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Urdunama

Hindi, Arts, 1 season, 184 episodes, 1 day, 20 hours, 55 minutes
About
Bollywood tunes make compulsive hummers out of us. But wait, do you know the meaning of every word you hum? Especially the ones in Urdu? Urdunama, with @FabehaSyed, takes one word at a time and we slice and dice it for you.
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Free Yourself from the 'Zindaan' of this World

In this episode, we delve into the depths of 'zindaan' – the Urdu word for prison. But our exploration goes beyond the literal confines of bars and walls. Join us as we examine the various forms of prisons that can trap the human spirit. From the physical cells of incarceration to the intangible chains of fear, regret, and societal expectations, we discuss how these 'zindaans' impact our lives and shape our experiences. Listen till the end as Fabeha Syed reads poetry by Aitbar Sajid, Habib Jalib, and others. Check out other episodes on poets like Josh Malihabadi and Faiz Ahmad Faiz here: https://www.thequint.com/podcast/urdunama-celebrating-josh-malihabadis-life-and-his-resistance-poetry https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLTAgbn5EuY
7/6/202425 minutes, 8 seconds
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Furqat: A Delicate Lament of Separation

In this episode of Urdunama, Fabeha Syed explores the theme of separation in Urdu poetry. Often associated with lovers, 'furqat' and the breaking of relationships bring profound sorrow to the heart. Listen till the end to immerse yourself in the beautiful verses of Jaun Elia, Hafiz Hoshiyarpuri, and other renowned poets.
6/23/202421 minutes, 41 seconds
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In this 'Aalam', We're All Just Tourists!

In this introspective episode of Urdunama, Fabeha Syed delves into the 'aalam', or universe of Urdu poetry. Exploring some profound ideas by Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Bahadur Shah Zafar, and Allama Iqbal, we understand how great thinkers have reflected about the world. From dark matter to the longing for a beloved, the world is full of surprises and lessons. We also visit a poignant scene from the hit TV show 'Young Sheldon', and see how the precision of the universe hints at a higher power. In the 'Aap Ki Qalam Se' segment, we feature original poetry by Supriya Newar. She reads poetry from her book 'Justuju'.
6/16/202429 minutes, 45 seconds
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Act With Care, Every Choice Has a 'Nateeja'

After a nail-biting counting day, let us lighten things up and contemplate the consequences of our choices. In this episode of 'Urdunama', Fabeha Syed talks about the Urdu word 'nateeja'. From psychology to philosophy, and quantum physics, see how the beautiful idea of 'nateeja' relates to the Schrödinger's cat thought experiment. Join Fabeha on this thought-provoking and captivating journey into the depths of our choices and their consequences. Listen till the end as she reads poetry by Amir Qazalbash and Kaif Ahmed Siddiqui.
6/8/202425 minutes
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The Silent Weight of 'Nadaamat'

Join Fabeha Syed as she dives into the rich and evocative world of the Urdu word 'nadaamat,' which translates to 'regret.' Discover how poets have woven this bittersweet emotion into their verses, capturing the delicate dance between longing and lessons learned. Whether you're a lover of language or a seeker of soul-stirring poetry, this episode promises to leave you with a deeper appreciation for the beautiful complexity of life.
6/5/202418 minutes, 49 seconds
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Urdu Bolne ka 'Lahja' Thoda Casual Hai!!

Silence in class! After a deep dive into Sanjay Leela Bhansali's hit web series 'Heeramandi', Fabeha Syed continues her Urdu class on this episode of 'Urdunama'. Through an engaging narrative and the enchanting recitation of Urdu poetry, discover how 'lahja' shapes communication and adds depth to our linguistic heritage. Urdu's phonetics and tone are integral to its charm and expressiveness, making it one of the most melodious languages in the world. One's 'lahja'  can convey their geographical background, education level, and even social status, making it a key element in communication and interaction. Listen till the end as Fabeha reads poetry by Bashir Badr, Rahat Indori and Jan Nisar Akhtar. In the 'Aap Ki Qalam Se' section, we feature oiginal poetry by Mutassim Khan.
5/27/202416 minutes, 9 seconds
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How Accurate is the Urdu in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 'Heeramandi'?

Time to fire up your epiglottis! In this episode of Urdunama, Fabeha Syed delves into the linguistic nuances of Urdu in the much-discussed web series 'Heeramandi'. While the series has garnered attention for its bold storytelling and captivating visuals, the portrayal of Urdu within it has sparked debates and discussions. Join us as we dissect the accuracy of the Urdu dialogue, exploring its authenticity, usage, and the cultural context within the narrative. 
5/19/202419 minutes, 41 seconds
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What is the Meaning of Our 'Vajood' in this World?

In this episode of the 'Urdunama' podcast, we delve deep into the profound word 'vajood' and its intricate significance in Urdu poetry. Join us as we unravel the layers of meaning behind this evocative term, exploring its portrayal of existence, identity, and the human experience.
5/8/202412 minutes, 56 seconds
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Behind Every 'Mayoosi', Lies a New Hope

This episode of Urdunama gets real. Our host, Fabeha Syed dives into a feeling we all know too well: 'mayoosi', or despair. If you've ever felt that things are not going your way, this episode is for you.  Taking shade under the wisdom of poets like Sahir Ludhianvi, Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Firaq Gorakhpuri, let us heal together. Tune in!
4/27/202415 minutes, 40 seconds
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The Fine Line Between Being Selfish and 'Khuddar'

Apologies are in order! Urdunama is making a comeback after a two-week hiatus as Fabeha was busy with mommy duties. In this episode, we delve into the concept of the self. We explore how the Urdu language evokes notions of freedom and self-worth, and discuss the subtle distinction between being firm in one's principles and being 'khuddar'. Listen till the end as Fabeha reads poetry by Javed Akhtar, Kaif Bhopali and Muzaffar Razmi. The episode features original poetry by our listener Mohammad Adnan. You can get your poetry featured in the 'Aap ki Qalam' section of Urdunama. Or if you're a singer, send us a rendition of your favourite songs for 'Aap ki Awaaz'. We'd love to include you in the next episode.
4/22/202418 minutes, 8 seconds
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Hum Urdu Shayari ke Deewaane Hain, Kya Aapko 'Khabar' Hai?

'Hoshwalon ko khabar kya, bekhudi kya cheez hai'. This ghazal by Nida Fazli has been a constant in many 90s kids' playlists. Sung by the great Jagjit Singh, the song was picturised on Aamir Khan for the 1999 film 'Sarfarosh'. In this episode of Urdunama, Fabeha Syed discusses the everyday, yet essential Urdu word 'khabar' and its significance in the Indian context. From street conversations to newsrooms, 'khabar' plays a pivotal role in conveying information and connecting people across diverse communities in India. Listen in as Fabeha reads poetry by Hairat Allahabadi, Mirza Ghalib and Parveen Shakir. The episode also features original poetry by Tarannum Shaikh. If you want to feature on the Urdunama podcast, DM @fabehathesyed or @novacanemusic97 on Instagram with a voice note of your original poetry or songs.
3/31/202415 minutes, 21 seconds
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Nazeer Akbarabadi's Poetry on Holi: Celebrating Unity & Colors

'Mere hazrat ne Madine mei manaayi Holi'. This line by Gauhar Jaan perfectly encapsulates the spirit of 'Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb', which is entrenched in the Urdu language. Welcome to this special episode of Urdunama, where Fabeha Syed delves into the vibrant world of Nazeer Akbarabadi's poetry, particularly focusing on his evocative verses celebrating the festival of Holi. From the joyous splashes of colors to the deeper themes of unity and celebration, join us as we celebrate the spirit of Holi through the lens of Urdu poetry in this episode of Urdunama. Aparupa Gupta, a long-time Urdunama listener has lent her voice for a soulful rendition of some nazms. If you too are a singer/poet, DM us to get featured on the next episode of Urdunama. We would love for you to be a part of our community.
3/24/202417 minutes, 50 seconds
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This Podcast Won't Let You Stay 'Khafa' for Long!

In this episode of Urdunama, Fabeha Syed discusses the word 'khafa', with a smile on her face, of course! The Urdu word means 'displeased', 'upset', and 'offended'. As she reads poetry by Javed Akhtar, Bashir Badr and Anwar Shuoor, we unpack the complexities of releationships, and understand how 'naraazi' can help us heal. Listen till the end!
3/17/202416 minutes, 50 seconds
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Shoot for the 'Chaand', You'll Hit the Starts if You Miss

This week on Urdunama, Fabeha Syed delves into the magic of the word 'chaand' (moon) in Urdu poetry and literature. We'll explore how this celestial body has inspired countless verses and metaphors, capturing the essence of love, longing, and beauty. The episode features a special musical segment by a listener Prakhar Kaushik, who serenades us with a soulful rendition of the classic ghazal 'Yeh Raat Bheegi Bheegi'. Do you have a song rendition, or a poem you've written? We'd love to hear your voice on Urdunama! Send us a DM on our social media pages and tell us about your work. You might just be featured in a future episode!
3/11/202418 minutes, 32 seconds
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Ghazal se Naam Tak: The Life and Legacy of Pankaj Udhas

This episode of Urdunama celebrates the life and work of the iconic ghazal singer and composer, Pankaj Udhas. We lost the legend on 26 February 2024 to Pancreatic Cancer. He was born on 17 May 1951 in Gujarat, and made a name for himself in both film and independent music. Fabeha Syed will delve into the captivating world of his ghazals, exploring their emotional depth and the unique style that captivated audiences worldwide. Prateek Lidhoo joins in to sing heartfelt renditions of his most loved songs like 'Chitthi Aayi Hai', 'Chandi Jaisa Rang', and 'Aur Ahista'. We'll witness how Pankaj Udhas breathed new life into the ghazal tradition, earning him recognition as a pioneer of the genre. If you too are a fan of this maestro, listen till the end and tell us your favourite song of his down below.
3/1/202412 minutes, 5 seconds
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If the World Leaves You 'Beqarar', Turn to Poetry

This episode of Urdunama delves into the depths of a single Urdu word, 'beqarar,' capturing the essence of restlessness, yearning, and disquiet. It's a word that paints not only human emotion but also the beating heart, the pangs of love, and the very pulse of life. Join Fabeha Syed as we embark on a journey exploring the various facets of 'beqarar' in Urdu poetry. We'll witness how this word blossoms into a kaleidoscope of emotions within poetry.
2/24/202414 minutes, 45 seconds
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Faiz Ahmad Faiz Part II: Echoes of Love and Revolution

In the previous episode, Fabeha Syed read through some bars of Faiz Ahmed Faiz's prison poetry, witnessing the resilience of his spirit, and the power of his voice against oppression. But in this Urdunama, we venture into a gentler landscape, the blossoming gardens of Faiz's romantic poetry. Fabeha will guide you through Faiz's masterful use of metaphor and imagery, unveiling the depths of his emotional expression. Discover how his love poems transcended personal longing, reflecting a universal desire for freedom, beauty, and justice.
2/17/202415 minutes, 54 seconds
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Behind Bars, Beyond Silence: Faiz Ahmad Faiz and the Poetry of Resistance

Join Fabeha Syed on a journey into the unyielding spirit of Faiz Ahmad Faiz, where prison walls could not confine his verse, and bars became echoes for his revolutionary voice. Faiz Ahmad Faiz was born on 13 February 1911 in Sialkot, present-day Pakistan. Dive deep into the poet's life, from his early activism to his periods of incarceration, exploring how confinement fueled his most powerful and poignant poetry. We'll delve into iconic works like 'Hum Dekhenge' and uncover the hidden stories behind them, analyzing Faiz's masterful use of metaphors and imagery to challenge authority and ignite hope. As Prateek Lidhoo sings a rendition of 'Gulon Mein Rang Bhare', we pay a tribute to the indomitable spirit of expression, where poetry becomes a weapon of resistance, and words break free even from the most fortified walls. 
2/12/202426 minutes, 32 seconds
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Jagjit Singh: The Voice That Taught Us How To Cry

Jagjit Singh was born on 8 February 1941. This episode of Urdunama pays homage to the legendary ghazal singer, whose soulful voice painted a thousand emotions with every rendition. We delve into his illustrious career, exploring his unique style that captivated audiences worldwide. Join us on a musical journey through the maestro's most cherished ghazals, brought to life in a medley by Prateek Lidhoo. Relive the magic of classics like 'Kal Chaudhvi Ki Raat Thi', 'Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe Ho' and 'Tumko Dekha Toh Yeh Khayaal Aaya', as we celebrate the timeless legacy of Jagjit Singh.
2/5/202415 minutes, 57 seconds
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Aaj ka Urdunama, Ram Ke Naam!

