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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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show series
 
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 - th…
 
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…
 
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…
 
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…
 
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 Nargi…
 
'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 th…
 
'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 'tagha…
 
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, whil…
 
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 pre…
 
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 clos…
 
‘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 with…
 
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…
 
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 hope…
 
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 …
 
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 subcon…
 
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 lockdow…
 
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 alon…
 
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 –…
 
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 …
 
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 be…
 
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 …
 
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 Ordinanc…
 
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 h…
 
'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 De…
 
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 khoo…
 
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 w…
 
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 Hindusta…
 
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 m…
 
‘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 wh…
 
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.The Quint による
 
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.The Quint による
 
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…
 
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