار ہی جو مل تارنا پیندا ہے اوہ سکینہ دے آخری چیپٹر “میری کوئی تواریخ نہیں” وچ سپشٹ ہو جاندا ہے عورت دل و دماغ تے ذہنی طور تے ٹٹ جاندی ہے۔

“کول آودا اج وی اے تے لنگھیا کل وی۔ دوواں وچ ماں جی، بھا تے منحوس جینو ویہنی آں۔اوہ مینوں آودے دند نہیں وکھاندے۔ اوہناں دے دند ہیگے نے؟ میں کول ہو کے ویہنی آں۔ ماں جی نماز پڑھدے پئے نے؛ بھا حقہ پیندا پیا اے، تے جینو آودا منہ پیلی چنی وچ ولیٹی پئی اے۔ کئیاں دے مکھ چیتے نہیں آندے۔ ہالی توڑی میں اقبال تے گامو دا فرق نہیں پچھانیا۔”

ناول دے اخیر تے جو گھٹناواں واپردیاں ہین اقبال دا قتل تے پتہ لگنا کہ اقبال تاں اوس دے بچپن ویلے دا اوہی گامو ہے جو آپنی عورت نوں مار کے فرار ہو گیا سی؛ تے نال ہی سکینا دا اتوادیاں نال سنبندھ ہون دے شک دے گھیرے وچ آ جانا تے پولیس دا پہرہ ایہہ سبھ کجھ سوچ کے سکینہ نوں اک وار آپنا مانسک توازن گواچ گیا لگدا ہے جدوں سکینہ آپنے آپ نوں کہندی اے -“میری کوئی تواریخ نہیں، میری کوئی کہانی نہیں، میرا کوئی ناں نہیں” میں آودے آپ نوں چیتے کرانی آں۔

جدوں میں سکینہ دا سارا کھرڑا اس دی شاہ مکھی توں گورمکھی وچ اتارے توں بعد سکرپٹ دے پروف پڑھن لئی کر رہی ساں اس دا اک اک ورقہ اک اک سطر میں پڑھدی جا رہی ساں تے سکینہ اک سرحداں توں پار دی عورت ہو میرے ساہمنے اجاگر ہو رہی سی۔ سکینہ نہ پاکستان دی اے، نہ بھارت دی نہ انگلینڈ دی نہ کینیڈا دی سکینہ ہر اوس عورت دی دیہہ من تے ذہن تے ہنڈھائی حیاتی دا سجیو بمب ہے، ہر اوس عورت دی کہانی ہے جو پرم پرا دیاں سنگلاں وچ جکڑی پیدا ہوندی ہے تے جکڑی ہی دنیا نوں چھڈ کے جان توں پہلاں آپنے آپے دی غلام ستھتی تے کنتو کرن دی جرأت کردی ہے، بندھن مکت جیونا چاہوندی ہے تے اک آزاد سوے-مان والے ویکتی دی ماند ہی دنیا توں جانا چاہوندی ہے۔سکینہ کسے طریقے بچ جاندی ہے۔ تے جو عورتاں بچ جاندیاں ہین اوہ سماج دیاں ساریاں عورتاں نوں آپنی مثال دے کے دسنا چاہوندیاں نیں کہ جے تسیں بچ سکدیاں ہو تاں بچ جاؤ بھاویں گھر ہی کیوں نہ چھڈنا پوے، تے سکینہ اک مثال ہے۔پر ہزاراں سکینہ گھراں دے تشدد دی بلی چڑھ گئیاں نیں تے بلی دے رہیاں نیں تے بچ نہیں سکدیاں، اوس پرم پراوادی ماحول توں نکل نہیں سکدیاں، دنیا دا ڈر، رشتے داراں دا ڈر، کیہ کرن گیاں کتھے سر لکاؤن گیاں؟