Did you know that some of the most beautiful poetry about Lord Ram has been written in Urdu?  While the Ram Temple consecration was a watershed moment for many Hindus across the country, we felt that the mainstream news coverage was limited to party politics and communal remarks. But in this episode of Urdunama, we want to use Ram as a unifying force. Let us embark on a fascinating journey to explore the rich tapestry of Urdu poetry dedicated to Lord Ram, a figure revered in Hinduism. Often shrouded in the misconception that Urdu belongs solely to one religion, this episode challenges that notion by showcasing the beautiful confluence of cultures and perspectives within the language. Listen till the end as Fabeha Syed reads iconic poems about Ram's 'vanvaas,' Diwali, and Ayodhya, by poets like Altaf Hussain, Arsh Malsiyani, and Javed Akhtar.
1/27/202415 minutes, 28 seconds
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In Memory of Munawwar Rana: A Tribute to the Iconic Urdu Poet

This Urdunama episode is a tribute to a legend, a poetic journey that will leave you mesmerized and wanting more. We lost Munawwar Rana on 14 January 2024. A luminary in the realm of Urdu literature, Rana's profound verses resonated with the depths of human emotion, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of readers and listeners alike. Born in Rae Bareli, India, in 1949, Munawwar Rana's poetic journey was a testament to the power of words to transcend boundaries. His eloquent expression and poignant verses delved into the complexities of life, love, and societal issues, capturing the essence of the human experience. Explore the rich tapestry of Rana's literary contributions through iconic collections like 'Muhajirnama,' 'Shahdaba,' and 'Bagh.' His words were not mere poetry; they were a mirror to the human experience, offering solace and inspiration to generations. Rest in poetry, maestro!
1/20/202413 minutes, 52 seconds
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Let Words Come Alive in the 'Kitaab' of Life

In this special episode of Urdunama, Fabeha delves into the captivating realm of 'kitaab', the very essence of knowledge and imagination. Join us as we explore the world of books as a metaphorical embodiment of knowledge, wisdom and life in general. Listen till the end as Fabeha reads poetry by Ahmad Faraz and Ejaaz Tawakkal.
1/14/202412 minutes, 10 seconds
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The Spark of a New 'Agaaz' in Urdu Shayari

In the first Urdunama of 2024, Fabeha Syed ignites a conversation about 'Agaaz,' the Urdu word for 'beginning.' Agaaz is not just a starting point, but a potent spark that ignites possibilities, fuels dreams, and propels us forward into the unknown. Listen till the end as she reads poetry by Ahmad Faraz and Kafeel Aazar Amrohvi.
1/7/20249 minutes, 40 seconds
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Dealing With the Thorny Burden of ‘Ilzaam’ in Urdu Poetry

In this episode of Urdunama, Fabeha Syed unfurls the intricate layers of the Urdu word 'Ilzaam', meaning 'blame' or 'accusation'. It's a word that carries a weight of suspicion, hurt, and sometimes even injustice. Fabeha opens the episode with a personal anecdote, recalling a familiar scene: her mother's accusing gaze as a misplaced winter scarf sparks a flurry of 'Ilzaam'. This relatable moment sets the stage for a deeper exploration of how 'Ilzaam' manifests in our lives and takes on different forms in the world of Urdu poetry. Through the verses of renowned poets like Sahir Ludhianvi, we'll traverse the emotional landscape of 'Ilzaam'.
12/23/202314 minutes, 3 seconds
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Before the Year Ends, Let's Finish Ek 'Adhoora' Kaam!

Fabeha Syed explores the poignant concept of 'Adhoora,' or 'unfinished,' in Urdu poetry. This evocative term captures the incompleteness and impermanence that are inherent aspects of human existence. Through the verses of renowned poets like Jan Nisar Akhtar and Javed Akhtar, we'll delve into the various shades of Adhoora. The episode is also joined by our in-house 'tuntuna' man Prateek Lidhoo for a rendition of 'Ek Adhoora Kaam' from the film 'Ram Prasad Ki Tehrvi.' This soulful rendition perfectly captures the yearning and unfulfilled desires at the heart of 'Adhoora.' Listen till the end!
12/9/202313 minutes, 34 seconds
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The Many 'Mausams' in Urdu Shayari

In this captivating episode of Urdunama, Fabeha Syed embarks on a journey through the ever-changing landscapes of Mausam (weather in Urdu), exploring its profound influence on Urdu poetry. Mausam is not merely a physical phenomenon; it is a living, breathing entity that weaves itself into the very fabric of Urdu verses. Poets have long drawn inspiration from the transformative power of weather, using it as a metaphor for the human experience, capturing its beauty, its harshness, and its relentless cycle of change.
12/2/202311 minutes, 56 seconds
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Deedar: Glimpses of Longing in Urdu Shayari

In this week's episode of Urdunama, Fabeha Syed delves into the depths of the Urdu word 'Deedar,' a term that signifies a profound 'sight' or 'vision' often associated with the beloved. Deedar is a word that carries immense weight and longing, representing both the physical act of seeing and the spiritual yearning for connection. Syed will explore the different ways in which Deedar is used in Urdu poetry, taking listeners on a journey through verses that express the burning desire for a glimpse of the beloved, the joy of reunion after separation, and the sorrow of unfulfilled longing.
11/25/202310 minutes, 25 seconds
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Azmaish: The Test of Urdu Poetry

In this week's episode of Urdunama, Fabeha Syed explores the Urdu word "azmaish," meaning "test" or "trial." Azmaish is a powerful and evocative word, with many different meanings and connotations. It can refer to a literal test, such as an exam or a challenge, but it can also be used to describe more abstract concepts such as temptation, adversity, or even spiritual growth. Syed will discuss the different ways in which azmaish is used in Urdu poetry, and will read some of her favorite poems that feature this word. She will also explore the cultural significance of azmaish in Urdu culture, and how it has been used to express a wide range of human emotions, from fear and despair to hope and resilience.
11/11/202311 minutes, 53 seconds
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Are You a ‘Deewana’ of Urdu Shayari? Cuz We Certainly Are!

In this week's episode of Urdunama, Fabeha Syed explores the Urdu word 'deewana,' meaning 'mad.' Deewana is a powerful word, with a rich and complex history. It can be used to describe someone who is passionate, obsessed, or even out of their mind. Syed will discuss the different ways in which deewana is used in Urdu poetry and will read some of her favorite poems by Ahmad Faraz, Khushbir Singh Shaad, and Mohammad-Hossein Shahriar. She will also explore the cultural significance of deewana in Urdu culture, and how it has been used to express a wide range of human emotions, from love and longing to despair and madness. Listen till the end.
10/28/202311 minutes, 27 seconds
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Taking Shade Under the 'Saaya' of Urdu Shayari

In today's Urdunama, Fabeha explores the Urdu word 'saaya,' meaning 'shadow.' Saaya is a complex and evocative word, with many different meanings and nuances. It can refer to the literal shadow of a person or object, but it can also be used to describe more abstract concepts such as protection, support, or even melancholy. Fabeha digs deep into her personal life and talks about motherhood, and parental love as she reads poetry by Kaifi Azmi, Azad Gulati, and Ahmad Mushtaq.
10/14/202314 minutes, 33 seconds
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It is Our Ability to 'Shak' That Makes Us Human

Your beloved show has been away for a few weeks because of a new addition to the Urdunama family. This week marks the debut of Fabeha's son Musa on the show, as she joins back to talk about a fundamental concept of 'shak', or doubt. The episode starts with "I think, therefore I am", a quote by French philosopher René Descartes, and how the fact that we can doubt and question things around us makes us human. Listen till the end as Fabeha reads poetry by Zubair Ali Tabish, Gulzar, and Javed Akhtar. Apologies for the Break, Urdunama is Back Without any 'Shak'
10/7/202314 minutes, 29 seconds
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In Life, You Gotta Have 'Aitbaar' in Each Other's Humanity

In this episode of Urdunama, Fabeha Syed explores the meaning of the Urdu word 'aitbaar', which means faith or trust. She discusses how important it is to have trust in others, and how this can lead to stronger relationships, communities, and societies. Fabeha reads out poems by Urdu poets like Gulzar, who have beautifully captured the essence of trust. She also shares her experiences of how trust has helped her in her life. This episode is a reminder of the power of trust, and how it can enrich our lives in many ways. If you're looking for a podcast that will inspire you to be more trusting, then this is the episode for you.
9/16/202317 minutes, 37 seconds
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Irshad Kamil: The Nadaan Parinda of Hindi Film Music

In this episode of Urdunama, Fabeha Syed talks about the poetry of Irshad Kamil. Kamil is one of the most popular Indian poets of recent times, and his work has been featured in many successful Hindi films. He has worked with music directors like AR Rahman, Vishal-Shekhar, Pritam, and many more.Fabeha discusses Kamil's unique style of writing, which combines simple language with complex emotions. She also talks about how Kamil's poetry has influenced Hindi film music.In addition to reading out the nazms, Prateek Lidhoo performs some beautiful songs penned by Kamil, like Jo Bhi Main, Shayad, Jagg Ghomeya, and Tu Jaane Na. 
9/6/202312 minutes, 30 seconds
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This Raksha Bandhan, Remember that 'Hifazat' is a Two-Way Street

Raksha Bandhan is a time for sisters to express their love and concern for their brothers. It is also a time for brothers to reaffirm their commitment to protecting their sisters. The festival reminds us of the power of love to protect us from harm. The Urdu word 'hifazat' means 'protection' or 'safeguarding.' It is a sentiment that is central to the festival of Raksha Bandhan. Listen to this podcast as Fabeha reads poetry by Munawwar Rana, Shakeel Badayuni, and Waseem Barelvi.
8/26/202310 minutes, 22 seconds
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The 'Tamasha' Must Go On : Are We Performing For The World?

Join Fabeha Syed on this episode of Urdunama as we delve deep into the concept of "tamasha" or spectacle. From Imtiaz Ali's storytelling to the nuances of human behavior, Fabeha guides us through the many meanings of "tamasha". It's not just about entertainment; it's about the myriad ways we perform for the world and even for ourselves, often forgetting our true essence.Tune in! 
8/19/202312 minutes, 41 seconds
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Understanding Gulzar: The Poet Who Has ‘Copyright Over the Moon'

Whether you're a die-hard fan or just curious about the magic of Urdu poetry, this episode of Urdunama is your golden ticket. Fabeha Syed and Dr. Saba Mahmood Bashir are here to blow your mind, ignite your passion for words, and leave you with that warm, fuzzy feeling only poetry can deliver. From poetry challenging social norms to children's poetry about flowers blooming in 'chaddis', we're covering it all. Expect laughter, introspection, and maybe even a tear or two as we unravel the layers of Gulzar's genius. Grab your favorite cup of chai, get comfy, and let the poetic symphony begin!
8/12/202321 minutes, 25 seconds
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Badan Pe Sitare Lapete Hue... The Connection Between Soul and The Body

On this episode of Urdunama, we explore the poetry around badan, meaning the body and it's connection with attraction, intimacy and sensuality. Featuring nazms, songs and shayari by Nida Fazli, Rahat Indori, Jan Nisar Akhtar and more; tune into this special episode of Urdunama.
8/5/202317 minutes, 47 seconds
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How to Make Our Boring Lives More 'Dilchasp'

The Urdu word dilchasp is derived from the Persian roots dil (heart) and chasp (to please). The word literally means "heart-pleasing" or "heart-warming." Dilchasp can be used to describe anything that is pleasing or enjoyable, such as a beautiful sight, a delicious meal, or a kind gesture. The word can also be used to describe a person who is charming or witty. In Urdu poetry, dilchasp is often used to describe the beauty of a beloved. In this episode of Urdunama, host Fabeha Syed explains the meaning of the word, and how it is used in everyday conversation. Syed also discusses how dilchasp can be used in poetry and literature by greats like Kaifi Azmi and Javed Akhtar.
7/29/202313 minutes, 6 seconds
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Anand Bakshi: The Lyricist Who Made Hindi Cinema Sing

Anand Bakshi was born on 21 July 1930. In this episode of Urdunama, host Fabeha Syed talks about the lyrical legacy of Anand Bakshi. She reads out some of her favorite songs by Bakshi, including 'Chingari Koi Bhadke' from Amar Prem, and 'Mehandi Lagake Rakhna' from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Syed also discusses Bakshi's contribution to Hindi cinema, and how his songs have touched the hearts of millions of people around the world.  If you are a fan of Hindi cinema, or if you simply enjoy beautiful lyrics, then you will love this episode of Urdunama. This is a must-listen for anyone who loves Hindi film music.
7/22/202313 minutes, 33 seconds
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Understanding 'Fanaa', Beyond the Aamir-Kajol Film

In this episode of Urdunama, Fabeha Syed explores the intricacies of the Urdu word Fanaa. Fanaa is a complex idea with a rich history. It can mean to be annihilated, to be destroyed, or to be consumed by something else. But it can also mean to be transformed, to be liberated, or to be at peace. Fabeha discusses how the word has been used in literature, poetry, and music. Listen till the end! 
7/15/202313 minutes, 36 seconds
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The Monsoon Sky and 'Abr' in Urdu Poetry & Life in General

Welcome the monsoon season this year with a cup of chai or coffee, a plate of steaming hot pakoras and this episode of Urdunama on 'abr' meaning 'clouds'. Fabeha reads out some poetry, nazms and shayari by Faiz, Gulzar, Mirza Ghalib and others. 
7/8/202318 minutes, 1 second
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Are We Too Worried About The 'Anjaam' Of Our Stories?

