Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Review of Urdu Adab monthly, from Canada

Just received the June edition of Urdu Adab, an Urdu
literary magazine published in Mississauga, Canada.
Read the whole magazine in one go--well, the prose
part, as I understand prose better than poetry.

First and foremost, the Urdu speaking Diaspora settled
in North America really needed a quality Urdu
magazine. Kudos to Urdu Adab's editor Munir Saami for
taking the initiative!

The June edition--the first one--is dedicated to Jaun
Elia, the Howard Stern look alike Pakistani poet who
died not too long ago. I was hoping to find some
biographical information about Jaun; the only write-up
that came somewhat close to being personal was
Peerzada Salman's article, originally published in
Daily Dawn.

"Afsanay kee naee aawazain" by Asif Farrukhi is a good
read but it does not provide the kind of information
one hopes to find in an article of that title.
Farrukhi gives us, in the last third of his narrative,
names of only five new Urdu short story writers! Only

"Allama Iqbal, aik mehbooba, teen beeviyan, char
shadiyan" by Dr. Khalid Sohail is the kind of articles
I love to read more of. Excellent research!

Short stories presented in the June edition of Urdu

Karamat Ghouri's "Safr e Na-Tamam" seems more like a
true story--a story that the writer heard in one of
his travels and found it worthwhile to beautifully
transform into an Urdu afsana.

Rahim Unjan's "Do Monhi" provides a representative
sample of that genre of Pakistani nationalist
literature that feeds on its own venom. This is the
kind of literature that makes sure that the animosity
between the peoples of India and Pakistan is kept

Abid Jafri's "Koi aur hoga" is a creation of a very
sensitive mind. It is the story of our time when we
hear of the bombs dropped on people like you and I,
when we hear of blasts killing sons and daughters of
people like you and I--but we seldom come out of our
apathy to raise a voice of resistance. And one day
when the misfortune falls on us we complain of others'
An alternate title of Abid Jafri's story can be "Giree
hai jis peh kul bijlee."

The price of the Urdu Adab magazine is not indicated
anywhere but its austere look--the magazine is printed
on scrub paper--gives confidence that the production
team understands the economic realities and that it
won't let its efforts go financially bust after a few
publications. [Many like myself must be willing to
pay the subscription.]

Well done, Urdu Adab team!

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