قانون بدل گئے، عورتاں نے چلن بدل لئے، سہائتا مہیا ہو گئی، پر نہ پرم پرا دیاں لیہاں بھریاں نہ روڑیھوادی سوچ، نہ عورت پرتی دھارناواں ہی بدلیاں۔ سماجک سوچ تے ورتارا بدلن دی پکی نشانی ایہہ ہووے گی جس دن عورت نوں اک انسان سمجھ کے اوس نوں برابر دی عزت تے ستکار دتا جائےگا، اوس نوں گھٹیا درجے دی جاں نوکرانی دے طور تے نہ ورتیا جائےگا تے کسے عورت نوں مجبور ہو کے بدسلوکی دا ماحول چھڈن لئی ننگے-پیریں، سیت ادھی راتیں، نکے نکے بالاں نال آپنی چوکھٹ نہ چھڈنی پئے گی۔کسے باپ نوں آپنی کنجک دھی صرف آنر لئی بلی نہیں چڑھاؤنی پئے گی نہ ہی کسے پتی نوں اپنے بے لگام کرودھ دا شکار آپنی پتنی نوں بناؤنا پوے گا اوس دن ایہہ سماج رہن یوگ ہووےگا۔

سکینہ دی آمد کینیڈا دے پنجابی ساہت وچ نگھر وادھا ہے فوزیہ رفیق دی دلوں دھنوادی ہاں تے مبارک باد دیندی ہاں کہ سکینہ نے سماج نوں اک وار فیر جھنجوڑ کے جگاؤن دا جتن کیتا ہے۔

First published in Gurumukhi by Indo Canadian Times from Surrey BC in May 2011

View a partial presentation of this review by Surjeet Kalsey on YouTube

 Introduction to Surjeet Kalsey

Visit Surjeet’s blog

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Poet in the City: Faiz Ahmed Faiz – 17th Jan, London UK

An event celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, one of the most prominent poets of the Indian sub-continent, who wrote in both Urdu and Punjabi, and whose humane work was filled with love, dignity and resistance to injustice.

This spectacular event will feature:
Javed Majeed, distinguished professor of postcolonial studies at Queen Mary, University of London, and an expert on Urdu poetry, who will provide a biographical introduction and will speak about Faiz’s great contributions to poetry and to world culture.
Poems by Faiz will be read in the original language and in translation:
In Urdu: Senior journalist, Saqlain Imam who now works for the BBC’s Urdu World Service in London
In English: Actress and playwright Sudha Bhuchar, Artistic Director at Tamasha Theatre company
In Punjabi: Renowned Punjabi poet and translator, Amarjit Chandan whose latest book is ‘Sonata for Four Hands’.

Musical settings of Faiz poems will be performed by Swati Natekar, a renowned vocalist from a hereditary musical family in Mumbai, accompanied by distinguished tabla player Hanif Khan.

From 6.30pm on Monday 17 January 2011
Hall One at Kings Place
90 York Way, London N1 9AG

How to buy tickets
Booking now open online, by phone or in person from the Kings Place box office:
Tickets cost £9.50 if booked online via www.kingsplace.co.uk
Otherwise tickets cost £11.50.
Box Office 020 7520 1490

For enquiries relating to your booking please contact tickets@kingsplace.co.uk.
To check ticket availability please use the online booking service.
For general enquiries or comments, please use our online feedback form or email info@kingsplace.co.uk

This event is presented by Poet in the City in partnership with the friends of Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Faiz by Sadeqain

Faiz, Ghalib and Iqbal by MF Husain

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‘Revealing the Invisible Heritage of Panjab’, Panjab Digital Library

Appeal for Support

‘What if you could give a book to the entire world? Well, now you can when you Adopt a Book for digitization through the Panjab Digital Library. Your simple, generous gift comes with the promise that a piece of history will be globally available forever.

About Panjab Digital Library (PDL)
‘We continue to preserve Panjab’s heritage for future generations. Today you can view one million pages free at www.PanjabDigitalLibrary.org. To date, PDL has digitally preserved more than five million pages of manuscripts, books, newspapers, magazines and photographs.

‘But we can’t keep it up without you, our supporters around the world. Will you join with others today who are dedicated to preserving the stories and truths of Panjab? Individual donations in support of our work is the best way to help in protecting the data for perpetuity.

‘You can also support PDL’s work through a direct donation to the organization. You will be amazed at how far even a few dollars today could go toward ensuring the strength of PDL’s work in 2011!

‘Your one US dollar ($1) helps us locate, digitize, publish online and preserve 4 pages

Archives Digitized
Kurukshetra University
Panjab Languages Department
Government Museum Chandigarh
Shiromani Gurduara Parbandhak Committee
Delhi Sikh Gurduara Management Committee

Let us preserve what remains

‘Panjab Digital Library was recognized as the “Best E-Content in Culture & Heritage”
of South Asia – 2010

‘All donations are tax-deductible in the US and Canada where Sikh Research Institute is accepting them on behalf of PDL.’