'Anjaam' meaning consequences or results; is a word that you might spot in a lot of iconic shayaris, nazms and ghazals. Tune into this episode of Urdunama, where I talk about all kinds of endings- good, bad, and the unsaid.P.S. This episode also has an interesting anecdote from Sahir Ludhianvi's love life. 
6/24/202320 minutes, 53 seconds
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Revisiting Hemant Kumar's Legendary Career With a Musical Medley

In this episode of Urdunama, we want to trip on Hemant Kumar's legendary career. June 16 is Hemant Da's birthday. His soulful, yet intense music has had a lasting impact on Indian culture, and his songs continue to be enjoyed by people all over the world. Let us celebrate the legend with a musical medley of his biggest hits, reading some of the amazing Urdu poetry he lent his voice to. Thank you Hemant Da for making our lives melodious.
6/17/202314 minutes, 1 second
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From Ghalib to Badayuni, Here Are Some Gems on the Beauty of 'Izhaar'

All the artform is the expression of the artist behind it. And it's the way of izhaare-e-khayal or the expression of thought that paves the way to that art's success. The art that we focus on in this series is poetry. From Mirza Ghalib to Shakeel Badayuni, here is how to express when in love or distress.Tune in!
6/10/202317 minutes, 34 seconds
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Sometimes, Poetry Can Solve Every 'Masla' in Life

'Masla' is used to refer to a problem, an issue, or a matter that requires attention or resolution. It embodies the notion of a challenge or complication that demands careful consideration, analysis, and often, deliberation among individuals or groups. 'Masla' can encompass various aspects of life, including personal, social, political, or even spiritual matters. Tune in to this episode of Urdunama as Fabeha reads Sahir, Ahmad Faraz, Abbas Tabish, and others.  
6/3/202316 minutes, 26 seconds
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How Urdu Shayri Teaches Us To Live Life With ‘Mauj’

In today's Urdunama, we delve into the beautiful Urdu word 'Mauj,' which embodies joy, exuberance, and the undulating waves of life. Derived from Persian, 'Mauj' symbolizes the dynamic nature of existence and is often used in Urdu poetry to depict moments of bliss and celebration.  Listen till the end as I read poetry by Asghar Gondvi, Parveen Shakir, and Majrooh Sultanpuri.
5/27/202315 minutes, 1 second
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Truths of Life: You are 'Kaabil' to Achieve Great Things

'Kaabil', meaning capable or deserving, is a word we tend to forget. We perhaps are overlooking the limitless possibilities that lay ahead, and to be capable and deserving means that we should embrace them. After all, if we don't try, we will never know what we are made of and what we are capable of. Tune in as Fabeha Syed reads ashaar that talk of various capabilities and inabilities of a shayar.
5/13/202317 minutes, 31 seconds
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Mother's Day Special: The Different Love Languages of Mothers

Through food, head massages, a fruit slyly slipped in your bag and sometimes through anger - mothers' expression of love is so special and heartwarming. In this episode of Urdunama, we are celebrating Mother's Day by exploring all the different ways in which they shower their children with unconditional love. Tune in!
5/6/202320 minutes, 12 seconds
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'Gustaakhi Maaf': Urdu Poetry & Many Faces of 'Badtameez Dil'

Gustaakhi meaning audacity, bluntness, 'bebaaki', is a virtue that allows us to set personal boundaries. How far we must go to maintain them is a matter of personal choice. But in Urdu poetry the word 'gustaakhi' comes with its own weight.  Tune in as Fabeha Syed reads some of the gems of Urdu poetry. 
4/29/202314 minutes, 46 seconds
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'Zaiqa' of Life in Poetry and the Power of Taste

They say that variety is the spice of life, but how often do we find variety to help us get rid of the monotony? Hardly.  'Zaaiqa' means taste. So, to find some respite in mundane day-to-day activities, and to add some 'taste' to an otherwise boring life, it is advised to be as innovative as one can be. Tune in and learn a tip or two from poets who tell us what 'zaiqa' stands for them. 
4/15/202315 minutes, 30 seconds
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Love, Poetry & Reasons That Bring 'Ruswai' to the Shayar

'Ruswai' or the theme of 'disgrace in love' has often been the extent to which a poet can go to prove the beloved, his loyalty. Tune in as we read poets like Kafeel Azaar Amrohvi, Gulzar, Arzoo Lakhnavi, among others. 
4/8/202319 minutes
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April Fools Day Special: Urdu Poetry And The World of 'Ahmaq'

Fools do rush in but that's what most of us do when hopelessly in love.  But in this episode we don't essentially look at the fools or 'ahmaqs' who fall in love, but what it is that one does to be qualified as a fool. Tune in as we read Saghar Khayyami's nazm, 'Alauddin ka Tarbooz' and Ahmad Hatib Siddiqui's nazm, 'Kaen Kaen Kawwa Ten Ten Mitthu'. 
4/1/202315 minutes, 52 seconds
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Secrets from Urdu Poetry to Understand 'Jawani'

In this episode, we explore the significance of the Urdu word 'jawani,' meaning 'youth,' in poetry and how poets use it to emphasize the importance of cherishing and celebrating the vitality of life. The concept of jawani is often used as a metaphor for the pursuit of happiness and staying young at heart, with poets highlighting the fleeting nature of youth and how its spirit can help us overcome life's challenges. Through an exploration of the works of great shayars, listeners will gain a deeper understanding of the cultural significance of jawani in Urdu poetry. Tune in!
3/25/202315 minutes, 56 seconds
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Power of Imagination in Embracing the 'Haqeeqat' of Life

Haqeeqat means reality, or truth. It is also referred to as something's or someone's state or current condition. However, the theme of reality can be explored through the poems that lay emphasis on making peace with the displeasure that comes with knowing the haqeeqat of a beloved's heart, their eyes, or even the poet's life, itself.   Tune in as Fabeha Syed reads Ghalib among other poets like Muneer Niyazi, Mohsin Naqvi, and Javed Akhtar.
3/18/202313 minutes, 7 seconds
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'Khwaab' & Poetry: Manifesting Your Goals? Dream Big.

Our dreams shape our reality. But it takes a hell lot of hard work, courage, and persistence for our dreams to become reality.  Tune in as Fabeha Syed explores through the works of Nida Fazli, Qateel Shifai, and Parveen Shakir, among others. 
3/11/202312 minutes, 41 seconds
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Lessons from Urdu Poetry to Prepare for the 'Imtihaan' of Life

Get ready to wake up early, switch off Instagram, and stock up on extra coffee packets, because exam season is approaching. While writing this episode, memories of my student life came back to haunt me. I'm glad I don't have to write any exams this year. But you know what, the 'imtihaan' of life is never-ending. In this episode of Urdunama, I talk about the preparation tactics of great professors like Jaun Elia, Allama Iqbal, and Javed Akhtar. Tune in!
3/4/202315 minutes, 26 seconds
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Stages of Love Part 4: 'Visaal' or ‘Milan’ the Shayar Pines For

If you have followed Urdunama so far, you must have figured by now the reasons for the shayar's angst and joy. It is usually the masla-e-hijr-o-visaal-e-yaar meaning the problems of separation and union with the beloved, that keeps the poet up at night and worries about his future with the one he feels to be in love with.  This desire of meeting the beloved sometimes gives him hope, but more often that not, it also takes that away from him.  Tune in as Fabeha Syed reads some gems by Mirza Ghalib, Amjad Islam Amjad, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, and others, and explores the different emotions these poets go through while writing about 'visaal'.
2/25/202311 minutes, 52 seconds
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Stages of Love Part 3: 'Hijr' and Separation Anxiety in Urdu Poetry

'Hijr' meaning separation, distance, judaai , is an ultimate nightmare for the shayar in Urdu poetry. In the four part series on the stages of love, Fabeha Syed explores the sufferings and pains induced by the separation-anxiety that the poet goes through. Tune in and find out why '...doori sahi jaaye na..'
2/18/202318 minutes, 23 seconds
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Stages of Love Part 2: The Art of 'Kashish' in Urdu Poetry

The word 'Kashish' means attraction. The world of Urdu poetry looks at the art of attraction in different ways, from Wasim Barelvi to Sahir Ludhianvi to modern lyricists like Sameer, everyone has a unique way of understanding attraction.  February is considered to be the month of love. So, we decided to look at different stages of love in this 4-part series. In the previous episode about 'Nazar', the Shayar set his eyes on their beloved. Listen to this episode of Urdunama, where Fabeha talks about the feeling of being charmed by someone, and find out if this Kashish will fulfill itself.
2/11/202314 minutes, 10 seconds
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Stages of Love Part 1 : The First Step of Love, 'Nazar'

'Nazar ke saame, jigar ke paas...' 'Pehli Nazar mei, aisa jaadu kar diya...' 'Akele na bazaar jaaya karo, Nazar lag jaaegi...' The idea of 'Nazar' is one of the most extensively used concepts in Bollywood songs. Nazar can mean vision, but it can also represent an opinion or an evil eye. February is considered to be the month of love. So, we decided to look at the different stages of love in a four-part series. Tune in to this episode of Urdunama, where Fabeha talks about 'Nazar' and decodes Kaifi Azmi, Sahir Ludhianvi, and Mirza Ghalib. 
2/4/202316 minutes, 51 seconds
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What Is 'Watan' For You - A Border, Piece of Land, or Emotion?

Watan, meaning a country, also means home, a place of residence. In Urdu poetry, nazms like 'Bachhe ki dua', and 'Parinde ki Fariyad', beautifully capture 'Watan' as an emotion. Tune in as Fabeha Syed reads Allama Iqbal and Bismil Azeemabadi who fondly write about what Watan stands for them.  
1/28/202314 minutes, 19 seconds
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Kya Aapko Bhi Urdu Poetry Ka 'Shauq' Hai?

Qala's mesmerizing 'Shauq', written by Varun Grover is our song of the moment, because it points out the very need for various 'shauq', meaning desires and passions, in our lives. However, it also poses a question - are our desires killing us or building us?  In this episode of Urdunama, Fabeha Syed reads poets like Parveen Shakir, Faiz, and Sahir, among others, who help us figure out what our 'shauq' in our life could be. 
1/21/202316 minutes, 29 seconds
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Taking Notes On 'Ghodey Pe Sawaar', Inkaar in 'Qala'

The movie and the soundtrack of Netflix's Qala is one to be counted among the OTT's finest productions. But what does the word 'qala' mean? When pronounced as kala which means art, it becomes an instant association as the movie is about art.  Qala, however, has its origins in Arabic which means a fortress or a castle which in Hindustani is called qila. With Amit Trivedi's painfully haunting soundtrack underlying the brilliant wallpaper-like cinematography by Siddharth Divan, the movie is a sure treat for the eyes. We picked out two songs from the film for our lessons in Urdu this week. Tune in as Fabeha Syed explores the themes of inkaar and iqraar.
1/14/202316 minutes, 56 seconds
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New Year 2023: How to Party Hard & Keep the 'Khumaar' in Check

New year parties have always been a thing, and they should be so. In this new year special episode we try to figure out the degree of 'khumaar' that can hurt, and how much of that intoxication won't. Tune in as Fabeha Syed explores the 'khumaar' of Urdu poetry and some of its forms that are needed in matters of love and life. Enjoy and have safe fun. 
12/31/202210 minutes, 49 seconds
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Remembering Ishwar Allah Through Mohammad Rafi's Soulful Bhajans

Born on 24th Dec 1924, legendary singer Mohammad Rafi became the golden voice of Hindi film music whose soulful numbers include romantic songs, qawwalis, shabad kirtans, and bhajans. In this episode, we remember the maestro through his soulful bhajans. In this episode, songwriter Saurabh Gupta performs 'Ishwar Allah' on guitar. Tune in. 
12/24/202213 minutes
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If Travel Is Therapy, Then Embark On a 'Safar' That'll Heal You

It's that time of the year when everyone ushers in the new beginnings by taking year-end vacations with their families, or to meet them. But a journey holds meanings other than that of travelling and vacations. For the uninitiated, it also means reflections and going deeper into self understanding.  Tune in as Fabeha Syed reads poets like Javed Akhtar, Jigar Moradabadi, Nida Fazli, and Ahmad Faraz among others for their works on self discovery, learning, and wisdom. 
12/17/202222 minutes, 15 seconds
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Jaun Elia: Heartbreak, Despair, and Some of His Best Nazms

Syed Hussain Sibt-e-Anwar Naqvi aka Jaun Elia was a poet of many shades. His poetry emanates from his scholarly intellect that resonates with readers who can find politics, philosophy, and a heart pining for unrequited love, all coming from the pen of one person.  Tune in as Fabeha Syed reads some of his gems on heartbreak, loneliness, and despair.
12/10/202215 minutes, 56 seconds
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Some Warm Musings For This 'Sardi' Season

As the winter season sets in, a cup of warm soup, blankets and some soothing music can make most chilly nights feel like warm hugs. To add to this feeling, I am back with another episode on 'Sardi'; with shayari, poetry and as always, some singing.  Tune in!
12/3/202217 minutes, 43 seconds
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A Smile Can Set Everything Straight So, 'Tabassum', Please!

Veteran actor Tabassum Govil passed away in Mumbai on 18th November at the age of 78. In this episode of Urdunama, we decided to give tribute to the legend by celebrating what she will always be remembered for - Tabassum meaning smile. Tune in as Fabeha Syed reads Sahir Ludhianvi and Josh Malihabadi among others. 
11/26/202214 minutes, 11 seconds
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'Qanoon' ke Haath, and The Law of Nature in Urdu Poetry

On the occasion of National Constitution Day, we thought of exploring the laws of nature that govern our survival. Is anarchism the very human nature, or the essence of the 'insaani-fitrat' lies in the balancing act to survive in a society? Tune in as Fabeha Syed reads nazms from poets like Rais Amrohvi, Hosh Jaunpuri and Farhat Ehsaas. 
11/19/202212 minutes, 46 seconds
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Don't Let the Bitterness of Reality Take Away Life's 'Shireen-ness'

The Urdu language has a very sweet word for 'sweet', Shireen. Tune into this week's Urdunama with Fabeha, and add some sweetness to your life.
11/12/202212 minutes, 12 seconds
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If Sky is the Limit, What Else Does 'Aasman' Mean in Urdu Poetry?

