Renowned Urdu poet Adil Mansuri is no more

adil-mansuris-photoAdil Mansuri, the leading Urdu poet, passed away in America recently. He was the most promient of modernist poets along side Zafar Iqbal, Nida Fazli, Mohammad Alvi and Ameeq Hanafi.

He was 72. Mansuri is survived by his wife and five children. He was born in Ahmedabad in 1936. Though his mother tongue was Gujarati, Mansuri learnt Urdu in Pakistan after the family migrated there soon after partition.

But a few years later Mansuri’s father decided to come back to India. Adil Mansuri went on to become the master of surrealism and a poet of repute in both the genres–Nazm and Ghazal.

He also penned poetry in Gujarati. Renonwed critic and author Shamsur Rahman Faruqi says that Mansuri’s ghazal was different in the sense that the poet steered the ghazal from a delicate to direct approach.

The late poet was also a calligrapher par excellence. He had settled in New Jersey where he passed away. Read his ghazal in Urdu, Hindi and English scripts at Best Ghazals. [Photograph: Courtesy]


Urdu Poetry: 200 Ghazals and Nazms

Urdu poetry transcends geographical boundaries and is understood and loved by millions who can’t read a word written in Urdu script. I am happy that my other blog now has a collection of 200 selected ghazals and Nazms, each in Urdu, Hindi and Roman English scripts, for the benefit of readers. Read.

Due to the linguistic politics, Urdu unfortunately got identified as a language of Muslims in India, and the script of the langauge suffered as a result. However, the poetry remained as popular as it was in the past.

When you intend to put the gems of Urdu poetry on the web, you can’t ignore that a vast majority of readers can’t read Urdu script (especially Indians). While Roman script was used for writing Urdu even in Indian Army, it has certain restrictions.

Though devanagari script is quite scientific, it also has some limitations. When I started blogging I aimed at publishing the best of Urdu poetry. I soon learnt that one has to use all the three scripts as most of the readers understand Roman but are not too comfortable with the transliteration.

So I decided to write each ghazal or Nazm in English, Urdu and Hindi scripts. Roman and Hindi supplement each other. For example, if a person can’t understand a word in Roman, he can read it in devanagari and be able to pronounce it clearly.

Of course, those who can read Urdu, will have no problem. But they will also get help in pronounciation of difficult or confusing words by reading the Roman text. The result is that now there are over 200 Ghazals and Nazms which you can read at this website. Click

From classical masters like Mir, Ghalib, Momin, Dard and Dagh to progressive poets and the modernist stream, we have tried to incorporate the best verses of each generation.

Nazms are often neglected but on this site you will get to read poetry of Akhtarul Iman, Faiz, Majaz, Ibn-e-Insha, Sahir, Nida and many others. The number of posts is now well over 200 and it will keep growing.

The beauty of Urdu poetry, especially ghazal, lies in the fact that though it has at least five to six couplets, each couplet can be separately used and quoted. The quotability makes Urdu poetry unique and the ‘sher’ reverberate from pan kiosks to parliament of India.

Click to read Urdu poetry.

By Indscribe []

Bashir Badr, an embarrassment for Urdu fraternity

Basheer Badar Urdu poet

Bashir Badr

Bashir Badr, a fine poet, has lately become an embarrassment for the entire Urdu fraternity.

His excessive bragging and boastful statements suggest that he is bordering megalomania.

In a recent interview published in a prominent Hindi daily newspaper, Badr, said that if Mir and Ghalib were alive even they would be jealous of his popularity. Though the interviewer didn’t ask him, he repeatedly said that he owns plush house that has over ten rooms on both the floors.

Badr is the Chairman of Madhya Pradesh Urdu Academy and got the post due to sycophantic ways. When asked why the Academy has stopped publishing books and helping writers who are living in penury, he said that he was not aware of that.

When he was asked that a veteran poet like Raza Rampuri is seriously ill and needs financial support but why the Academy wasn’t bothered, Badar didn’t care to answer. Flying off at a tangent, Badr said that he considerd Atal Bihari Vajpayee as his father.

He kept on saying things like, “I make lot of money, earn thousands for a single couplet” and that he is “the last poet in the line of great poets of Urdu that is a language borne out of Sanskrit”.

Ironically, Badr has been sycophantic to such an extent that he once famously said that he can even clean the floor of the BJP office. It was in return that he was offered the post of Urdu Academy chairman.

In interviews, he keeps on stressing that there is no photograph of his father in his house but Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s photographs are present in every room.

