LAHORE: Novelists and scholars of literature from Patna, New Delhi and Aligarh discussed Urdu novel writing in India and Urdu novels published across borders. The conference was online, at the Gurmani Center for Languages and Literature, LUMS here on Friday.
Lecturers Abdus Samad from Patna, Dr. Sarwarul Hoda from New Delhi and Shafey Kidwai from Aligarh University were brought together to address the Pakistani audience by Nasir Abbas Nayyar in Lahore.
Abdus Samad has written 11 novels and 5 short stories and has won several awards. His novel “Do gaz zameen” is part of the university curriculum. He has been writing novels for 40 years. He read an excerpt from his latest novel “System” which is about the police. Through the intermediary of a policeman, he laid bare the system manipulated by power. While the world sees the police as the villain, through his powerful writing he has brought to light the injustice the police and the people face.
Dr. Sarwarul Hoda, Urdu teacher at Jamia Millia Islamia, has written a novel which is about to be published. He also wrote a book on Muhammad Hassan Askari. Its collection of Urdu news, articles and e-books is available online. He said Nasir Abbas Nayyar, short story writer, critic, columnist and essayist from Lahore is widely read in India.
He talked about novelists in India and listed 37 novels written in Urdu which are worth mentioning. The writer must live in his time and relate to his age, he said. Some of the mentioned novelists were Musharraf Alam Zauqi, Siddiq Alam, Khalid Javaid, Syed Muhammad Ashraf and many others.
‘Samundar muntazir hai’ by Fazle Rab, Kaii chand thay sar-e-asmaan by Shamsur Rehman Faruqui, ‘Khawab saraab’ by Anees Ashfaq which explores the story of Umrao Jan that Hadi Ruswa missed, ‘Naimat Khana’ by Khalid Javaid were some of the novels that received special mention. He also talked about ‘Marg-e-Amboh’ by Musaharraf Alam Zauqi from Pakistan.
“You have to do your homework to write a novel. Novels that have reached the level of classic are historical. The canvas of a novel is large. People in our time have begun to say that it’s the only novel that keeps an era, a period alive. A number of novels have been written from Azeemababad, he said.
The third speaker Shafey Kidwai was from the mass communication department. He talked about the three novels written during Covid and deserved attention. These are ‘Ek khanjar paani mein’ by Khalid Javaid, ‘Kashkol’ by Abdus Samad and ‘Zindan’. All three novels are about the pandemic.
The good thing is that many novels are available online. By allowing Urdu lovers to listen to celebrities and scholars writing and teaching Urdu, Nasir Abbas Nayyar has done Urdu a great service. Earlier, Nasir read an article about writing novels and said that a novel takes all human experiences into account and presents them to the reader in simple words. “The novel is a democratic form of literature. In 1947, when the division took place, it also affected literature,” he says.