Aasman meaning sky stands for hopes and possibilities, in Urdu poetry. Sometimes it is also used in the context of heartaches and tragedies. Tune in to know the many meanings and other contexts of the sky which is limitless. 
11/5/20229 minutes, 29 seconds
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Jashn-e-Aaseb: Bhoot-Pret and Evil Spirits

Halloween is around the corner. So we thought, let's get spooky on this week's Urdunama. Fabeha talks about how evil spirits and the paranormal found its way in Urdu poetry. Listen till the end, warna bhoot aa jaaega!  
10/29/202213 minutes, 35 seconds
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India vs Pakistan Match: In the True Spirit of 'Ittihad'

India will be playing against Pakistan in the much-anticipated match of T20 World Cup 2022 which will be held at Melbourne Cricket Ground on 23 October. Since all the India-Pak matches are nothing short of a carnival, this match is also all set to celebrate these neighbors' coming together. To celebrate this spirit of this In this episode of Urdunama we look at some of the ways alliances and friendships are built. Tune in as Fabeha Syed reads 'Dosti ka Haath' by Pakistani poet Ahmad Faraz, and its response by Indian literary critic, writer, and lyricist, Ali Sardar Jafri. 
10/22/202218 minutes, 9 seconds
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'Ranjish hi Sahi' If That's What It Takes To Value 'Self-Love'

Ranjish meaning displeasure, or grief, is a powerful emotion. If used wisely, it can open wounds to healing, and strengthen us to the core enabling us to carry our love and grief. Tune in as we explore through the works of Ahmad Faraz, Sheikh Ibrahim Zauq, Akhtar Shirani, and others. 
10/15/202216 minutes, 21 seconds
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Getting ‘Ru Ba Ru’ With the Universe to Find the ‘Self’

They say Law of Attraction works when you work toward your dreams. But what it is that makes you realise and get you started in the first place? Courage, to come face to face or ‘ru-ba-ru’ with the elephant in the room. After all, its the things that we feel are impossible, hold the most possibilities for us.  Tune in, as we get closer and ‘ru ba ru’ the idea of facing the ‘self’ and finding the universe within.
10/8/202216 minutes, 31 seconds
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Exploring ‘Buzurg’ and the Elderly Wisdom in Urdu Poetry

1 October is observed as the International Day For the Older People. So, we decided to explore buzurgi, meaning wisdom of an old person. Tune in as we, through the works of poets like Firaq Gorakhpuri, Ismail Merathi, among others, look at what it means to be a 'buzurg'. Tune in!
10/1/202210 minutes, 48 seconds
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Dev Anand And His 'Andaz-e-Bayaan' in Urdu

Experts and film historians nod in agreement every time they remember Dev Anand and his love for Urdu. One of the stars of the DilipKumar-Raj Kapoor-Dev Anand triumvirate, Dev was known to enjoy his dialogues and songs written in Urdu. In this special episode of Urdunama we celebrate the legend's love for the language and what could possibly be attributed to his initial training in the language.  Tune in!
9/24/202211 minutes, 31 seconds
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Queen Elizabeth’s Death and the Crown’s ‘Badshaahat’ in Urdu Poetry

The longest reigning British Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II passed away on 8th September at the age of 96. Her funeral ceremony is set to be held on Monday, 19th September in Westminster Abbey. Hundreds of foreign royals and heads of state are expected to attend the funeral, and the event is said to be the biggest diplomatic gathering in decades. The British people are mourning the death of their queen as they wait for 12 hours in an 8 km long queue to pay their respects and see the queen's coffin in London. But, why is she passing away so overwhelming for us, Indians? The answer is simple - because this momentous occasion makes one sit up and take notice of the legacy the British Crown will always be remembered for. A lot had been written against the Crown. One of the texts that remind us of the horrific crimes committed during the Raj against Indians is an iconic poem by Josh Malihabadi. Tune in to this episode of Urdunama, Fabeha Syed talks about the angrezi hukoomat, the 'Badshaahat' of King George VI,  and reads Malihabadi's iconic poem, 'East India Company ke Farzandon se Khitaab' (An Address to the Heirs of the East India Company).
9/17/202213 minutes, 31 seconds
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Aaj ki Shaam, 'Zindagi' ke Naam: Celebrating the Beautiful Thing Called Life

Every single death by suicide is a public health concern. So, to create awareness,10th September is observed as World Suicide Prevention Day. In this episode, we explore the theme of 'zindagi' meaning life through Urdu poetry. Tune in. 
9/10/202219 minutes, 48 seconds
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Pleasure, Pain and All the ‘Lutf’ We Need To Find Meaning

There is no pleasure without pain, anxiety, uncertainties, insecurities, sadness, grief, and a whole bunch of other emotions. It's only when we are stricken with one or more of these unpleasant feelings that we long for emotions that are happy and can bring joy to our hearts. Once we are able to achieve these most cherished feelings is when we can experience pleasure. In Urdu, the word 'lutf' denotes pleasure, joy, enjoyment, and excitement. Tune in as we read some of the poetry that show us ways poets have sought 'lutf' in their lives.
9/3/202213 minutes, 6 seconds
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Nayyara Noor's Gentle Melodies And the Gems She'll be Remembered For

Legendary Pakistani singer Nayyara Noor passed away on 20 August in Karachi. She'll be remembered for her genteel nature and her simplicity that made her stand apart from her peers. As her fans across the globe mourn this huge loss, we take a look at her journey from Guwahati to Karachi, and how she became the voice for some of Faiz's iconic nazms. Tune in!
8/26/202213 minutes, 1 second
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'Mohe Panghat Pe...': This Janmashtami, a Lyrical Ode to Lord Krishna

Lord Krishna's Bhakti surpasses geographical, social, and religious realms. While almost all languages in India have their own odes to Lord Krishna, perhaps such Urdu literature is lesser known. This Janmashtami, we look at how one can find the gems of Krishna Bhakti written by some of the prominent Urdu poets such as Maulana Hasrat Mohani, Nazeer Akbarabadi, and Hafeez Jalandhari. Tune in!
8/19/202214 minutes, 5 seconds
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Secularhythm: Exploring Secularism Through Urdu Poetry

To understand the idea of secularism, going back to books is often considered a better way. Yet, those who love poetry swear by some of the gems written in Urdu and revere them as antidotes to hatred or any socio-cultural chaos.   So, to prove the point that poetry can cure most ills, we turn to poets like Mir Taqi Mir and Mirza Ghalib in this special episode of Urdunama with Fabeha Syed. Tune in as we attempt to find our Secularhythm through some verses. Tune In!
8/13/202212 minutes, 55 seconds
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Secrets of Kahkashaan, And Lessons In Humility And Courage

From detecting evidence of clouds on a planet for the first time to being able to see Jupiter with its moon in a 'new light', the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope is hailed as the most powerful space science telescope ever built. This will enable the scientists to study even the distant galaxies with the help of not only the images but also the detailed data. The telescope is engineered for ground breaking discoveries, thereby changing the future of astronomy.  To celebrate this historic moment, we take a look at 'kahkashan' meaning the universe, and how it continues to inspire poets. Tune in.
7/30/202215 minutes, 5 seconds
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Remembering Bhupinder Singh: From His Guitar Riffs to Voice That Can Mend Broken Hearts

Bhupinder Singh, the man with a velvet voice that could tend to a broken heart or reassure an anxious mind, passed away on 18 July 2022. Apart from being a celebrated singer, he was also a talented guitarist. From Madan Mohan to RD Burman, his beautiful partnerships gave the music industry some gems that it would continue to cherish for years to come. But if it wasn't for Pancham, we would not have gotten a youthful guitarist in Bhupinder Singh. Do you remember the songs with some of his iconic guitar riffs? Tune in, as we celebrate the work of the maestro whose awaaz will always be remembered.
7/23/202214 minutes, 42 seconds
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'Naqaab' in Poetry and How Love Lifts the Veil Off the 'Self'

Naqaab, meaning a veil or parda, has often been the source of poets' anxieties and ecstasies, both. Why? Because behind that veil is their lover who is so beautiful that the idea of witnessing the beauty is overwhelming and that is what makes them write about the mystery that hides behind the naqaab. In this episode, Fabeha Syed reads some of the ashaar by poets like Chakbast Brij Narayan, Shakeel Badayuni, and Jalil Manikpuri, among others. Tune in.
7/16/202221 minutes, 12 seconds
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Looking at 'Bewafai' Through Poetry, How Infidelity and Betrayal Violates Self

As understood by this famous quote by Lord Byron, "wives in their husbands' absences grow subtler, and daughters sometimes run off with the butler", any form of disloyalty, or bewafai comes from absence. Urdu poet Ahmad Faraz also once wrote that because the separation was intense, the poet had to resort to doing the act of disloyalty, probably for the first time. Is qadar musalsal thin shiddatein judai ki Aaj pehli baar us se maine bewafai ki But the question is, why do people cheat? The answer is simple – because they have to. Tune in as Fabeha Syed dissects the idea of bewafai and reads some of the ashaar written by poets like Mirza Ghalib, Kaifi Azmi, Bashir Badr, among others, on the theme of infidelity.
7/9/202218 minutes, 22 seconds
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'Baarish' And Some Gems From Urdu Poetry For Rainy Days

'Baarish' is a Persian word that means rain, downpour, or something that is in abundance. It symbolises many different things, depending on the context. It could be a union, longing, suffering, or just life in general. It is in the way that 'barsaat' affects us that we decide what it means to us. Poets also have their own interpretations of 'baarish'. In other words, rain fuels an artist's creativity. Music, perhaps, is a great example of such creativity. Whether it's pining for one's lost love or an ecstatic moment with a lover, we can find a treasure trove of songs that always make it to our rainy day playlists. For starters, Sahir Ludhianvi's song 'Zindagi Bhar Nahi Bhoolegi Woh Barsaat ki Raat,' from 1960 Bollywood film 'Barsaat Ki Raat,' is a song that captures the essence and the emotions that rain kindles. Tune in as Fabeha Syed reads some more nazms on 'baarish'.
7/2/202213 minutes, 22 seconds
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'Janwaristan' – Let's Read George Orwell's 'Animal Farm' in Urdu

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." “The only good human being is a dead one." "Man serves the interests of no creature except himself." “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." These are some of the lines of British essayist, journalist, and novelist George Orwell's famous satirical novella Animal Farm. The book tells the story of a group of farm animals who dream about equality and a world where they live free of the tyranny of their human farmer. But in the end they end up living under the dictatorship of a pig named Napoleon. The message is simple and clear – power corrupts all. In this episode of Urdunama, we have tried to do something different. Instead of talking about Urdu words, host Fabeha Syed reads excerpts of Animal Farm, in Urdu, from a translation from English by London-based translator Nasir Hussain Jafari. Tune in!
6/24/202218 minutes, 38 seconds
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World Music Day: Here's How ‘Mauseeqi’ Can Make Our Lives Better

Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night begins with Duke Orsino saying, "If music be the food of love, play on." It's perhaps a famous reminder of how important music is in our lives – be it to express love, to deal with a painful heartbreak, living in a moment of euphoria, or even protesting against oppression – music helps in communicating every emotion in any language. On this World Music Day, we listen to songs and read Urdu poetry on mauseeqi, meaning music. From Dilawar Figar's nazm Mauseeqi se ilaaj where the poet is prescribing a dose of music to cure all the ills to Javed Akhtar's ghazal – we look at poets and artists who have resorted to mauseeqi' in their lives to soothe themselves. Tune in with your host Fabeha Syed!
6/17/202213 minutes, 40 seconds
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World Day Against Child Labour: What's a World Without Its 'Masoomiyat'?

