Gurmukhi edition of novel ‘Skeena’ now available in India and Canada

Sangam Publications, Patiala 2019

Novel ‘Skeena’ by Fauzia Rafique has been published in Gurmukhi by Sangam Publications in Patiala, India, and it is now available at India Bookworld in Surrey’s Payal Centre. Script conversion from Shahmukhi to Gurmukhi has been performed by Harbans Singh Dhiman.

ISBN 978-93-5231-317-4
India Bookworld, $15
604-593-5967
info@indiabookworld.ca
Sangam Publications, India
sangam541@gmail.com
01764-501934

Punjabi novel ‘Skeena’ was first published in Shahmukhi by Sanjh Publications in 2007 in Lahore, where to date, it is Pakistan’s most sold Punjabi novel. Its English edition and a limited Gurmukhi edition came out in 2011 with Libros Libertad in White Rock. The Shahmukhi to Gurmukhi conversion and editing was done by poet/author/translator Surjeet Kalsey in consultation with Fauzia Rafique. The novel has also been recognized as one of the ‘100 Must Read Books by Punjabi Authors’ in ‘Legacies of the Homeland’ (Notion Press, Chennai 2018).

Visit Skeena web page
novelskeena.wordpress.com
Read reviews on ‘Skeena’
novelskeena.wordpress.com/reviews

Uddari Weblog operates on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the Semiahmoo, Katzie, Kwikwetlem, Kwantlen, Qayqayt, Tsawwassen, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.
..

The Best Selling Punjabi Novel: Skeena

skeena-punjabi-cover

I am delighted to share with you the news that my first novel Skeena has become ‘the most-sold Punjabi novel’ of all times in Pakistan. In an email message, Publisher Amjad Salim Minhas said that ‘Sakina is the most sold Punjabi novel Sanjh has ever published; it is also the most sold Punjabi novel in Pakistan’.

This best-selling Shahmukhi Punjabi edition was published in 2007, and it was the most-launched book in Pakistan with events held in nine cities, each in partnership with local writers and literary organisations. This also made it the ‘most reviewed Punjabi book‘; and, the only novel that brought the movement for Punjabi language rights to the fore at each of its launching events.

It is interesting to note that Author Anthony Dalton’s 2011 predictions about Skeena’s English edition are sl–ow–ly but surely coming to pass in Punjabi, though we still have to see how the Gurmukhi edition does in the Indian Punjab where Skeena has never been published or marketed.

My gratitude to the readers, reviewers, peers; the publisher, editor, all members of the production team; and, the funders and supporters of Skeena’s Shahmukhi Punjabi edition for this profound and rewarding experience.

Thank you.

Fauzia
gandholi.wordpress.com
novelskeena.wordpress.com

Contact Uddari
uddariweblog@gmail.com
Facebook
facebook.com/UddariWeblog
Twitter
twitter.com/UddariWeblog
..

‘YaaN koi oho jeha – یاں کوئی اوہو جیہا ‘ by Zubair Ahmad

A Punjabi poem by Zubair Ahmad.

Din khali se
sarrkeiN vug geya
dau tin var murr ke takeya
ik adh vaar khyal peya
yaaN taaN se oho
yaaN koi oho jeha
..

دِن خالی سی
سڑکیں وگ گیا
دو تن وار مُڑ کے تکیا
اک ادّھ وار خیال پیا
یاں تاں سی اوہو
یاں کوئی اوہو جیہا

زبیر احمد
..

From Zubair Ahmad’s new collection of poems ‘Sadd’ (Call), Sanjh Publications, Lahore 2012

Contact Zubair
kitab.trinjan@gmail.com
https://www.facebook.com/zubair.ahmad.73
https://www.facebook.com/groups/KitabTrinjan/?fref=ts

uddariblog@gmail.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Uddari-Weblog/333586816691660
.
.