Panjab Digital Library
#867, Sector 64, SAS Nagar
Panjab – 160065
info@panjabdigilib.org
South Asia: +91-981-411-3047
North America: +1-210-704-7096
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‘Pride of Performance’ for Ahmad Salim


Ahmad Salim, London 2009
Photo by Amarjit Chandan

After 36 years of research, writing and advocacy, Ahmad Salim gets the Pride of Performance, a lifetime achievement award offered by the Government of Pakistan. The announcement came earlier this week as a part of this year’s Independence Day celebrations.

Here is a poet, author, teacher, translator, researcher, editor and activist, who has a formidable record of authoring 150 publications. Among them, about 40 books compiled and edited by him, explore Punjabi and Urdu literature; history of Punjab, Sindh and Pakistan; freedom struggles such as the Khilafat Movement; and, the status of minority communities in Pakistan.

His works of original writings include:
– 25 books of Punjabi literary works of poetry, fiction, criticism and travelogues
– 20 books of non-fiction in Urdu, English and Punjabi
– 20 researched works on the minorities in Pakistan

At this time, he is working on 15 book projects.

In the previous years, Ahmad Salim won the following awards:
– Punjabi Adabi Sangat Award (UK) on best Punjabi contribution, 2000
– Guru Ram Singh Azadi Award (UK), 1999
– Masood Khaddarposh Award on best Punjabi prose work, 1996
– Masood Khaddarposh Award on 3rd best Punjabi prose work, 1996
– Best script for television documentary (Cholistan), 1978
– Writer’s Guild Award on best translation from Sindhi to Punjabi, 1977
– Best poem on Poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz, 1966

He has taught Pakistani languages at Shah Hussain College in Lahore and Sindh University in Jamshoro, is an avid translator, has served as the Director of Urdu Publications for Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), and, has been associated with South Asian Research and Resource Centre (SARRC).

Born January 26, 1945 in village Miana Gondal in district Mandi Bahauddin in the Punjab, Ahmad Salim grew up to be a strong political voice in Pakistan.

In the past three decades, not only that Ahmad Salim has produced 150 books but his work has emanated from his strong commitment to human rights where he was among the very first people who fought for the language rights of the people of Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and the NWFP. He was among a handful of people in West Pakistan who took a clear stand in support of Bengali freedom movement in the early 70’s. He has been tireless in his work to strengthen inter-community/inter-faith relations in Pakistan, to develop and maintain lines of communication between Indian and Pakistani Punjabis, and to investigate Pakistan’s curricula and text books with a view to eradicate religious and political bias.

Ahmad Salim’s contribution to Punjabi literature, development of literary criticism, research into history, and his ongoing attempts to bring communities together has created a body of work so substantial that the Pride of Performance seems slight in comparison.

More information
The Subtle Subversion: The state of curricula and text books in Pakistan
Qabar JinhaN de Jeevay
Punjabi writer receives Presidential Award
Ahmad Salim: Wikipedia

Fauzia Rafique
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frafique@gmail.com

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‘All is near to those meditating’ by Madhulal Hussain

A Kafi Poem by
Shah Madhulal Hussain
Lahore 1539 – 1599

Kafi Poem 131
Swaying in ecstasy play on in the inner yard, all is near to those meditating
Rivers flow in this yard, thousands of millions of boats
Some are seen drowning, others have reached the shore
This yard has nine doors, the tenth is locked shut
No one needs to know, from where my lover comes and goes
This yard has a pretty curve, a hollow in the curve
I spread my bed in the hollow to love my lover at night!
A wild elephant in this yard, is struggling with the chain
Says Hussain the Beggar of His Beloved, (the elephant) is teasing the awake

Translated by Fauzia Rafique for her novel Skeena(Sanjh Publications, Lahore 2007. Libros Libertad & Uddari Books, Surrey 2011)

Kafi 131
Jhume jhum khaid lai munjh vehRay, japdeyaN nooN hur naiRay
Vehray de vich nadiyaN vagan, baiRay lakh hazar
kaiti iss vich Dubdi vekhi, kaiti langhi paar
iss vehRay de nauN darvazay, dusswaiN qulf chuRhai
tiss darvazay de mehram nahiN, jit shauh aaway jai
vehRay de vich aala soohay, aalay de vich taaqi
taaqi de vich sej vichaawaN, apnay pia sung raati
iss vehRay vich makna haathi, sangal naal khahaiRay
kahe Hussain Faqir SaeeN da, jagdeyaN kooN chehRay
(Punjabi poem in Roman)

Now published in

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Holier Than Life
Fauzia’s Web Page
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@RafiqueFauzia
Update: June 2013
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Two New Blogs on Punjabi Art and Culture

I am happy to introduce you to two new blogs that are set to contribute a lot of materials on Punjabi culture and art.