'Masoomiyat' means innocence, and the word has often been associated with something pure and free of blemishes. Sometimes, poets have described their lovers as 'masoom' to praise the beauty of their childlike innocence, while at other times, the word has been used to refer to a lost childhood. On the occasion of World Day Against Child Labour, we chose the theme of innocence to remind ourselves that it's only by safeguarding innocence that we can dream of building a better tomorrow. Tune in as host Fabeha Syed reads Saadat Hasan Manto's short story 'Qaasim' and other nazms in Urdu literature that dwells on the theme of 'masoomiyat.'
6/10/202223 minutes, 53 seconds
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From 'Pal' to 'Yaaron', KK's Music Was Poetry of Simplicity

Indian playback singer Krishnakumar Kunnath's passing has left his fans across the globe with a deep sense of loss. The musician, whose soundtracks encapsulate the very essence of our college lives, died of a heart attack hours after he delivered his final performance in Kolkata. KK, who started his career as a sales executive, has over 3,000 jingles to his credit. The first taste of success for him, however, came with the album 'Pal', which was released in 1999. The singer had never looked back after that. In this special episode of Urdunama, we give a musical tribute to the man who gave us the music of simplicity. Tune in!
6/3/202213 minutes, 35 seconds
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Taj Mahal: A Symbol of Love, Beauty, and Urdu Poetry

Taj Mahal, a symbol of love, is recognised worldwide and is marvelled at for its architectural genius. This 17th-century heritage building reminds us of a love that prompted a Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, to build a mausoleum for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who had died in childbirth. This architectural expression of love, Taj Mahal, has also been the subject of a perennial debate that it was built on the site of a Hindu temple, 'Tejo Mahalaya,' and that it represents Islamic aggression on a Hindu land. So, the question is, does the Taj Mahal represent religion? The answer is a resounding 'no'; it represents love. To understand the history of Taj Mahal and the persistent controversy around it, watch one of our videos from the archives, where we spoke to historian Pushpesh Pant. And to understand in what ways the Taj Mahal inspired poets, tune in to this episode of Urdunama where Fabeha Syed reads poets like Kaifi Azmi and Sahir Ludhianvi, who think that the structure is in fact a 'mockery of love.'
5/28/202215 minutes, 44 seconds
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Not All Fires Are Bad, Keep Some 'Atish' Burning For Your Well-Being

A heat wave is sweeping through northern parts of India as the temperatures are hitting news records almost every other day.  This summer season is testing us and the scorching heat has sent most of us in a frenzy. In the true spirit of the old adage "necessity is the mother of all invention", a lot of us have also devised innovative ways to keep ourselves cool. But in poetry, sultriness is but a metaphor to the fire or the aatish in our heart – our deepest desires and dreams that keep us going.  To understand the theme of passions, and desires, in this episode we take a look at poetry that talks of aatish. Tune in with Fabeha Syed!
5/21/202213 minutes, 31 seconds
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When Life Poses a 'Pasoori', Here's How To Solve It

Pakistani singers Ali Sethi and Shae Gill's song Pasoori has spread like wildfire. This is the song that is said to have united music fans across India and Pakistan who simply can't stop humming or grooving to it. But what does pasoori mean? It is a Punjabi word that means a dilemma or a conflict that makes us go back and forth on a decision or action. It refers to a situation in which we find ourselves in a mental or physical chaos.  In Urdu, pasoori could be loosely translated to kashmakash meaning dilemma.  Tune in to this week's Urdunama episode, as Fabeha Syed looks at the theme of chaos in Urdu poetry and how poets like Shahrayar, Salam Machhlishehri, Ahmad Faraz, and others have chosen to address that through their work. Host: Fabeha Syed Music: Big Bang Fuzz
5/14/202215 minutes, 13 seconds
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Gaining Wisdom and Knowledge, And the 'Irrfan' We All Need to Be

It's been two years since the passing away of actor Irrfan Khan, and we can't help but wonder how names have an impact on what a person becomes. Irfaan means knowledge, wisdom. It's the power and wisdom that Irrfan exuded in all of his performances that made him a legend. So, in this episode of Urdunama we celebrate the man Irrfan for his irfaan, and the power he exerted on his craft.  Tune in as Fabeha Syed reads some of the gems of Urdu poetry that focus on the importance of knowledge, wisdom, learning, and tell us what it means to be  aware  - of ourselves, god, the world around us, and life, in general.
4/30/202212 minutes, 47 seconds
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Ikhtilaaf and Ittifaaq - It's In the Conflict That We Can Find Ways to Harmony

Ikhtilaaf meaning conflicts or disagreements, are unavoidable in a heterogenous environment. One can say that sometimes disagreements might even be healthy and necessary for a synthetized view of the world. But there are also times when ikhtilaaf can deteriorate harmony. At such moments, a sense of ittifaq which means unity or concurrence, can help overcome the differences between people. Both ikhtilaaf and ittifaq together perpetuate the social progress of a civilization when people pick the right act at the right moment. But how do we make that choice? The answer lies in identifying the conflict we are faced with. In this episode of Urdunama we take a look at some of the gems of Urdu poetry that lead us to strive for a perfect ittifaq with others even when there's ikhtilaaf. Tune in as Fabeha Syed reads works of Nida Fazli, Altaf Hussain Hali, and other Urdu poets. Host, Writer, and Sound Editor: Fabeha Syed Music: Big Bang Fuzz
4/23/202214 minutes, 8 seconds
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Marriage, Happiness, Joy, And What It Means to be Truly 'Shaad' ?

Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor's wedding festivities have set off a frenzy in Bollywood. As fans across the country follow the news of this marital union of two of India's celebrated stars, we found it only apt to give some thought to the word 'shaadi' or marriage, which finds its roots in the Persian word 'shaad', which means happiness and joy. There is a lot that has been expressed in the shaad as well as na-shaad (unhappy) state of being of poets. In this episode of Urdunama, Fabeha Syed reads Faiz Ahmad Faiz's nazm 'Soch', Hafiz Jalandhari's ode to spring 'Basanti Taran', and other poems that ask us to embrace happiness even if we don't feel shaad enough. Tune in! Host, Writer, and Sound Editor: Fabeha Syed Music: Big Bang Fuzz
4/16/202214 minutes, 18 seconds
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Lessons in 'Parhez' - How Self-Restraint is the Ultimate Expression of Strength

Navratri and Ramzan both come with a set of rules of dos and don'ts. Sure, it's time for fasting and self-cleansing but it's not just about what we eat or when we eat rather, it's a life altering phenomenon that focuses on discipline. As Greek philosopher Plato is believed to have said, "Abstinence is the surety of temperance", it is 'Parhez' or abstinence that trains us to patiently endure. In this episode of Urdunama we explore what Parhez means to poets. Tune in as we read Ismail Merathi, Josh Malihabadi, among others who either advocate or refrain from 'parhez'. Host, Writer, and Sound Editor: Fabeha Syed Music: Big Bang Fuzz
4/9/202217 minutes, 9 seconds
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Tame Your 'Taish' - A Poetic Reminder To Those With A Soaring Temper

Oscars 2022 made history with its many firsts – three female hosts for the first time, an actor with hearing impairment bagged the Best Actor Oscar for the first time, first openly queer actor of colour won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Yet, it is the Will Smith-Chris Rock 'slapgate' from the Oscars that overshadowed all of this. It is often advised that one shouldn't take any extreme decisions out of anger. Surely, it's okay to be angry, sometimes perhaps even necessary, but how should one let it out? In this week's episode of Urdunama, we'll look at how Urdu poets, Momin Khan Momin, Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi, Khwaja Saeeduddin Nawab and Gautam Rajrishi feel about 'Taish' (rage). Through their works we'll try to understand how it is that they advise we tame our rage. Host and Writer: Fabeha Syed Music: Big Bang Fuzz
4/2/202214 minutes, 13 seconds
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Holi 2022: A Look at What Does Holi Stand For in Urdu Poetry

Holi is a social festival which has been written a lot about in Urdu poetry from the spectrum of India's ganga-jamuni tehzeeb. Although there are many poets who have expressed their love for the festival, Wali Muhammad, who wrote using nom de plume, 'Nazeer', wrote almost a dozen nazms on Holi. In this episode we not only look at some of Nazeer Akbarabaadi's works, we also read Azhar Iqbal, Bhartendu Harishchandra, among others. Tune in. Host, Script, Sound Edit: Fabeha Syed Music: Big Bang Fuzz
3/18/202210 minutes, 8 seconds
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Our Choices And How Can We Write Our 'Taqdeer'

Tune in as we explore how it is only us who can write the destiny that we want. 
3/12/202213 minutes, 9 seconds
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Urdunama: 'Aurat' and Some Poetry Celebrating Womanhood

In this episode we look at some of the poetry written to celebrate womanhood. Tune in. 
3/6/202219 minutes, 12 seconds
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Never Think That 'Jang' Is Not a Crime - A Message From Urdu Poets

In this episode we look at some of the warnings against war in Urdu poetry.  Tune in as The Quint's Fabeha Syed reads Sahir Ludhianvi's iconic poem, 'Parchaiyyan'.
2/26/202218 minutes, 56 seconds
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Dilemma of 'Uns' - To Attach or Not ?

In this episode of Urdunama, we celebrate the very foundation of love - attachment, or 'uns'. Tune in and immerse yourself in unsiyat this Valentine's week. 
2/12/202210 minutes, 24 seconds
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What Is Election Without a 'Muhim' ? Some Gems of Poetry About Campaign

In this episode of Urdunama we take a look at what is Muhim meaning campaign and what are the thoughts of some of the Urdu poets about these campaigns. Tune in. 
2/5/20228 minutes, 13 seconds
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How in Chaos, Moments of 'Shukr' Anchor Us

In this episode of Urdunama we see how it's the gratitude that helps us hold onto the good things in life. In Urdu poetry, Ismail Merathi tells us that we can be thankful for anything, even a cow. Tune in as The Quint's Fabeha Syed reads Merathi's 'Humari Gayein', Andaleeb Shadani's 'der lagi aane mein tumko..' among other ashaar.
1/29/202212 minutes, 17 seconds
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The Art of 'Bahas': How Arguments Are Not Won With Slander and Falsehood

French philosopher René Descartes's famous phrase 'cogito ergo sum' - I think, therefore, I 'am; resonates with every thinking and reasoning mind. And it's thinking that makes us analyse and bring our reflexive and contemplative skills to the fore. This in turn draws us so much closer to what we consider true, that we would even prove any conflicting view to our version of truth, wrong. And it is this exposure with the opposing ideas when a person indulges in arguments. But knowing when to stop arguing is what determines wisdom from verbose. Arguments, are what make us never stop thinking, and thus, form a part of our most  relationships. Especially the most intimate ones that bind us in matrimony. And the key to win such arguments is wit. Urdu poet, Ghaus 'Khwah Makhwah' Hyderabadi's nazm, 'Biwi Aur Patloon', is probably a good example if wit in argument.  Tune in as we explore the theme and of argument or 'bahas' through not only satire and romance but also tragedy in Urdu poetry. 
1/22/202213 minutes, 14 seconds
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'Mukarrar' Is the Mother of Skills

Mukarrar meaning repeat is a word that people often use as a response to praise poetry, or any spoken words.  In this episode we explore what it is that poets wish to repeat or stop at once.  Tune in. 
1/15/20229 minutes, 19 seconds
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What Makes the Poets Go Against the Grain And Be a 'Sarkash'?

In this episode we explore the idea of rebellion or 'sarkashi', in Urdu poetry.  Tune in as The Quint's Fabeha Syed reads Ali Sardar Jafri, Asrar ul Haq Majaz, and others to understand what makes them go against the grain. 
1/8/202212 minutes, 26 seconds
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New Year 2022: Some Gems of Urdu Poetry to Start a 'Mubarak' New Year

Mubarak meaning auspicious, and this should be the way to usher in the start of a new year. This word has often been used in Urdu poetry as a way of taunting. For instance, Shakeel Badayuni's sher is complaining about the lover's oblivion. Ye ada-e-be-niyaazi tujhe bewafa mubaarak Magar aisi be-rukhi kya ki salaam tak na pahunche Tune in, as we explore more such ways through which the poets have expressed their mubaarak moments reaching out to the one they love. 
1/1/202212 minutes, 18 seconds
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The 'Maseeha' For Every Hardship: Urdu Poetry Has Some Answers

'Maseeha' which means a saviour of a tribe who leads towards liberation, is often used for someone who can heal. Jesus Christ is called 'Maseeha' for his healing powers not only in Christianity but in all the Abrahamic religions such as Islam and Judaism. In Urdu poetry, there are many references to the healing powers of Jesus Christ. And it is the beloved who is referred to as 'Maseeha Nafas' meaning the one who cures like Christ. In this episode of Urdunama we look at many such references. Tune in.
12/25/202110 minutes, 10 seconds
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If Good Things Come to Those Who Wait, then How Should One be 'Muntazir' ?

It is said that don't keep waiting for things; instead, make them happen. But then it is also believed that good things come to those who wait. What is it that one should do? 'Muntazir' means the state of waiting for something or someone. In Urdu poetry, the subject of poets' wait is often the lover, and shayar's ultimate fantasy is the moment of 'vasl' or union with him. The delay in vasl is the period that the shayar spends in hijr or separation from his lover. And moments spent in this separation is what makes the shayar become muntazir of the glad tidings that await him.  In this episode, we explore how poets have written about the theme of 'intezaar; or wait. We do this is through reading some of the gems by Faiz, Daagh, Sahir Ludhianvi, among others.  Tune in. 
12/18/202116 minutes, 31 seconds
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Urdu Poetry and How Choosing 'Umeed' Makes Everything Possible

In this episode we look at how poets have written about their 'umeed' meaning hope.  Tune in. 
12/11/202113 minutes, 9 seconds
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Lessons From a Hard Past : You Can Always Have a New 'Ibtida'

'Ibtida' means a beginning and 'inteha' means ending of something after having reached an extent. The beginning could be of a relationship, or of an activity. And, since every bigining is a start of an effort, 'ibtida' holds a special place in Urdu poetry that brings hope and comfort to our hearts. In this episode, The Quint's Fabeha Syed explores how to find those ends in which a new 'ibtida' can blossom. Tune in.
12/4/202114 minutes, 10 seconds
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The Essence of 'Waqt' - It Flies, Stops, Changes, Heals, and is Priceless

Philosophers have always argued about time and have viewed it with different theories. Poets, on the other hand, have made the time the essence of their work and worries.  When stuck in the past, it is the 'maazi' that the poet lives in his poetry. When hoping for a beautiful future, the poets are usually dreaming about the union or 'visaal' with their beloved. But, the present is what makes the poet wonder about these two points of time - the past and the future.   In this episode of Urdunama, we try to explore the different effects of time that Urdu poetry brings in it.  Tune in. 
11/27/202114 minutes, 43 seconds
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Shayri on 'Pollution': How Poets See 'Aaloodgi' From the Prism of Poetry

'Aaloodgi' meaning pollution, is a huge concern of worry for the not just the shayar but everyone. However, in poetry, pollution of any form stands for corruption, absence of lover, a great discomfort, or any negative emotion.  In this episode of Urdunama, we explore how pollution has caused distress to poets like Amjad Islam Amjad and Anand Narayan Mulla, among others.  Tune in. 
11/20/202112 minutes, 37 seconds
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How ‘Kainaat’ Works—It Moves When You Move