During his tenure the MP Urdu Academy has stopped all work. There are few function, hardly any seminars, no campaigns for Urdu or efforts to appoint Urdu teachers, except a couple of mushairas every year.

No doubt, Bashir Badr is a fine poet. His collections of poetry have earned him name and fame. But he is neither the most representative poet of his era, nor a poet of stature of Shaharyar and Ahmad Faraz, let alone Ali Sardar Jafri, Majrooh, Kaifi Azmi or Janisar Akhtar.

However, his statements claiming that he is better than Ghalib and Meer, have hurt his image. Publicly and even among poetic fraternity he is now looked down upon. Many of his couplets are said to be work of old masters with lesser fame which he allegedly changed to suit his needs.

The literary societies who used to invite him for mushairas, stopped inviting him because of his demand for more fee. He also used to force them to send two tickets so that he could take his wife along.

Still, despite all these allegations and controversies, he was considered a fairly good poet. But in the last couple of years, his growing megalomania had made him almost a pariah in Urdu poetry circles.

By Indscribe

Dr Aafia Siddiqui: The screams of prisoner number 650

Read this post in Urdu. It is an excerpt from Ahmed Javed’s article that was published in Hindustan Express Urdu daily recently. The text may be a bit taxing for your eyes but do read it. The plight of Dr Aafia Siddiqui and the criminal silence of the society that remained almost indifferent to her, is shocking by any means. Though there are voices now and Pakistanis seem to have woken up to the tragedy but there is no anger visible on the street as yet.

Shugoofa: Humour magazine from Hyderabad

Shugoofa is a rare magazine dedicated to humour and satire, which is published from Hyderabad Deccan (India).

In an era when magazines are finding it tough to survive, Shagoofa has completed 40 years of publication and is now in its 41st year. What distinguishes it from other magazines is the fact that all the articles and verses are purely literary with a tinge of humour and satire unlike most other magazines with popular humour.

It is difficult to find such a standard literary-humorist magazine in any other language. The standard of magazines that are solely devoted to humour generally deteriorates and cheap humour makes an entry but this is not the case with Shagoofa.

It has articles, ghazals, nazms, travelogues and all literary genres. The Zindadilan-e-Hyderabad, a literary organisation, brings out this magazine. The Editor is Dr Syed Mustafa Kamal while Abid Moiz is the Overseas Editor.

The postal address is 31, Bachelors Quarters, Moazzam Jahi Market, Hyderabad-500001 India. The magazine is priced at Rs 20 and the annual subscription is Rs 225. The phone numbers are 24745716 and 23326185.

Campaign for Urdu signboards in Mumbai

The campaign to put up signboards in Urdu that has set off in Mumbai. It’s been quite long since we last heard of such a drive from anywhere in India.

The Qaumi Majlis-e-Shoora (QMS) has started the ‘Urdu tehreek’ and nameplates written in Urdu have been put up again. The drive has started from Bhindi Bazaar and will soon spread to other parts of the metropolis and later to state.

The recent incident in which the Urdu nameplate of leader of the Samajwadi Party councillors (corporators) group in BMC was removed by Shiv Sena, seems to have jolted the Urdu-speaking populace.

The fact is that Urdu is one of the official languages of Indian republic and ought to be given its rightful place along with other languages. Over 2.5 million (25 lakh) people speak Urdu in Bombay alone. Organisations in other cities across the country must also take the lead and emulate QMS. Every Urdu-speaker must ensure that at least his nameplate would be in Urdu and the shop will have Urdu signpost.

Rafia Manzoorul Ameen passes away in Hyderabad

Urdu writer

Urdu writer

Eminent Urdu writer Rafia Manzoorul Ameen passed away in Hyderabad Deccan recently. She was 78.

Her first novel ‘Saare jahaan ka dard’ that was set in Kashmir was published by Naseem Anhonvi’s publication from Lucknow. She wrote Yeh Raste and later Aalampanah which got her immense popularity as TV serial Farmaan was based on it.

She passed away when the muezzin gave the call for Zohr namaaz and after repeating the initial words ‘Allah-o-Akbar’, she breathed her last, reports Nadeem Siddiqui, in Inquilab Urdu daily (Mumbai).

She wrote over 200 stories in her literary career. She was a student of science and also wrote a book ‘Saainsi Zaaviye’ that was in the syllabus in Nagpur. Rafia Manzurul Amin was born in 1930 and died on June 30, 2008.