Poet/Playwright Surjeet Kalsey’s blog at http://surjeetkalsey.wordpress.com offers comprehensive information on her literary work accomplished in the last two-three decades. She is the author of over 17 titles in English and Punjabi including collections of poetry, short fiction, literary criticism, anthologies and translations. View Publications page.

Surjeet’s stage plays have been performed as well as published in book form. The blog also provides information about her book launches, awards and distinctions. The Photo pages have images of literary circles, stage plays, Family and Friends.

The second blog is of Actor Darshan Mann who has worked in most stage plays performed in Punjabi theatre in British Columbia since the Seventies. Her blog provides detailed information on her acting roles and her bio. Her portfolio carries shots from different stage plays and slide show of selected photos.

Darshan’s blog is located at http://darshanmann.wordpress.com/, and offers enchanting photos in Albums under the headings of Stage Plays, B&W Portraits, and Social and Cultural.

Darshan Mann has performed in BC, Ontario and Alberta.

Through the creative work done by Darshan Mann and Surjeet Kalsey, we can begin to collect the history of Punjabi theatre and literature in British Columbia and in Canada.

Looking at the two blogs, it is apparent that both Darshan and Surjeet have created substantial bodies of original and creative work in literature and performing arts as their contributions to Punjabi communities of Vancouver Lower Mainland. And, i am proud to say that both are my dear friends.

Please welcome Kalsey and Mann in the blogging community of WordPress and the World.
Poet/Playwright Surjeet Kalsy
Actor Darshan Mann

Blogs designed by Uddari Web.

Fauzia Rafique
gandholi.wordpress.com
frafique@gmail.com

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Santokh Singh Dhir 1920–2010

By Amarjit Chandan

Santokh Singh Dhir, who has died aged 90, was a major Punjabi writer and one of our last links with the second generation of grandees.

Dhir was born to a Sikh father and a Hindu mother. His life was a hard struggle raising a large family. He started to work as a tailor, but soon left tailoring to work as a journalist for Preet Lari ਪ੍ਰੀਤ ਲੜੀ, a progressive Punjabi monthly and the daily Nawan Zamana ਨਵਾਂ ਜ਼ਮਾਨਾ of the Punjab communist party. But journalism again was a temporary stitch; he became a full-time writer and survived on writing alone for the greater part of his life. From Bhasha Vibhag Punjab to Sahitya Akademy Delhi name any Punjabi literary award Dhir and had it. He was a member of the (East) Punjab communist party’s state council.

Known for his eccentricities he survived in his later life on state grants and friends’ generosity. Punjabi University, Guru Nanak Dev University and Punjabi Sahit Sabha Delhi had awarded him life fellowships.

Dhir once had to go to Dr. Jaswant Singh Neki for psychological treatment. Both were poets and close friends but were diametrically opposed in their political views. While Dhir was a die-hard communist, Neki was and is a metaphysical poet and a staunch anti-communist. Dhir wrote a poem titled Ikk Beemār A Patient [to his Doctor]. It goes like this: Doctor, have you got answers to the worldly aspects of human existence? Do you know that an unending wrestling match is going on between Mr Yes and Mr No. The poet however did not tell the doctor who wins ultimately and who the referee was.

Punjabis are insensitive to mental health issues and for that matter Dhir was ridiculed and joked about in Punjabi literary circles. The raised finger of his right hand always trying to make a point became his trade mark. Despite his limited means he was always immaculately dressed and put surma kohl in his eyes. Gargi titled his book of literary sketches as Surmey vāli Akkh after Dhir before he made phone calls to Amrita Pritam, that is, on whom he had a brief crush.