Book Launch: ‘Naal Sajjan de Rahiye’ by Afzal Saahir – Surrey March 4 and 6/2012


‘Naal Sajjan de Rehye’
Punjabi Poetry by Afzal Saahir
Shahmukhi edition: Sanjh Pulications, Lahore PK 2011
Gurumukhi edition: Uddari Books, Surrey CA 2012

Poet and Radio Host Afzal Saahir has published his first collection of Punjabi poetry titled ‘Naal Sajjan de Rehiye’ in both Shahmukhi and Gurumukhi scripts, and is launching it this week.

The first launch is organized by Aarsi Punjabi
On Sunday March 4, 2012
12:30 – 4:30 PM
At Grand Taj Banquet Hall
8388 128 Street, Surrey
(604) 599-4342

The Second launch is organized by Uddari Books, Surrey Muse and Committee of Progressive Pakistanis
On Tuesday March 6, 2012
6 – 9 PM
At Newton Exchange branch of Surrey Public Library (SPL)
13795 70 Avenue


‘Afzal Saahir de andar Sultan Bahu apni chambay de bootti laa geya ae’. Amrita Pritam

Download PDF Poster

Lahore’s First Punjabi Bookstore Deemed Shut

Kitab Trinjan (KT), the first dedicated shop of Punjabi books in Lahore, is due to close end of this month.

Kitab Trinjan was established in 1997 to encourage the publishing and dissemination of Shahmukhi Punjabi literature in a situation where Punjabi books were shunned away by the ‘regular’ bookshops that were happy instead to sell the more ‘lucrative/prestigious’ Urdu and English books. With regard to the privilege enjoyed by English and Urdu at the regular book shops, however, the situation in 2009 remains more or less the same.

In the last 12 years, thanks to the continuous and ongoing volunteer work of Zubair Ahmed Jan, Kitab Trinjan has sold more than 1,200,000 (12 Lakh) Punjabi books; bought 7,71,635 books from other publishers; published works created by modern Punjabi writers under various imprints; but most of all, has built a cultural community unique to itself. This community is built by extending regular interaction, support and contribution to literary communities of the Punjab, Panjab and the Diaspora. Zubair’s ongoing support to Sangat Shah Hussain in Lahore, to the online Punjabi news and cultural digest Wichaar.com, to the largest online archive of Punjabi Gurumukhi/Shahmukhi literature Apnaorg, to the only Punjabi literary quarterly magazine that prints simultaneously in Gurumukhi and Shahmukhi Temahi Sanjh, for example, has strengthened the respective organizations and cultural communities.

I had the opportunity to visit Kitab Trinjan in its very first year when Activist Zafaryab Ahmed told me in Islamabad about it, and later introduced me to Author Zubair Ahmed who was instrumental in establishing, and then managing it. Later, i went to the shop, a 1.4-roomed top floor of a depleted inner city building in Lahore, though inside, it was the most inspiring place to be. In fact, that was the first time that i had actually seen hundreds of Shahmukhi Punjabi titles in one place. It created a feeling of wonderment where i was enchanted also by the fact that the development of Punjabi literature was not in the hands of policymakers of Pakistan but us, the writers and readers of Punjabi.

Here is a 1998 photo of Kitab Trinjan from the outside, taken by Amarjit Chandan, a long time supporter of KT.

Kitab Trinjan. Lahore..1999. Pic Amarjit Chandan(2)

Detail, Kitab Trinjan by Amarjit Chandan, 1998

In 2006 and 2007, i found Kitab Trinjan in a newer, bigger and brighter place. It was doubtless the most well-organized and well-managed book shop of the three Punjabi book sellers on and around Mozang Chowk since Zubair had help from KT’s only paid worker, Ghulam Haider who worked as a full time sales associate.

The following are the reasons given for the closure of Kitab Trinjan: That there were no Punjabi book stores in 1997 and now there are two more that are operating as full time businesses; That there is duplication of services between Suchet Kitab Ghar and Kitab Trinjan; That KT is limited by its voluntary nature; and, that Zubair Ahmad, the Volunteer Manager of KT, wants to focus on his creative work.

