On the 2nd of April, 2022 Guldasta-e-Urdu hosted Last Page- Remembering Khwaja Ahmad Abbas. The event was curated by founder, Nasima Merchanat and involved the participation of our many Urdu enthusiasts.
The program began with a brief and concise introduction of Khwaja Ahmad Abbas by Nasima Merchant and Farook Merchant – founders and trustees of Gyaan Adab. A screenwriter, novelist and journalist in Urdu, Abbas has left an impact long after his death. The evening witnessed multiple readings of Abbas’s work and a commentary on his long standing newspaper column, Last Page.
Hereon, the stories began to flow. We began with Ruksana Jamadar’s reading of Ababil. This story revolves around the ‘common man’ and the undying spirit he carries and wields in the face of adversity.
Next, we have Sanjay Saksena read out Abbas’s Sardarji. This story is about a Sikh old man, Sardarji, who is assassinated by a Hindu and Sikh mob in order to save a pro-Pakistan Muslim man, Shaikh Burhanuddin during the Partition riots. It was written in Urdu around and Abbas had already written a few rather provocative short stories on deteriorating Hindu-Muslim relationships by that time. Sardarji was an extension of this thematic interest in the everydayness of communal hostility.
Further, we had Neerja Apte recite 12 Ghante.
Finally, the event came to a close with a reading of Diya Jale Saari Raat by Nasima Merchant and farook Merchant.
Further, you can access all the links here:
1) Ababil : Reading by Ruksana Jamadar. Link = https://youtu.be/u6TvHB4UEhQ
2) Sardarji : Reading by Sanjay Saksena Link = https://youtu.be/YmvdPRXoNGs
3) 12 Ghante : Reading by Neerja Apte Link = https://youtu.be/N44tf5UlAz4
4) Diya Jale Sari Raat : Reading by Nasima Merchant Link = https://youtu.be/PpLTKumXLy0
5) Diya Jale Sari Raat : Reading by Farook Merchant Link = https://youtu.be/_u_mSZ-kx5M
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