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Urdu Language Blog

Meena Kumari Naaz – مینا کماری ناز: “The Coquet” Posted by on Apr 11, 2018

Meena Kumari (مینا کماری), born Mahjabeen Bano (ماہجبین بانو) on August 1, 1933, is recognized today as one of the finest actresses the Hindi film world has ever known. In addition to her stunning beauty, this actress was famous for her multifaceted talents as an actress, singer and poet who published verse under the pen…

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Kaifi Azmi’s “The Son of Mary” (Part 2) Posted by on Mar 28, 2018

This week, I will go into more depth with the poem we discussed last time: “The Son of Mary” (ابنِ مریم) by renowned poet and lyricist Kaifi Azmi (کیفی عظمی). In this second half of the poem, Azmi’s tone becomes progressively more intense and combative, as you’ll see in the following lines. Comment below if…

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Kaifi Azmi’s “The Son of Mary”/”کیفی اعظمی کی “ابنِ مریم Posted by on Mar 21, 2018

This week, let’s return to another of the unforgettable poet and lyricist, Kaifi Azmi’s, poems. Similar to “Daera/The Circle” (دائره), Azmi uses his knowledge of diverse belief systems and cultures to enrich his verse and complicate his philosophical stance. This quality of Azmi’s poetry, in addition to his seemingly simple, yet at times abstruse and…

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Kaifi Azmi’s “The Circle” Posted by on Feb 20, 2018

Kaifi Azmi (کیفی اعظمی, or Sayyid Akhtar Hussein Rizvi, as he was born) is one of Urdu’s greatest poets (شاعر/shaayar) and remains legendary to this day as a poet capable of expressing the subtlest of sentiments with uncanny astuteness and daring. You may recognize his name from that of Shabana Azmi, a famous Indian actress who…

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A Short History of Urdu / اردو کی چھوٹی سی تاریخ Posted by on Feb 15, 2018

Urdu is widely known as the national language (قومی زبان/qaumi zabaan where “zabaan” is a fem. noun) of Pakistan, but it is also one of India’s 22 official languages (سرکاری زبان/sarkaari zabaan). Modern Standard Urdu, once commonly known as a variant of Hindustani (ہندوستانی), a colloquial language combining the modified Sanskrit words found in Hindi…

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