The above reasons do not jell with me as they defy all logic; and in that, it seems that this decision is taken for the benefit of less than half a dozen people instead of the benefit of even those 6,896,000 Punjabis who were living in the city of Lahore just after Kitab Trinjan first opened its doors. In the 1998 Census, the total population of Lahore was counted as 6.8 Million, however, later estimates indicate that the population of Lahore was 10 million in 2006.

My problem is as follows:
The first reason encourages us to believe, in defiance of all demographic considerations, that perhaps there are no Punjabi speakers in the additional 3.2 Million people that were counted as living in Lahore in 2006; that may be there is no increase in the city population since 2006; or if the population increased it did no sprout any new buyers of Punjabi books; that there are no new students of Punjabi language; and, certainly no new lovers of Punjabi literature. Else, the simple fact of population increase would have been enough to justify the continued existence of, at least, these three Punjabi book stores. In other words, such reasoning suggests that 3 BOOK STORES are too many for 6 to 8 MILLION Punjabi speakers of Lahore.

The second reason perpetuates confusion as it meddles with the roles of Suchet Kitab Ghar a Publisher of books and magazines who operates as a distributor/retailer to support its primary role as a Publisher; and Kitab Trinjan, a Bookseller/Distributor who has published books only on occasion.

The third and the fourth reasons are issues that can easily be resolved by Zubair himself if given the chance. Having an outlet for Punjabi books at his home in one of the suburbs of Lahore will eliminate the daily hardship, and leave more time for creative work.

I also do not share the ‘expatriate’s politically correct’ statement forwarded by my friend and another long time supporter of KT, Ijaz Syed, in his response to the closure of Lahore’s first Punjabi book shop.
‘My heartiest felicitations to the Central Committee members for taking this timely decision! Kitab Trinjan played its historical pioneering role in the publication and distribution of punjabi books at a time when this service was most needed. In my view, along with other Central Committee friends, a lot of credit for maintaining and managing Kitab Trinjan for these twelve long years rightly goes to Zubair Jan. Of course, none of this would have happened without Najam Sahab‘s benevolent presence.’

In accordance with the ‘enlightened expatriate’s politically correct guide’, a non-critical acceptance and appreciation of this decision has duly been tendered by Ijaz, else, why would he call it a ‘timely decision’? Is it really the requirement of this time to close one of the three (progressive) Punjabi book centers in Lahore?
Na!
I think it’s time to relocate this one, and open the fourth.
Tell you why.
When Kitab Trinjan was selling an average of 1 lakh books per year, Suchet Kitab Ghar and Sanjh Publications were also registering sales, I am willing to bet on it! So, if in the last 12 years, all three have shown an increase in sales, i don’t see why Kitab Trinjan needs to shut. Also, if the establishment of a sales/distribution center by Suchet Kitab Ghar (and Sanjh) did not have a negative impact on Kitab Trinjan, why now, Kitab Trinjan needs to be eliminated in the interest of one or both?

Maqsood Saqib of Pancham/Suchet and Amjad Salim of Sanjh Publications have, for different reasons, earned my un-wavering respect and love as people and professionals; and, i fully support the work of both. The same, may be more so, is true for Zubair Ahmad of Kitab Trinjan.

In other words, Bawa Jees te Bawi Jees, please do not be presenting Lahore in such narrow terms. The City and its people need and deserve all three of these wonderful spaces to develop Punjabi literature; and still, a few more. Not less!

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

Contact Uddari
uddariweblog@gmail.com
Facebook
facebook.com/UddariWeblog
Twitter
twitter.com/UddariWeblog
..

Congratulations Ms. Kaki: Afzal Sahir (Lost and) Found!

Our heartfelt congratulations to you Ms. Kaki, for helping us find our lost Punjabi Poet and FM 103 Radio Host Afzal Saahir in Lahore.

We had sent a message on the email address that you had supplied on Thursday Oct 16, to which we received a reply from Afzal Saher Himself on Wednesday Nov 12.