Dhir’s short stories Koi Ik Sawār ਕੋਈ ਇਕ ਸਵਾਰ, Sānjhi Kandh ਸਾਂਝੀ ਕੰਧ, Savér Hoņ Tak ਸਵੇਰ ਹੋਣ ਤਕ, Măngo ਮੰਗੋ are his masterpieces and world classics. Baru the hero of Koi Ik Sawār inspired me to write a poem on him and Dhir. The story’s three English translations exist done by Khushwant Singh, Amrik Singh and Balwant Gargi. A TV film was made on it but Dhir did not like the film. His short autobiographical novel Yādgār ਯਾਦਗਾਰ (1979) on the theme of platonic love is written ‘with light with utmost restraint’ as Harbhajan Singh the poet put it. Touched by it I wrote an essay on his classic poem Nikki saleti saRhak da tota ਨਿੱਕੀ ਸਲੇਟੀ ਸੜਕ ਦਾ ਟੋਟਾ which was linked with the novel. Dhir later included it as a prologue in its third edition.

His early collections of poems Guddiyān Pottelai ਗੁੱਡੀਆਂ ਪਟੋਲੇ (1944), Pauhfutala ਪਹੁਫੁਟਾਲਾ (1948), Dharti Mangdee MeehiN Ve ਧਰਤੀ ਮੰਗਦੀ ਮੀਂਹ ਵੇ (1952), Pat Jhharhey Puran*ey ਪੱਤ ਝੜੇ ਪੁਰਾਣੇ (1955) and Birharhey ਬਿਰਹੜੇ (1960) and his short fiction collections Chhittiān de ChhaweiN ਛਿੱਟਿਆਂ ਦੀ ਛਾਵੇਂ (1950), Savér Hoņ Tak ਸਵੇਰ ਹੋਣ ਤਕ (1955) and SāNjhi KaNdh ਸਾਂਝੀ ਕੰਧ (1958) are full of verve. It is a treat to read his early work written in musical Puādhi Punjabi dialect and in the diction close to folklore.

After Dhir reached middle age, he lost the verve in his writing. The style turned dry, bland and somewhat loud. His close friends Balwant Gargi and Gurcharan Rampuri concurred with me.

Unlike his contemporary Punjabi Marxist writers, he wrote about sex without any inhibition. But later revised one of his novels Sharabi ਸ਼ਰਾਬੀ (1963) expunging sexually explicit parts in its second edition renamed Do Phul ਦੋ ਫੁੱਲ. This kind of self-censorship is unprecedented.

A few months ago Dhir asked me to preface his last collection of poems Kodhrey dee Roti da Mahān Geet ਕੋਧਰੇ ਦੀ ਰੋਟੀ ਦਾ ਮਹਾਨ ਗੀਤ. I felt honoured. But none of the poems touched me and I politely declined his invitation.

I felt sad when I last met him in the end of last December at his Mohali home. He was lying low. I tried to cheer him up telling jokes but he did not respond.

His four daughters and a son survive him. His family has given his body to the Post Graduate Medical Institute (PGI) Chandigarh for scientific research. This gesture was most probably made according to his will but I find it a bit sentimental. There is no dearth of unidentified bodies in Indian medical institutions. Dhir deserved a dignified funeral befitting his stature.

Santokh Singh Dhir, Punjabi writer born Bassi Pathana District Patiala December 2, 1920, died Chandigarh February 8, 2010

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Parveen Malik: Punjabi MaaNboli Writer

Parveen Malik is a writer of fiction, teleplays and radio programs; a known literary personality on radio and TV; and, a highly respected publisher of Urdu and Punjabi literary books.

Parveen has published two collections of short fiction titled ‘Ke JanaN MaiN Kaun’ and ‘Nikkay Nikkay Dukhh’, an Urdu novel ‘Aadhi Aurat’, and a translation in Urdu titled ‘Siseskatay Log’. At this time, her autobiography is being serialized by Monthly Swer, and her travelogue by Quarterly Punjabi Adab in Lahore.

Parveen wrote a literary column titled ‘Punjab Rut’ for Lahore Radio that continued on from 1988 to 1998. During this time, she wrote a seriel ‘Dukh Sukh Saaday’, and many other plays and programs for Pakistan Radio.

From 1983 to now, she has written numerous screenplays for Pakistan Television including ‘LameyaN VaaTaN’, ‘Ke JanaN MaiN Kon’, ‘Junj’, and ‘Nikkay Nikkay Dukh’. She also initiated and anchored a literary discussion program called ‘Likhari’ for Lahore TV.