Philosophers, scientists, thinkers, have been trying to understand the secrets of the universe through the various disciplines of inquiry.  Universe, they tell, is all about energy, time and matter. Once we internalise this belief, the universe then moves quickly as we decide. But, how? To understand this, we explore through Urdu poetry, what does 'kainaat' mean to poets and how they see the universe through the galaxies of their words.  Tune in.
11/13/202113 minutes, 36 seconds
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Jashn-e-Raunaq: Celebration of Love, Life, and Truth

'Raunaq' means lustre or glow. In this episode we understand what is 'raunaq' for poets and how some of the Urdu poetry has thrown light on theme like glow of anyone's presence, of truth, of love, and so on. When 'raunaq' spreads in our lives through all of these things, it enhances the quality of life. But, when the same 'raunaq' is found on a certain food, why it is then considered  considered bad for health. We talk about this, as well. So, Tune in. And don't forget to leave a little 'raunaq' wherever you go. Host, Writer, Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
10/30/202112 minutes, 22 seconds
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A Look Through Poetry: Themes of Different Type of Riwaaj, and How Poets Have Written About Them

In this special episode of Urdunama, The Quint's Fabeha Syed decodes the theme of riwaaj meaning customs, through Urdu poetry. Poets have often commented over the riwaaj of corruption and social injustice. For this, Fabeha picks out Kaifi Azmi’s Taj Mahal and explains the poets POV. And for the riwaaj  of our syncretic culture, the host reads Urdu classical poet, Nazeer Akbarabadi whose work is a reflection of our rich heritage. You will also hear from historian Pushpesh Pant, writer, Saif Mahmood, and poet, Azhar Iqbal who discuss what is it like have the 'Ganga-Jamni riwaaj ' as our legacy.  Host and producer: Fabeha Syed. Editor: Shelly Walia 
10/22/202121 minutes, 40 seconds
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Theme of 'Gunaah', Temptations, and Sufferings in Urdu Poetry

In this episode we explore what leads to a 'gunaah' or a sin. And how poets have expressed about what tempts them.  Tune in. 
10/16/202115 minutes, 36 seconds
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Remembering the King of Ghazal - Jagjit Singh

Tune in as The Quint pays a musical tribute to the King of Ghazal, Jagjit Singh. 
10/9/202114 minutes, 24 seconds
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Gandhi Jayanti: Odes to Mahatma Gandhi in Urdu Poetry

'Watan ka Raag' by Urdu poet, Pandit Brij Narayan Chakbast, and 'Mahatma Gandhi Ka Qatl' by Anand Narain Mulla. These two poems best describe the impact Gandhi had on Urdu poets of that time. Through these powerful nazms, various themes of Gandhi's philosophy come alive, only if we pay close attention to what Gandhi stood for.  Tune in.
10/1/202118 minutes, 34 seconds
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Look Deep Into 'Gulshan' to Understand Everything Better

In this episode, we explore the many meanings and contexts of the word, 'Gulshan'. But before that, why don't you first think of your happy place?  Tune in, to find out the relevance of a 'happy place' and 'gulshan'. Host, producer and audio editor: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
9/25/202117 minutes, 10 seconds
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A Look at Freedom Through Poetry And What it Means to Have 'Azaadi'

As we celebrate India's 75th Independence Day, we reflect on what it truly means to be free.  In this episode, we understand the theme of freedom - 'Azaadi', through the poems of Ali Sardar Jafri, Firaq Gorakhouri, and Faiz Ahmad Faiz.  Tune in. 
8/14/20218 minutes, 33 seconds
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Explaining 'Fatah' and How the Winner Takes it All

In this episode, we talk about the theme of victory through literature and poetry.  Tune in.
8/7/202113 minutes, 45 seconds
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Mohd Rafi And His Honey-Laced Voice for Every Mood

Tune in as The Quint's Fabeha Syed pays a musical tribute to the man with a honey-laced voice. 
7/31/202112 minutes, 43 seconds
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How 'Tahayyur' is the Beginning of Wisdom?

In this episode, tune in to find out the meaning of 'Tahayyur', and what amazes the poets that they commit themselves to poetry. 
7/24/202113 minutes, 56 seconds
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Understanding the Theme of 'Intoxication' Through 'Saaqi'?

The word 'Saaqi' meaning the bartender, or someone who serves alcohol, is often been used by poets in different ways. For instance, in this ghazal by Jigar Moradabadi, the word 'Saaqi' is used to describe a leader or 'imam': ye hai mai-kada yahan rind hai yahan sab ka saaqi imaam hai ye haram nahin hai ai shaiḳh ji yahan paarsai haraam hai In this week's episode of Urdunama, we understand the theme of intoxication by exploring the oft-used word in Urdu poetry – 'Saaqi'. Joining The Quint's Fabeha Syed on the podcast is renowned poet Azhar Iqbal. Tune in. Host, Producer, and Audio Editor: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
7/10/202119 minutes, 58 seconds
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Raising the Voice and Standards – A Lesson in Poetry

In this episode, we explore the many meanings of having a 'voice', and using it for those who either don't have it or are often silenced by those in power.  To make this podcast, we found it vital to refer to the poetry of stalwarts like Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Sahir Ludhianvi, Majrooh Sultanpuri, and Jaun Elia among others.  Tune in.
7/3/202114 minutes, 17 seconds
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RD Burman & Gulzar: Maestros And Their Masterpieces

In this episode of Urdunama, we remember legendary composer, Rahul Dev Burman, aka, 'Pancham Da', and his friendship with another legendary maestro, Gulzar. Host, writer, and audio editor: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
6/26/202113 minutes, 5 seconds
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'Taraana' of Love is the Soundtrack of Your Life

In this episode, we explore the theme of Music through Urdu poetry, and what it is that makes the soundtrack of our lives.  Tune in. 
6/19/202111 minutes, 23 seconds
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Don't Feel 'Tanha' In The Company Of Good Poets

In this episode, we explore the word 'Tanha' and understand the theme of loneliness in Urdu Poetry. Tune in.
6/12/202116 minutes, 26 seconds
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You Described Urdunama As ‘Sukoon’, That De-Stresses & Heals

The Quint’s Urdunama turns 50 episodes old. On the 50th episode of your favourite podcast, we bring you a theme in poetry that you felt describes us the best – Sukoon. Sukoon means tranquillity, a sense of inner calm and peace, which, poets have described, comes as a result of acceptance and love. Tune in as Fabeha Syed recites Sahir Ludhianvi and Faiz – two of the tallest poets of the sub-continent who have left behind the legacy of advocating ‘sukoon’ through their art. Host, Writer, and Audio Editor: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
6/5/202111 minutes, 12 seconds
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Hope in The Time of Grief: What’s ‘Mumkin’ in Poetry?

Mumkin means possible, and possibility means imkaan — a remedy that brings relief to a grieving heart. In this episode, we explore how poetry could bring not just joy but also a relief to a troubled or grieving heart and therapy for our mental well-being. So, we thought what better way to understand the theme of possibility than poetry. In this episode of Urdunama, The Quint’s Fabeha Syed reads Allama Iqbal’s ghazal, ‘Sitaron se aage jahan aur bhi hain...’, Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s nazm, ‘Is waqt to yun lagta hai...’. She also catches up with poet and scholar, Maaz Bin Bilal, who reads Emily Dickinson's poem, 'I Dwell in Possibility' and explains it through his translation in Urdu. Tune in. Host, Writer, and Audio Editor: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
5/29/202118 minutes, 44 seconds
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Have The Courage Of Fulfilling Your 'Hasrat'

The word khwahish means desire, but when it's not fulfilled, it becomes 'hasrat' for the pining heart. In this episode of Urdunama, we understand how holding on to hasrat is a great way to accept life's uncertainties.  Tune in. Host, Writer, and Audio Editor: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
5/22/202111 minutes, 33 seconds
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Be Fully 'Bedaar' If you Want To Dream

This Pandemic has taught us many lessons. One of them is to not be oblivious to the world that we are living in.  How awake are we?  To answer that, we have tried to explore the word 'bedaar' through Urdu poetry. After all, to be 'Bedaar' is to be alive.  Tune in.  Host, Writer, and Audio Editor: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
5/8/202110 minutes, 28 seconds
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Understanding 'Rahm' With a Little Help From Shakespeare

In this episode, we take help from Shakespeare to understand the 'Quality of Mercy'. We also wrap our heads around the cause of 'be-rahm', merciless pain, as compassion first requires one to be humble.  Tune in. Host, Writer, and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
5/1/202114 minutes, 40 seconds
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A Prayer Of 'Khair' In These Testing Times

With the Covid 19 surge this year proving to be deadlier than what it was the last year, we pray for 'khair' for everyone. Tune in. 
4/24/202111 minutes, 47 seconds
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Some of the Things That Made Poets Say, ‘Afreen’!

Written by Javed Akhtar, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's iconic song 'Husn-e-jaana ki tareef mumkin nahi...' has always made us wonder about the word 'afreen'. 'Afreen' is an expression that is used to express our admiration for something or someone. And in this episode we dig deep, to find ways in which poets have written, praising about things that amused them and made them say, 'afreen'. Tune in. Host, Writer, and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
3/20/20219 minutes, 1 second
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Gems Of Feminist Urdu Poetry This Women's Day

In this special episode of Urdunama, we bring you the poetry of Urdu's female poets. Poets like Ada Jafferey, Fehmida Riaz, Kishwar Naheed, Zehra Nigah, and Parveen Shakir, among others, bring female perspectives to a genre that is largely ruled by male poets.  Tune in for some gems from these great women's shayari.  Host, Writer, and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
3/6/20219 minutes, 24 seconds
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Shayar-e-Inquilab Josh Malihabadi’s Poems Spoke To Those in Power

Author of the slogan that echoes in every protest, Josh Malihabadi was a poet who challenged the British in his fierce style of writing. The poet par excellence, Josh Malihabadi was also close to India’s first prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who he considered his ideal. Josh was conferred Padma Bhushan in the year 1954. His fiery poetry was anti-establishment, anti-religiosity, and spoke directly to those in power. It is considered the blueprint for most resistance writing. In this episode, meet Josh, the fearless poet, who never compromised on his principles. Also, in the podcast, The Quint's Fabeha Syed explains Josh's iconic nazm, 'Shikast e Zindan Ka Khwab'. Tune in. Host, Writer, and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
2/20/202114 minutes, 58 seconds
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Power, Protest & Poetry: Urdu Shayari & the Anatomy of ‘Ehtijaaj’

Bohot barbaad hain lekin sadaa-e-inqalaab aaye Wahin se vo pukaar utthega jo zarra jahaan hogaa This couplet by Ali Sardar Jafri points out the essence of the individual struggles in a revolution that brings people together who desire to change the society, a corrupt system, and so on. But every inquilaab comes only when there is the dissent that needs to be voiced. To celebrate this voice of resistance, Urdu shayari has given us gems in poets like Faiz’s, Jalib’s, and Kishwar Naheed’s poetry. For this episode, we have picked out some of the iconic nazms of these masters telling us the importance of dissent. Also, for this podcast, The Quint's Fabeha Syed spoke with activist and poet, Nabiya Khan, who dedicates her poem 'aayega inquilaab, pehn ke choorhi, bindi, aur hijaab' to the women of Kisaan Andolan. Host, Writer, and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
2/5/202113 minutes, 22 seconds
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Urdu Poetry And The Idea Of 'Shifa' Or 'Healing'

As the world is rejoicing the arrival of many vaccine candidates in different countries, we take a look at the idea of recovery in Urdu poetry. In this episode, The Quint's Fabeha Syed recites Ghalib, Muztar Khairabadi, and also, Sahir Ludhianvi's nazm against the politics of religion, '26 January'.  Tune in.  Host, Writer, and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
1/23/20219 minutes, 52 seconds
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Hope For A Better Tomorrow, A 'Tabdeeli', This Year

The journey we had in 2020, and the events we have witnessed is not something anyone of us would like to experience or go through again. Although, and overall the last year was full of trials in a way that demanded us to toss our freedoms aside, we learned many lessons. From forcing ourselves to adjust to the ‘new normal’, to finding freedom in restrictions, sailing through the year of a raging pandemic indeed feels like a rite of passage none of us was ready for. But hey, we did it. This episode of Urdunama is a celebration of the change or ‘tabdeeli’ that we have undergone. Yet, this year a lot still needs to change. Tune in to find out what ‘Tabdeeli’ is and what kind of change poets, Shakeel Badayuni, Jameel Mazhari, and Sahir Ludhianvi are looking for in people around them and in the society, at large.   Host, Writer, and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
1/9/20219 minutes, 43 seconds
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Poetry and A Prayer To Keep Safe & 'Salaamat' This New Year

Pandemic, Politics & Protests. These three words can sum-up what 2020 was like. An anxious heart wants to be assured that nothing from the previous year should follow us as we begin a brand new year. And what better way to start a new journey than prayers and hope for peace and strength? Join us as we read the poems of Sahir Ludhianvi, Ahmad Faraz, and Ali Sardar Jafri, to make sense of what 'amn' or 'peace' is. These poets tell us not just about friendships, but also, war and hatred, and guide us to keep safe and 'salaamat' from these two ills. Tune in. Host, Writer, and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
12/26/202014 minutes, 48 seconds
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Poetry & ‘Kisan’: Iqbal, Majaz & Kaifi’s Healing Words For Farmers

