Wednesday, April 9, 2014

(Story of) Learning Urdu and Blogging

Story of learning Urdu and my blog:

Like everyone else around me, growing up in tier 2 cities had its own values. As teenagers, we believed that gazals and Urdu poetry was the music of class. It was definitely more values than popular film music and even, Gulzar’s poetry, which we didn’t understand. We heard the likes of Jagjit Singh, Gulam Ali, Mehadi Hasan (Mehandi Hasan for few) and some of us, later graduated to Begum Akhtar and Farida Khanum.  I won’t think everyone of us enjoyed or understood the poetry, most of us were hooked to the gazals because of Jagjit Singh’s (singer’s)  voice and hype attached with Urdu poetry (There were no rewards, Girls didn’t  care for us ; It was just a self-satisfaction of  developing a higher taste)

I continued reading the poetry and then it was just an academic interest in the language. It was also because I found that most of Muslim friends around me didn’t know the language and hence I felt elevated. Altogether it was a mixture of love of language, understanding the poetry and romanticism attached with the poetry were the reasons for me to continue the learning.

I learnt the language with the help of a Rs. 10 book of “Daag ki Shayary” which one can find at any of the railway station in India and an Urdu-Marathi dictionary. The book had verses written in Urdu on one side and in devnagari on the opposite with explanation of difficult words. The dictionary had Urdu alphabets and their explanation in Marathi. Those were the times of being unemployed and so I had lots of time to spend. I picked up the alphabets, learnt how they connected while writing or reading and also started subscribing to an Urdu newspaper called “Inquilab”. Lack of formal education may still reflect in my posts and I am thankful to blog readers who patiently write back for correction.

I also started an NGO and thought I could start doing something useful for the language, spread its usage (which is very nicely being done by Mumbai based duo- urduwallahs- Visit - but I didn’t have enough passion to pursue. After 5-7 years of working, I started finding “something else” to do and stumbled upon blog writing.

This blog has gone through lot of changes and it’s not in good shape with reference to links. It has also gone through the inherited confusion (common spread in people from cow belt) of choosing the medium as Hindi or English. It went through the writer’s dilemma, confusion, inability, ignorance, insensitivity and also through sudden pangs of love, sense of responsibility and ownership.

In the end, I realized, it is something valuable for me and hence I decide now, to continue the habit of writing this blog.