Parveen was born in District Attock where she completed her school and college before coming to Lahore to study Journalism. Her first job assignments were with Daily Azad and Weekly Nusrat. She also worked as Chief Editor with Urdu Monthly Mahe Nau and Monthly Pak Jamhoriat. Later, she moved on to serve as Deputy Director of the Federal Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and then Secretary of Punjabi Adabi Board.

Parveen began Sarang Publications in 1995 to provide a select list of Urdu and Punjabi literary titles. Earlier, she had published monthly magazine Palak from 1983 to 1985.

Following is a list of Parveen’s awards and distinctions:
– PTV Award 1998, for her play ‘Nikkay Nikkay Dukh’
– Award from Punjabi Adabi Society for writing, screenwriting and radio compering
– Masood Khadarposh Award for her book ‘Nikkay Nikkay Dukh’
– Baba Fareed Award for her writings and other creative works for radio

Contact Parveen Malik at maliknoumana@gmail.com

Information provided by Nouman Malik

Fauzia Rafique
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frafique@gmail.com

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Poet Amarjit Chandan wins the Anad Kāv Sanman 2009

Chandanbydiwanmanna1

The meeting of the jury for the Anad Kav Sanman 2009 took place in Delhi on 25th October 2009. The jury members for the award, Shri M.K Raina, Professor Bhagwan Josh, Professor Renuka Singh, Dr. Madan Gopal Singh, Bhai Baldeep Singh, Shri Manglesh Dabral attended the meeting chaired by Professor Satyapal Gautam. The jury unanimously decided that this year’s Anad Kāv Sanman be conferred on Amarjit Chandan for his seminal contribution to Punjabi poetry and for bringing Punjabi poetry on the international scene.

This is the only literary award of its kind in South Asia that exclusively celebrates poetic excellence. It is also amongst the biggest awards in terms of money.

Punjabi poet Surjit Patar was the first recipient of this award last year.

To honour the memory of the Punjabi poetess Baljit Kaur Tulsi, The Anād Foundation started Anad Kāv Tarang Poetry festival and Anad Kāv Sanman in 2008. The award, offered to eminent poets, includes a cash prize of Rupees 2.5 lacs, a citation, a silver plate and a turban.

The leading English author and art critic John Berger opined that Amarjit Chandan’s poetry transports its listeners or readers into an arena of timelessness. What he does is to fold time; time in his poems becomes like an arras or a hinged screen. The listener or reader is encircled by a multiplicity of times. His poetic practice assumes that there are more space-time dimensions than the four we habitually recognize. Each of Chandan’s poems proceeds in its own way and has its own form. Yet in all of them there is an assembly of different space-time dimensions.

According to Christina Linardakis, a well known literary critic from Greece, the pictures of Chandan’s poetry are lacking of anything pretentious. On the contrary, they are surprisingly intimate. They portray our own moments, they capture our thoughts, they express our dreams, the contradictions of our mind. Never the less, Chandan’s descriptive power is sublimating, the detail of their reference is depriving the reader’s right of an adroit escape, it holds out his hand disarmingly, it guides him through unusual and familiar paths.

In his poetic speech, Chandan is weaving and unweaving his impressions, the perceptions, the memories of each one of us, weaving in this manner mainly the thread of our own thought and of our own life.

Amarjit Chandan has published five collections of poetry including Kavitavān, Jarhān, Beejak, Chhanna, Gurhti and Anjal, as well three books of prose in Punjabi notably Phailsufiān, Hun–Khin (A discussion with Sohan Qadri) and Nishāni.

English versions of Amarjit Chandan’s poems have appeared in England in a collection Being Here (1995, 1999, 2005) and magazines Poetry Review, Artrage, Bazaar, Brand, Critical Quarterly, Modern Poetry in Translation, Index on Censorship and Atlas (UK), Papirus and Akköy (Turkey), Erismus, Ombrela and Odos Panos (Greece) and Lettre Internationale (Romania) and Sonata for Four Hands, Collection of Poems (Arc Publications) prefaced by John Berger due in Oct 2009.

The ANĀD Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of culture, with particular focus on the preservation and perpetuation of the endangered intangible cultural heritage and traditions of South Asia. The ANĀD Foundation’s mission is to establish institutions as a means towards facilitating the recovery and enhancement of the intangible (sukham virsā) and tangible (sthūl virsā) heritage of South Asia as a priority.