Jis khet se dahqan ko mayassar nahin rozi us khet ke har khosha-e-gandum ko jala do Urdu poet and thinker Allama Iqbal is saying through this couplet that if the piece of land where the farmer grows his produce and other crops is not yielding him any income, it should not be of any use to anybody. With the country embroiled in protests by farmers against the Centre’s new farm laws, we take a look at some perspectives shared in Urdu poetry on issues concerning farmers. Works of Asrar ul Haq Majaz, Kaifi Azmi, and Allama Iqbal have continued to lend their voices for the cause of the people working in the largest sector of employment, ie, agriculture. Tune in as we explore some healing words of these masters. Host, Writer, and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
12/5/20207 minutes, 59 seconds
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How Being a 'Beniyaz' Means Not Being In Any Need

Note: The difference between the pronunciations of 'marz' and 'maraz' is colloquial - while the former is technically correct, the latter is present in everyday usage. In a world where everything is moving so fast, where the sense of impermanence has only become deeper, most of us feel an intense urge to be able to control everything around us - things, feelings, even people. This can be exhausting. However, good things come to those who wait and keep calm. In this episode of Urdunama, we read you some mystic poetry by the great Classical poet, Khwaja Mir Dard, and try to understand if being a 'beniyaz', or someone who is not too concerned, could bring us peace and make us calmer. We also learn - with a little help from Zauq, Ghalib, Firaq, and others - the two different contexts of 'beniyazi' in poetry. Host, Writer, and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz Listen to these podcasts for a better understanding of the word 'beniyazi': https://bit.ly/35Oq0Yn https://bit.ly/2IVNQZa
11/21/202011 minutes, 57 seconds
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What Is Life Without 'Hausla'? These Ashaar Tell Us How Bold Is Beautiful

In this episode of Urdunama, we go back to poets like Faiz, Iqbal, Moradabadi, and others, for a lesson we need to refresh - bold Is beautiful. This podcast will help you pick up 'hausla' meaning 'courage', if you need some. Tune in. Host, Writer, and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
11/7/202011 minutes, 57 seconds
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Ismat Chughtai: The ‘Buri Ladki’ of Urdu Fiction

Ismat Chughtai, nicknamed 'Lady Manto', wrote mostly about the Indian middle-class Muslim culture and domestic life. But, it's her work on the life of women, and their sexual problems, that she is most remembered for. Ismat ‘Apa’, as she was fondly called, wrote a short story called ‘Lihaaf’ on same-sex desire and attracted not only social backlash but was also dragged to court on charges of obscenity. In this episode, we revisit 'Lihaaf' and remember the real 'buri ladki' of the sub-continent – Ismat. Host, Writer, and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
10/24/202010 minutes, 36 seconds
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Embrace Your Memories: Your Past, Your 'Maazi' Is What You Make Of It

Your past, your memories, our history. Without the past or our ‘maazi’, no art is possible. And as far as Urdu poetry is concerned, the source of inspiration has always been the beloved whom the poet reminisces about in ghazals. In this episode of Urdunama, we revel in some of the gems of shayari which remind us that if the past hounds with all its bitterness, then there is no point clinging to it. But, if you still have to endure that sour maazi, then become iron-willed. And as they say, ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. Tune in. Host, Writer and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
10/10/202010 minutes, 53 seconds
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Lata Mangeshkar: Tale of a Chorus Singer Becoming the Crowned Queen of Melody

Trained at the age of five by her father and Marathi theatre star, Deenanath Mangeshkar, Lata Mangeshkar started her career as a child artiste and chorus singer in 1942. But it wasn't until the late 40s when she landed her first solo hit - 'Aayega, aayega aane wala..' from the film Mahal starring Madhubala and Ashok Kumar. Lata was praised by Nargis' mother Jaddanbai for her Urdu pronunciation of a word in this song, but she was earlier mocked for her Urdu by Dilip Kumar aka 'Yusuf Bhai', as she fondly called him. In this episode of Urdunama, we revisit and celebrate what made her the Queen of Melody – her grace while facing nasty rejections. Tune in. Vocals: Ushosee Pal Guitar: Nabarun Pal Host, Writer and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz 
9/26/202017 minutes, 12 seconds
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Here Comes The 'Aaftab' Of Some Glowing Ashaar

'Aaftab' or the sun is the heart of the universe that keeps the solar system and its planets together. This huge glowing ball of gas is a star that symbolizes spirit, life, strength, triumph, energy and usually everything positive. In this episode of Urdunama, feel the radiance of some Urdu poetry that reminds you to face towards the 'aaftab' so that the shadows could fall behind you. Tune in. Host, Writer and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Vocals: Dr Junaid Alam, Mumbai based screenwriter, and a former RJ. Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
9/12/20208 minutes, 46 seconds
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Dear 'Befikre' Or 'Ghaafil', You've Got A Message From Faiz & Iqbal

'Ghaflat' and 'Taghaful' mean 'carelessness' or 'ignorance'. In Urdu poetry, it is the poet's lover who is usually guilty of this and hence is called a 'ghaafil' - someone who is oblivious of the poet's feelings. However, Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Allama Iqbal have a different point of view. For them there are different reasons for the built-up of 'taghaful - one says its 'laziness', the other feels its 'arrogance' or 'indifference'. Tune in to know what is it that makes us 'befikre'. Host, Writer and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
8/29/202012 minutes, 36 seconds
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Podcast | Remembering The ‘People’s Poet, Rahat Indori

Sabhī kā khūn hai shāmil yahāñ ki mittī meiñ kisī ke bāp ka hindostān thodi hai This is an oft-quoted sher in political discussions and protests, especially those opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens. It also found its way into Parliament, when it was quoted by All India Trinamool Congress’ Mahua Moitra, while giving her maiden address. She listed seven signs in her power-packed fiery speech to make her point that the country is moving towards fascism. Celebrating the poet, who spoke of the social issues threatening the secular fabric of India, this special podcast is a tribute by The Quint. Tune In. Host, Writer and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
8/15/20209 minutes, 22 seconds
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Happy Birthday, Gulzar: Celebrating the Genius And His Cocktails of Words

In this special episode of Urdunama, we celebrate the legend - the man of golden words, a friend, and a father, Gulzar. 
8/8/202017 minutes, 48 seconds
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Urdunama: Meet Meena Kumari, The Poetess

Often dubbed as the 'tragedy queen' of Hindi cinema, legendary actor Meena Kumari was not only a powerful star but also a poetess. In this episode of Urdunama, we revisit the story of the tragedienne through her poetry. Also, featuring in this podcast is the famous Sufi singer, Rashmi Agarwal, who is the recipient of the Grand-Prix Award at the prestigious 9th International World Music Festival in 2013. Tune In. Guest: Rashmi Agarwal, Indian Sufi singer. Host, Writer and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
7/25/202015 minutes, 8 seconds
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‘Qurbaten’ – An Antidote to Loneliness When ‘Vasl’ Fails

The biggest tragedy for a poet is the absence of his lover in his life. That's why just the thought of a possibility of never-ending meetings with his beloved brings him a lot of relief. All he wishes, in his life, is to have nearness or qurbaten with his mehboob. For example, this sher does not have the word qurbat, but the poet wishes to get closer to his mehboob; Shakeel Badayuni writes: kaise kah duuñ ki mulāqāt nahīñ hotī hai roz milte haiñ magar baat nahīñ hotī hai The poet is complaining that he is not denying meeting his lover, it's just they don't exchange any greetings or speak to each other even though they meet daily. In this episode of Urdunama, we explain the meaning and context in which poets have used the word qurbaten. We also understand how another Urdu word, vasl – which refers to minimising the distance between the lovers – is different from the nearness or qurbaten that we are talking about. Tune in. Host, Writer and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
7/11/20209 minutes, 6 seconds
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Sometimes a Bit of ‘Takalluf’ is Just What is Needed to Form Bonds

‘kyā takalluf kareñ ye kahne meñ jo bhī ḳhush hai ham us se jalte haiñ’ In this sher, poet Jaun Eliya announces unapologetically that he feels jealous of those who are happier in their lives than he is. The word ‘takalluf’ means ‘formality’ or doing something with a bit of refrain, while its absence is called ‘be-takallufi’ or to say something without mincing any words. The above couplet is illustrative of how comfortable the be-takalluf poets like Jaun Eliya are with the word. In this episode of Urdunama, we explore how different levels of takalluf could mean different possibilities of connection among people. We also look at how hitting the awkward silence can be important before forging real bonds. Tune in. Host, Writer and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
6/27/20207 minutes, 43 seconds
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Ranjish Hi Sahi... Why the Legacy of Ghazal Maestro Mehdi Hassan Lives on

For poets like Ahmad Faraz and Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Mehdi Hassan was the preferred voice for their ghazals. For Lata Mangeshkar, his voice was like the voice of God. For the Indian subcontinent, Mehdi Hassan was indeed the 'king of melody' who inspired scores of singers after him. For India, Pakistan and Nepal alike, Mehdi Hassan was unrivaled. Born in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu district, Hassan’s tryst with music began at the tender age of 6 under the tutelage of his father and uncle. After having trained for two years, he gave his first performance at just 8 in the court of Maharaja of Baroda. In this episode of Urdunama, we explore the musical journey of one of ghazal’s greats. Tune in. Vocals: Aditya Roy Host, Writer and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
6/13/202016 minutes, 9 seconds
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‘Shikwa’ Isn’t Just Complaint If You Let Urdu Poems Inspire You

In this episode of Urdunama , we learn the relevance of the word 'shikwa' or 'complain' which Urdu poets, like Jaun Eliya, believe is a great signifier of attachment and expectations. However, poets also warn that when the pain intensifies, and one goes through endless trials, the lamenting stops as well. And when it does, it takes the form of hopelessness. Which is why, we have curated a poetic remedy for a broken heart, prescribed by Urdu poets who tell us that it’s okay to complain a little as long as we know where it leads us to. Vocals: Ushosee Pal Guitar: Nabarun Pal Host, Writer and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
5/30/202011 minutes, 19 seconds
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Let There Be Some 'Faasla' In Our Togetherness

What keeps people together? Some may say, 'its about staying close to each other at all times', but many poets will say otherwise. If there is poetry on vasl (union) and sensual proximity, a considerable number of ashaar also advocate the need for faasla or 'distance'. Poets have written about faasla as the remedy to prevent the relationships from collapsing under the weight of excessive familiarity, contempt, and boredom. In this episode of Urdunama, we explore the theme of ‘importance of distancing in relationships’ that brings one back to the oft-repeated quote from Khalil Gibran's The Prophet: 'Let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you [..] and stand together, yet not too near together: for the pillars of the temple stand apart...' Tune in and pay close attention to poets who are telling us to focus at a 'faasla' or 'distance', because that's where one gets the maximum depth of intimacy.  Guest: Nomaan Shauq Host, Writer and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
5/16/202011 minutes, 53 seconds
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How India's Frank Sinatra, Talat Mahmood, Became The Voice Of Dilip Kumar in the 50s

If it wasn't for Talat Mahmood's soulful voice, Dilip Kumar wouldn't have become the undisputed 'King of Tragedy'. From 'Arzoo', 'Tarana' to 'Sangdil', and 'Babul', Talat Mahmood used to be the first choice of the directors for the voice of Dilip Kumar. If it wasn't for Talat Mahmood, Mehdi Hasan would not have become the ghazal great of the subcontinent. Also, referred to as the 'Frank Sinatra' of India, Talat Mahmood with his velvety voice became the first heartthrob of ghazal lovers, and ruled the Hindi film music industry in the 40s and the 50s. In this episode of Urdunama, we remember the first 'King of Ghazal' of the Hindi film music, and also a dashing actor who romanced actresses like Nutan, Suraiyya and Nadira. The Quint's Fabeha Syed caught up with journalist and Talat Mahmood's grandniece, Sahar Zaman, who tells what was he like - as a grandfather, a singer, an actor and a shy boy from Lucknow. Tune in. Vocals: Vikram Venkateswaran Guest: Sahar Zaman, Journalist Host, Writer and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
5/2/202018 minutes, 26 seconds
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If the Lockdown is Wearing You Down, 'Sabr' Is What You Need

Patience or 'sabr' is not just a word, but a practice. It could be understood as an inner mechanism that allows us to be accepting of everyday challenges without getting angry or agitated. If it's not for the hard times, we wouldn't have known what it means to practise 'sabr' or endurance. You may feel that your speed is slowing down in the lockdown. But the only way to keep going is adjusting your expectations, and trying to embrace the reality of life. Tune in for some ashaar of Anand Narayan Mulla, Parveen Shakir, and Josh Malihabadi. Also revisit 'The Tortoise and the Hare' in Urdu written by Ismail Merathi. Host, Writer and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
4/18/202012 minutes, 31 seconds
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What is 'Noor' If Not The Light You Need to Fight Today's Darkness!

