Noor: A standard Urdu monthly for children

For almost six decades, Noor, has been the leading children’s magazine in the country and has helped keeping Urdu alive among the young ones in India.

The Noor digest is published from Rampur (Uttar Pradesh) and is a must in every household where Urdu is spoken. Along with Umang and Payam-e-Talim, Noor is among the few standard periodicals for kids whose mother tongue is Urdu.

Priced at Rs 18 per month, the annual subscription costs Rs 200, however, if you want it through registered post the charge is Rs 410. For subscription you can contact

In the past, Khilaunda, Toffee and Kaliyan were among the major children’s magazines but now few such magazines remain. And all Urdu lovers must patronise them.

For subscription you can send money order and also write a post card with the details of money order slip to Idara-e-Alhasanat, Old Khandsar, Rampur (UP), 244901.


Renowned Urdu poet Saghar Khayyami passes away

One of the most popular humorist poets of Urdu, Saghar Khayyami passed away in Mumbai. He was admitted to the Nanavati Hospital after suffering cardiac arrest.

Khayyami, whose real name was Rashidul Hasan, was 70. The body has been flown to Lucknow for the last rites. Saghar Khayyami’s demise has left the Urdu world in a state of shock. He was unquestionably the most popular satirist and exponent of humorous poetry in Urdu.

His presence ensured the success of any mushaira and was among the most recognised faces of Urdu poetry in the country. Apart from India, he was also popular in Gulf and America. The stage of mushaira would no longer be the same, without Saaghar Khayyami.

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Demise of Urdu poets: Ramz, Ghulam Rizvi Gardish

Eminent Urdu poet Mohammad Ahmad Ramz died in Ghaziabad on April 2. He was the foremost modernist poet.

Ramz was born in Sitapur in 1932. He emerged as a leading poet at the peak of moderist movement, especially in the 70s. Earlier known as Ramz Sitapuri, his collection of poetry ‘Savaad-e-Rang’ got popularity.

His couplet: SaaNsoN meN ulajh rahii thiiN saaNseN
SadiyoN ko ubuur kar rahaa tha voh

The demise of Ghulam Rizvi Gardish is another shock for Urdu world. He passed away in Mau. He was born in Muhammadabad town of Mau and taught English in Shia college. He had also spent years in Mumbai.

Ghulam Rizwi Gardish will always be remembered for his ‘khaaka-nigaari’ and his knowledge about Urdu poetry and its history. He could recall innumerable couplets of hundreds of poets and also the literary feuds and controversies in the history of Urdu literature.

He was a poet of repute and had several collections to his name apart from his famous work ‘paraganda log’ in which he wrote profiles of poets and writers. His second book of profiles, ‘Aainakhana’ is in print.

Azad Hind editor gets Rajya Sabha berth

Ahmad Saeed Malihabadi, the editor of Urdu daily Azad Hind (Calcutta) is all set to get elected to the Upper House. The Left Front and the Congress, both bitter rivals in West Bengal politics, have supported his nomination.

He had filed his nomination as an independent candidate. It is quite clear that he will easily sail through. Congress leader PR Das Munshi said that Malihabadi is a scholar, a secular person and his family played its role in the freedom movement that makes him a candidate Congress can back.

Malihabadi has been elected to the Upper House. One does hope that in the Rajya Sabha, he would raise the issues of poor, the downtrodden and of course the issues concerning minorities. Unfortunately Azad Hind, an old and respected newspaper, is yet to have a website of its own.

Obituary: Prakash Fikri’s demise

Only last year at Urdu India, we had featured a ghazal of Prakash Fikri. The renowned Urdu poet passed away sometime back (the news has come late). He was 77. Zahirul Haq alias Prakash Fikri was born in Ambala in 1931.

His father Maulvi Mohammad Zakaria was an Arabic teacher. By 60s, Fikri was well-known as a modernist voice in Urdu poetry. His poetry collections Safar Sitara & Ek Zara Si Barish were critically acclaimed. In Patna and Ranchi, where he lived, there were condolence meetings organised in his memory.


Naiyer Masud: Foremost short-story writer of our times

Nayyar Masood

One of the foremost Indian writers, Naiyer Masood, is known for his masterful portrayal of the Lucknow of yore. But Masood dislikes nostalgia.