Among the several aims of the Foundation include conferring ANĀD Sanmān, in the fields of poetry, music, dance, sports, science, technology, art, literature, theatre, cinema and handicrafts, etc. and for life time achievements in fields that the Trust is directly or indirectly concerned with.

The Anād Foundation is organizing the second edition of the festival Anād Kāv Tarang, an evening of poetry reading scheduled to be held on Sunday, November 22, 2009, at the India Islamic Cultural Centre, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi. A selection of Chandan’s 35 poems titled Paintee, designed by Gurvinder Singh and published by ANĀD, will also be released on the occasion. The function will conclude with musical renditions of Chandan’s poetry by Jasbir Jassi, Madan Gopal Singh, Rabbi Shergill, Sunanda Sharma and Bhai Baldeep Singh.

For further information, contact
The Anad Foundation
C-26, Nizamuddin East
New Delhi 110013
Telephone (Bhai Baldeep Singh) 9810002653
Email: anad@anad.in and/or bhaibaldeep@gmail.com

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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-self-portrait-london-1989
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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
And
Search results for ‘amarjit chandan’ at Uddari Weblog

Maqsood Saqib
saqib-4
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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
bhushan
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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
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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
1,931 views

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

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Punjabi MaaNboli and the Punjabis-2

Punjabi is the mother tongue of 90-100 million people; out of this, Pakistan claims 63 million, and India 29. The rest of us are sprinkled around the world where Canada is the Fourth largest host with UK being the Third. In these four countries, Punjabi is deemed ‘the most commonly spoken’ language in Pakistan, ‘the 11th most commonly spoken’ language in India, ‘the 2nd most common’ spoken language in the UK, and ‘the 4th most common’ spoken language in Canada.

Yet a UNESCO report lists it as endangered to disappear in the next few decades. And, even when we can not find the report, it is apparent that the extinction may well happen if we do not take notice of the situation faced by Punjabi Maanboli at all our present locations.

Even though Punjabi MaaNboli has suffered in India from Hindi and English as it has in Pakistan from Urdu and English, its effects are not as devastating. There are many reasons for this but the most intriguing is the one that has to do with the situation in which influential Punjabis found themselves at the time of Partition.

‘Influential Punjabis’ is a flexible, rather ‘loose’, term for the decision-makers of the Punjab at different times in our history; and, it allows for diverse social formations for all three of our contexts: India, Pakistan, and the Diaspora.

The Influential Punjabis

Language as identity emerged as an important issue for Punjabis in both India and Pakistan but the positions were as distant as the two proverbial banks of River Chenab.

Where In 1947, language became one of the strongest symbols of the survival of Sikh identity for Sikh Punjabis in India, for influential Muslim Punjabis the mother language was one of the many hindrances to the implementation of the ‘ideology of Pakistan’. The status of Sikh Punjabis as an insecure minority in Hindu-dominated India was reaffirmed as bloodshed ensued among Muslims and Sikhs across new borders. On the other hand, Muslim influential Punjabis ‘owned’, so to speak, the new state of Pakistan; and, continue to be the major stake holders in the country. In that still-born concept, the growth of a ‘Muslim’ identity was deemed crucial to the survival of the new state; and so, Urdu and English were awarded the status of national languages to rule and ‘unify’ the people who were rooted in five distinct cultural, linguist and geographic locations in a far-apart ‘nation’.

Most Punjabis reside in the Pakistani province of the Punjab where it is the mother language of 44% of the population; better still, because of the privileges and influences Punjabis enjoy in the country, it is understood and spoken by 70% of the population. Yet Punjabi has no status in Pakistan. The country has two official languages, English and Urdu, although none is the mother tongue of any indigenous group in the areas included in it. Punjabi remains un-acknowledged in Pakistan; it does not enjoy the status of, for example, the third national official language or even the official language of the province of the Punjab. As a result, Punjabi is neither taught at any level of the provincial education system nor is it the language of instruction or interaction at any level of guidance or governance. This assures that the language remains bereft of jobs, resources, teachers, educationists, students, researchers, writers, publishers and readers in Pakistani Punjab where 60% of all Punjabis live.