As the nation reels under a 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus, most of us are confined to our homes, working from home, practising what has been touted to the safest measure to ward off COVID-19 – 'social distancing'. If, in self-isolation, there is ever a moment when you have felt hopeless about your future, then you aren't alone. In these testing times, it’s important to remember that the only way to fight the darkness is to find the light – or the 'noor' – of courage and hope. In this episode of Urdunama, we have tried to find some Urdu ashaar through which the poets tell us to seek the light or 'noor' within to face the trying times with resilience. Vocals: Gini Shah Guest: Noman Shauq, Poet & Journalist. Host, Writer and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
4/4/202017 minutes, 12 seconds
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Don’t Lose Hope: Poetry Of ‘Aas’ is a Reminder – This Too Shall Pass

In a matter of weeks, the exponential rise of coronavirus cases has caused anxiety and fear over the world. A lot of us are, quite naturally, feeling uncertain about the future. It’s easy to feel despair and be hopeless – but remember, we are all in this together. So, hang in there! Tune in for some ashaar – from the likes of Ahmad Faraz and Faiz – that will give the warmth of hope, or aas, that we all are in need of. Host, Writer and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia
3/21/202012 minutes, 28 seconds
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Sahir Ludhianvi: A Poet Who Sought Closure In Love With A ‘Khubsoorat Mod’

A poet, lyricist, thinker - Sahir, is not a man of a few words. His vast vocabulary not only borrows references from nature when he writes intimate love songs but also when he hopes for a better world, social justice, and equality:  Hazaar barq gire, laakh andhiyan utthein Vo phool khil ke rahenge jo khilne wale hain. The magic of Sahir’s poetry is such that it traverses across the Urdu-Hindi barrier and across a range of complex human emotions. His nazms like Khoon phir khoon hai, Gandhi ho ya Ghalib ho, Wo subh kabhi to aayegi, are commentaries against social oppression and injustice which continue to resonate even today. In this episode of Urdunama, The Quint’s Fabeha Syed takes you through the life and time of Sahir Ludhianvi who is remembered for his evergreen songs like Kabhi Kabhi mere dil mein, Jaane kya toone kahin, Allah tero naam Ishwar tero naam, and many more. Meet Sahir in this special podcast.  Host, Writer & Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Vocals: Vikram Venkateswaran Editor: Shelly Walia
3/7/202018 minutes, 3 seconds
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The Magic of Dawn: 'Sahar' and 'Sehr' in Urdu Poetry

In most languages, there are those confusing words that have similar pronunciation but are different in both meanings and spellings. So if you stumble upon some homonyms in Urdu which make you scratch your head, say no more. We got you covered. In this episode of Urdunama, The Quint’s Fabeha Syed explains the case of almost similar sounding words - ‘sahar’ which means ‘dawn’, and ‘sehr’ meaning ‘magic’. Also featuring in this podcast is a journalist and poet Noman Shauq who not only shares with us some of the gems of Urdu poetry but also tells us who did Faiz Ahmad Faiz write “ye sahir aankhein” for in his poem Raqeeb Se. Tune in. Sound Designer, Producer, and Host: Fabeha Syed Guest: Noman Shauq Editor: Shelly Walia
2/22/202015 minutes, 35 seconds
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Urdu Poetry And The Strength of Our Choices – Our 'Intikhab'

Intikhab means ‘election’ or ‘selection’. Many Urdu poets have written about their intikhab of something when they are faced with tough choices. Mostly its when they hold someone or something like a memory in high regard. For example, Urdu poet Mir Taqi Mir, who shifted to Lucknow after Ahmad Shah Abdali’s invasion of Delhi, reminisces about his beloved city by calling it the ‘chosen place in the world for the nobility’. Mir writes: Dilli jo ek sheher tha aalam mein intekhaab Rehte the jahan muntakhib hi rozgar ke Tune in to this episode of Urdunama where Fabeha Syed not only explains Mir’s above ashar, but also explains various contexts - from political to personal - in which the word intikhab has been used by the poets. Host, Writer and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
2/8/202012 minutes, 1 second
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The True Legacy of Kaifi Azmi: Poetry of Romance and Revolution

On 14 January 1919, Urdu poet Kaifi Azmi was born into a family of zameendars of Mizwan – a small village in the district of Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh. While the usual worries that grip every child’s heart are either about what, where or with whom to play, Kaifi’s anxieties lay elsewhere. One of the couplets from the first ghazal he wrote at the age of 11 shows the genius of a child prodigy that he was. Itna toh zindagi mein kisi ki khalal pade, Hasne se ho sukoon na rone se kal pade With his deep understanding of the tragedy of human life and its expectations, Kaifi became the voice of the voiceless – of the marginalised. His poetry talked about social justice, equality of opportunities, and gender justice. On his birth anniversary on 14 January, we remember the progressive writer, who was both a revolutionary and a romantic. Tune in to listen to the new episode of the podcast series – Urdunama! Host, Writer and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
1/14/202014 minutes, 26 seconds
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Explained: Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s 'Hum Dekhenge' And The Power of Eternal Truth

Faiz’s iconic poem ‘Hum Dekhenge’ has always been borrowed by protesting voices across the globe. The poem calls out the oppressors of every age, ideology and society. The poem was written as a mark of protest against the regime of Pakistani dictator Zia-ul-Haq, whose government was communal and regressive. A set of laws called the ‘Hudood Ordinances’ was the central policy of his government to ensure proper ‘Islamisation’ of Pakistan. Hudood, or Hadd, means ‘limits’, and the law ordered the people of Pakistan to identify and remain well within the limits defined by the government. It is this religious fundamentalism that prompted Faiz to pen ‘Hum Dekhenge’ — a song that has since been the voice of Inquilaab or revolution. Recently, this piece of poetry found its critics who alleged that the poem has an orthodox Islamic character because of a few lines written in it. In this episode of Urdunama, The Quint’s Fabeha Syed explains the poem for you. And how using Islamic imagery, Faiz not only attacks the ultra-Islamic regime of Pakistani dictator Zia-ul-Haq, but also invokes the power of eternal truth and justice. Tune in. Host, Writer and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
1/4/202017 minutes, 22 seconds
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From Agra to Balli Maran, Tracing the Journey of Mirza Ghalib

Mirza Ghalib - who is to Urdu literature what Shakespeare is to English - whose poetry has continued to find admirers even a century and a half later when he is no more. Born in 1797 in Agra, Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib moved to Delhi wherein the court of the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, his talents found new heights. These heights of his literary brilliance often prod you on a deeper level and make you wonder. ‘Did Ghalib ever write about politics?’, ‘how can his poems be interpreted as literature about God?’ Most importantly, ‘did he - the baadah-khwaar or the wine drinker - ever believe in God?’ All these questions won't be tossed away unanswered in this very special podcast- a masterclass featuring author Maaz Bin Bilal. Maaz who took upon himself to translate some of Ghalib’s ghazals in his book Ghazalnama - Poems from Delhi, Belfast and Urdu, decodes Ghalib’s ‘Ye na thi humari qismat ...’ Guest: Maaz Bin Bilal Host, Writer and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
12/26/201917 minutes
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Noor Jehan, Lata Mangeshkar and Their Eternal Friendship

'Madam' Noor Jehan was perhaps one of the earliest stars of Hindi cinema. She later migrated to Pakistan. The cleft-chinned darling of the newly formed Pakistan, Noor Jehan was not only a singer and an actor admired by her audience, but also respected by even the great poets and artistes of both the countries. On her 93th death anniversary on 23 December 2019, find out why Urdu poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz gifted Noor Jehan one of his nazms, why Dilip Kumar had a reverential respect for his Jugnu co-star, and why there was a deep sense of affection and respect between the two Queens of Melody – Lata Mangeshkar and Noor Jehan. Catch all this and more in this special Urdunama podcast on Noor Jehan. Host, Writer and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
12/22/201916 minutes, 40 seconds
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Why 'Justuju' or Longing Is Actually the Essence Of Life

In this episode of Urdunama, find out how our Justuju or desire for better things is actually the essence of our lives. Our aspirations, goals, and all the planning we do to achieve them prepares us for the great scheme of things in our lives. Urdu poet Altaf Hussain Hali has written about this thought in this beautiful couplet. Hai justuju ki khoob se hai khoob tar kahaan,  ab theherti hai dekhiye jaakar nazar kahan. The first line says that the heart is always on the quest to find the best of the best things. We always have another desire even before having achieved the one that hasn't yet been fulfilled. In the second line, the poet wonders that at what point will all his longings stop. Tune in. Host, Writer and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
12/7/201910 minutes
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From Patangbaazi to Ishqbaazi, Learn the Words ‘Baazi’ Can Make

From patangbaazi (kite flying or kite making) to bahaanebaazi (making excuses). The Urdu word baazi, which literally means a game or a bet, has been used as a suffix creating more colourful words than one can imagine. Naarebaazi, which means sloganeering, ishqbaazi which is romancing (someone), pangebaazi which is being up to some mischief... the word is immensely dynamic. In this episode of Urdunama, we explore some baazi words – their interesting origins, histories, and usages. Tune in. Host, Writer and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz
11/8/20199 minutes, 7 seconds
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This Diwali, Revel in Dastan-E-Ram, The Story of Ram in Urdu

Hai Raam ke wajood pe Hindustaan ko naaz Ahl-e-Nazar samajhte hain us ko Imam-e-Hind The above couplet is from Allama Iqbal’s poem ‘Ram’. Iqbal asserts that Ram is the leader of not just one particular faith, but he paves the way for everyone to the path of spiritual success. He calls Lord Ram, ‘Imam-e-Hind’ or the leader of all of Hind or Hindustan. This Diwali, we remember Ram through the prism of our shared culture and Urdu poetry. In this special episode of Urdunama, Professor Danish Iqbal who teaches Radio in Jamia Millia Islamia speaks with The Quint’s Fabeha Syed about why he chose to write ‘Dastan-e-Ram’ and why this project is a lot more than just a Ramlila that's written in Urdu.
10/26/201915 minutes, 3 seconds
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Why Do We Take Our 'Arziyan' to God When He's Within Us?

Arzi means an application or a request; the word arziyan, in Sufi poetry, is a medium which makes one feel close to God. However, here’s a question: Why do we need arziyan when God is everywhere? In this episode of Urdunama, we try to answer this. From reading Mallik Mohammad Jayasi’s poem ‘Padmavat’ to drawing parallels between ‘Aham Brahamasmi’ and ‘Ana-al-haq’ in Indian philosophy, this episode of Urdunama attempts to understand if it’s arziyan which help one reach God or the guru who does. Professor Abdul Bismillah features in the podcast, and elucidates how arziyan has no place in Sufi thought and the guru, in fact, is the bridge between man and God. Further, listen to Sufi singer Dhruv Sangari Bilal Chisti talking about why arziyan is a sacred word for him. Featuring Sufi Singer Dhruv Sangri Bilal Chishti and Professor Abdul Bismillah.  Editor: Shelly Walia Podcast Editor, Producer, and Host: Fabeha Syed
10/18/201914 minutes, 1 second
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Do You Know the Real Dastaan-e-Gandhi?

Have you heard the Dastaan-e-Gandhi? ‘Dastaan’ means ‘story’. Gandhi means....well...Mahatma Gandhi. The '-e-' sound in the word ‘Dastan-e-Gandhi’ means ‘of’, that’s used to join these two words. On this special edition of Urdunama, we bring you Dastaan-e-Gandhi, the story of Mahatma Gandhi’s return to India and his journey from being an ordinary man to the man India calls ‘Mahatma’. To the uninitiated, a dastaan is a verbally recited epic that has its origins in dastangoi – a 13th century storytelling artform performed by a skilled dastango (storyteller). Dastaan-e-Gandhi has been performed by dastango Firoz Khan and written by Danish Iqbal. We spoke to Danish Iqbal on this podcast.
10/1/201912 minutes, 59 seconds
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Remembering Poet Mir Taqi Mir – The Man Who Shaped Urdu

Fabeha Syed catches up with Delhi University professor Dr Najma Rehmani. She talks about poet Mir Taqi Mir who provided a window to 18th century Delhi with his politics, love, loss, and his feelings for an attaar ka launda (son of a perfumer).
9/20/201910 minutes, 40 seconds
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Mukammal Jahan Nahi Milta, But Can You Get Close Enough?

‘Mukammal’ means complete, or perfect. We tend to believe that adding something special to our life – like a dog to our family, a new skill, or a new goal – will make our life ‘mukammal’, or complete. While thinking so, we are hoping for our life to look better than it does right now. It’s one thing to aspire to have things, qualities and people who add meaning to your life and make it mukammal. But it’s a different story when we don’t make it. So, what is it that makes your life complete, makes you feel mukammal already? Listen to the latest episode of Urdunama with Fabeha Syed. Also, listen to poet Noman Shauq reciting some of the mukammal ashaar for you.
9/14/201916 minutes, 45 seconds
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Who's The 'Rashk-e-Qamar' In Your Life?

Qamar, Mah, Mahtaab, are different ways to refer to the moon in Urdu. In this episode of Urdunama learn about how the 'moon' has been used as an expression of beauty in Urdu poetry. Poet Azhar Iqbal talks to The Quint's Fabeha Syed, and recites some of the moon-lit ashaar for you. 
8/30/201914 minutes, 49 seconds
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Inquilab Zindabad: Revisiting Bhagat Singh’s Slogan This 15 August

Revolution usually comes into play when reform is desired, to change one's personal life for the better. On a social level, it addresses oppression and exploitation. Learn the meaning of 'Inquilab', Poetry of Resistance aka Inquilabi Shayari and more in this episode of Urdunama. 
8/14/201916 minutes, 6 seconds
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Urdunama: How 'Mukhtasar' Is Our View of Life

Are the memories of the relationship you had for a 'Mukhtasar' time now haunting you? Is that affair you had for a 'Mukhtasar' period not letting you move on? In this episode of Urdunama, The Quint's Fabeha Syed explains the importance of everything that's 'Mukhtasar' in our lives – how to embrace it if it nurtures, and how to avoid it if it pricks.
8/2/201910 minutes, 46 seconds