A flagbearer of post-modernist tradition in Urdu, his short-stories reflect the decline of Lucknow, once the epitome of culture and civility in India. But the stories no way lament the loss of an era.

Rather they deal about the ordinary human beings, and the celebration of their courage in the face of adversities. In his stories, Masood demolishes the perception that Lucknow’s society was decadent.

His story ‘The Myna from the Peacock Garden’ [Taoos Chaman ki Mynah] is a classic. In an interview with Sagaree Sengupta, Masood says, “First, I wanted to offer a
corrective to the bad reputation Vajid Ali Shah had acquired. Certainly,
he had weaknesses but he had good qualities as well. I wanted to deal
with him, Lucknow, and the culture of Lucknow in a story…”.

“Ahmed Ali Khan, who was the first photographer of
India. He assembled his own small army and fought against the British,
and was probably killed himself. In Munshi Naval Kishore’s history it
says that this man was a photographer and the English respected him
because of that, but that, “regrettably, in spite of all that he raised arms
against the British.”

Read this interview in PDF file on
Read another interview with Asif Farukhi.

Naiyer Masood was born in Lucknow in 1936. He did his graduation from Lucknow University and later got a degree in MA (Persian) from the same University apart from Phd in both Persian and Urdu from Allahabad University and Lucknow University respectively. He has written 21 books and his works have been translated from French to Finnish.

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Saraswati Samman to Naiyer Masud, Iqbal Award to Majeed

Renowned Urdu litterateur Naiyer Masud has been selected for this year’s Saraswati Samman, which is given by KK Birla Foundation, annually to an Indian author in any of the languages of the country.

Masud is one of the greatest Urdu short-story writers and has become a legend in his lifetime. A translation of his short-stories, which was published in English, ‘The essence of camphor’ had stunned the readers across the world.

His works have been translated in umpteen languages from French to Hebrew. Earlier, eminent critic Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, was awarded Saraswati Samman, six years ago for his landmark ‘Sher Shor Angez’. The Saraswati Samman comprises of Rs 5 lakh cash and a citation. The jury that selected the winner was presided over by Chief Justice of India JB Patnaik.

Award to Iqbal Majeed

Another eminent Urdu author, Iqbal Majeed, has been selected for Madhya Pradesh government’s prestigious award ‘Iqbal Samman’ in the field of Urdu literature. Iqbal Majeed has been writing since mid-50s and is considered one of the finest novelists and short-story writers in the sub-continent. The award carries Rs 2 lakh cash.

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Urdu Mushairas and Urdu poets


Shahar-e-Sukhan is Dr Malikzada Manzoor Ahmad’s interesting account of the poets who ruled the Mushairas half-a-century ago. Separate chapters on 26 major poets including the likes of Salam Machhlishahri, Fana Nizami Kanpuri, Ravish Siddiqui, Masood Akhtar Jamal, Allama Anwar Sabri, Mirza Ahsan Ahmad Beg, Hindi Gorakhpuri and Salam Sandelvi.

Chapters on poets like Jigar Muradabadi, Nushoor Vahidi, Khumar Barabankvi, Rahi Masoom Raza and Arif Abbasi Baliyavi are also part of this book. It was first published in 1961 and the entire edition had sold out immediately after publication. In 1961, all the poets described in the book were alive.

Now when the book has been re-printed half-a-century later, only two–Malikzada Manzoor Ahmed himself and Natiq Aazmi are alive. Allama Niaz Fatehpuri had lauded the book wholeheartedly, specially Malikzada’s style of description of poets. The book is interspersed with anecdotes and the interesting incidents during Mushairas, that make it a must for any library.

“I asked Fana Nizami Kanpuri, why he never sent his poetry for publication in magazines and literary journals”. He said that once he sent his ghazal and the editor replied that, ‘Ghazal mil gayi hai mutmain rahiye‘ and I stopped sending my poetry to periodicals thereafter. ‘What was so objectionable in his reply?, asked Malikzada. Fana Sahab said, ‘You may not feel it anything in it but it is an affront to a poet, after all when he had received the ghazal he should have been mutmain, rather he asked me to do the same”.

You can order it from Seemant Nagar, Kanchan Bihari Marg, Kalyanpur (Lucknow) for Rs 200.

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