The things which I never did in life, am doing in Trinidad.Never went to Gym before, here in the University Gym, go three times a week.My most cheerful time of the day is small walk in my complex in fresh breeze, listening to ghazals sung by Mehdi Hasan, Begum Akhtar, Malika Pukhraj,Iqbal Bano,Jagjit Singh, Munni Begum, Farida Khanum, Ghulam Ali and many more.Then reading few pages of Qurrat-ul-Ain-Hyder’s huge novel ‘Kare Jahan Daraz Hai’ in Urdu, while sipping my large cup of tea!
Kare Jahan Daraz Hai, though story of Muslim gentry or feudal classes, is written in such a fascinating manner and history is recreated in a way as if events are passing before your eyes.Creation of pro peasant land law by a Muradabadi Muslim officer posted in Gurdaspur,journeys of Turkey, Egypt and other countries,Hindi Urdu controversy, reproduction of full speech of President of the session in 1951, at Hindustani Academy Lucknow, after partition.
It is one of the greatest fiction of the world literature, I have still not crossed even half of it in 2-3 months.It is long time after that I am enjoying reading historic fiction as a reader and can’t tell you the kind of aesthetic pleasure I draw of it.The recreation of 1857 and its impact on Indian society, various social reformist movements, like women education among Muslim community, creation and development of Aligarh Muslim University, which became the base of enlightenment among rich Muslim community and gave chances to poorer section for education as well.The first generation Pakistani elite came mostly from Aligarh Muslim University and for this very reason Pakistan is in such fraternal bond with India that any departure from liberal education of AMU, just leads to the dark age of Mullagardi and jehadi terrorism.
Salute to the great creative genius called Qurrat-ul-ain haider! Other than Urdu language readers/writers know her because of ‘Aag Ka darya’, translated in English by herself as ‘River of Fire’, which I also like, but perhaps I like ‘Kare Jahan ..even more! As in case of Bhisham Sahni, I like his ‘Mayya Das ki Madi’, again a recreation of socio-cultural history of Khalsa period and later in Punjab, beginning of women education among Hindus, curiosity of people to have a look for the first time of a train!