However, the message had to go through certain identification processes, and some took longer than anticipated. Our volunteer Judges were to find answers to three questions, and if the decision was too close to call, a Fourth Final question had to be answered as well:
1. Does the respondent praise the representative of Uddari at the outset?
2. Does the respondent, after doing that, enter into a prolonged monologue about himself?
3. Does the respondent send a new image of himself?
And then the Fourth Final…
4. Does the respondent send more than one image of himself?

Following are the findings submitted by the Judges:
1. Indeed, he does.
‘Tere jehi nighi, mithi tey roshan rooh ghat ghat e a duniya vich’

2. Indeed.
Unquotable due to space constraints.

3. Indeed! And FANS!
Here It Is!
afzal-saahir

Since the decision was unanimous there was no need to invoke the Fourth Final (but if you are curious, just click here: JUST CLICK HERE).

So, as you can see, this is not what took long. It was the acquisition and deliverance of the Award itself. Immediately upon receiving a reply from Afzal Saahir, we had called the executive offices of Sanjh Publications in Lahore to inquire about his collection of poetry. To our dismay, the person at the other end first refused knowledge of any such author or title, and then on our insistence, did further research into the matter and came back with this message from the publisher: ‘O Jee, aggae punj saal langh gae nain, punj duss hor lungh jan gae’.

I am afraid, Ms. kaki, that what seemed so easy to acquire, actually did not exist!

My suggestion to you would be to never lose hope, and toward this end, i present this new Kaafi poem from Afzal Saahir.

Mein JaaNoo AnjaaN
By Afzal Saahir
BaBa Nanank Ji noon BheNt

Mein jaaNoo anjaaN Ve Loka,
Mein jaaNoo anjaaN

Dharat ghRoli sir te chaaeym,
peraaN heth asmaan
ve loka..Mein jaaNoo anjaaN

Saaray denh di kaar usaari,
raateeN keetam dhaaN.
ve loka…Mein jaanoo anjaaN.

Mans, pakhi, rukh, dhor sbhohi,
jooNo jooN samaaN.
ve loka…Mein jaanoo anjaaN.

ApNi aap sehaaN bina hey,
kooRo kooR gyaan.
ve loka..Mein jaaNoo anjaaN

Kull khudaai, Jo hey, OH hey,
meri JIND Nishaan.
ve loka..Mein jaaNoo anjaaN

Mere saah de Shoh daryaaiN,
maut kare ashnaan.
ve loka..Mein jaaNoo anjaaN

Na Allah, Na Raam kahaaNi,
Qudrat vich dheyaan.
ve loka..Mein jaaNoo anjaaN

Dharat ghRoli sir te chaaeym,
peraaN heth asmaan
ve loka..Mein jaanoo anjaaN.

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

Contact Uddari
uddariweblog@gmail.com
Facebook
facebook.com/UddariWeblog
Twitter
twitter.com/UddariWeblog
..

Help Surrey BC Become the Coolest City in Canada

Spectacular Surrey.
Photo from tourismsurrey.com

Volunteers are needed to help make Surrey the ‘Coolest’ city in Canada by asking the Mayor and other city officials to make a commitment to climate protection policies and agreements.

Notices

Update: A Best Seller On Our Hands: Skeena!
Surrey BC is featured in a novel launched on April 9/2011 at the Newton Branch of Surrey Public Library. The novel titled ‘Skeena’ is written by Surrey-based author Fauzia Rafique, and was launched here in both English and Punjabi (Gurumukhi and Shahmukhi).
More information about the book launch in surrey


The story of Skeena begins in a village in the Pakistani Punjab in 1971, moves to the city of Lahore in 1981, continues onto Toronto ON in 1991, and finishes in Surrey BC in 2001. The novel is divided in four sections, and the fourth section takes place in Surrey.


The English and Gurumukhi editions of Skeena are published by Surrey-based publishers Libros Libertad and Uddari Books in 2011. The Shahmukhi Punjabi edition was published by Sanjh Publications from Lahore in 2007 where the novel was launched in nine cities in Punjab and Sindh.
More information on Skeena

Buy English edition of ‘Skeena’ Online
.
.