Despite discriminatory policies and practices of the Muslim Punjabi ruling elites, a tremendous development of Punjabi language and literature continues to happen in Pakistani Punjab, and i am glad to say that it is because of the painstaking continuous work of cultural activists and intellectuals of West Punjab. With no or negligible support from successive provincial or federal governments, political parties and vested religion-based interests, Punjabi continues to be spoken, written and read by millions.

In India, although only 3% of the population is ‘native’ Punjabi speaker yet it fares way better in comparison. Here, Punjabi is recognized as one of the official languages of Chandigarh, the shared state capital; and, of the states of Delhi, Panjab and Haryana. In the state of Panjab, Punjabi acquired the status of an official language in September 2008. Now it is taught in schools, and is the language of interaction at some levels of provincial government. This has been accomplished because of the persistence of East Punjabi politicians, cultural activists and intellectuals who did not allow the government of India to disregard their language rights.

It is also true that since the Partition, much of the direction to the movements for Punjabi language development around the world has been provided by progressive writers and intellectuals from East Punjab.

Living in the third space, we continue to reflect similar patterns regarding our mother language. Out here as well, Punjabi language is nurtured by East Punjabi writers and cultural activists while West Punjabi counterparts continue to avoid any allegiance to it by choosing to write in Urdu or English. Few middle class families in Pakistan speak Punjabi at home, and this is how it is in most our families in North America. Though this is a burning issue for East Punjabi communities as well but East Punjabi community leaders have developed organizations to discuss it, spread awareness and to improve the situation. Such structures, however, are still hard to find in Pakistani Punjabi communities in the West.

In my view, the saving grace for Pakistani Punjabis has been the efforts of dedicated Punjabi intellectuals/activists such as Dr. Manzur Ejaz and Safir Rammah, who built the APNA website in Washington DC to publish Punjabi literature in both Shahmukhi and Gurumukhi. This valuable work has now branched into a bi-script quarterly literary journal, and an online Punjabi daily newspaper.

In all our physical spaces, we face similar problems with important yet marginal differences. This prompts similar solutions. An example of this is the formation of ‘chairs’ in educational institutions. From my perspective, the downside to Punjabi language development was the formation of ‘Sikh’ chairs where a large proportion of development effort went into the hands of religious interests in India and in the West. The same solution is now being implemented in Pakistan by initiating the ‘Sufi’ chairs.

It is important for the health of languages and cultures to take shape in non-restrictive creative environments, and so we must find, support and create secular spaces to develop Punjabi MaaNboli literature, languages and cultures. An interesting example of this came out last month where a folk singer was not allowed to sing Heer when requested by the audience at a music concert in a Khalsa College in India.

Also view Punjabi MaaNboli and the Punjabis-1/The PLEA Event: Need for Capacity Building

Numbers from Wiki
Top Ten Punjabi speaking countries
Pakistan: 80,000,000
India: 30,000,000
United Kingdom: 1,600,000
Canada: 800,000
United Arab Emerates: 720,000
United States: 700,000
Saudi Arabia: 640,000
Hongkong: 270,000
France: 180,000
Australia: 120,000
Genetic Markers
‘Roughly 42% of genetic markers in the Punjab were of West Asian origin, the highest amongst the sampled group of South Asians’ (1).
The areas included in West Asia now have the following countries in it: Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Cypress, Lebanon, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbiajan, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, Kazakhastan.
Main Dialects
Punjabi has 28 dialects (PU, Patiala), the following 12 are recognized by Language Department of Punjab, India.
1. Pothohari, 2. Jhangi, 3. Multani, 4. Dogri, 5. Kangri, 6. Pahari, 7. Majhi, 8. Doab, 9. Malwai,10. Powadhi,11. Bhattiani,12. Rathi
Major Religious Groups
Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Christian
Scripts
Gurumukhi, Persio-Arabic/Shahmukhi, Devnagri

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References
1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punjabi_people
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overseas_Pakistani#Canada
3. http://www.advancedcentrepunjabi.org/intro1.asp
4. http://iaoj.wordpress.com/2008/09/15/punjabi-becomes-official-language-of-indian-punjab/
5. http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census06/analysis/language/allophone_cma.cfm
6. http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/Products/Analytic/companion/lang/highlights.cfm
7. http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Punjabi_language
8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Toronto_Area
9. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Canada
10. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punjabi_language
11. studentsoftheworld.info

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