Hyderabad: The inaugural session, which took place this past Saturday (August 8) of the online classical Urdu literary forum — Baazgaasht — was a successful one. After Ismat Chughtai’s masterpiece on the societal evil of dowry Chauthi ka Jauda was read by broadcaster Afshan Farshori, Jamia Professor Emeritus, dramatist and critic Shameem Hanfy stated, “I am happy that this online session has come to fruition for not just the reading. The commentary and interpretation of some evergreen stories that followed are very delightful.”
During her recitation, Farshori’s style of narration captured all the nuances that Chughtai sought to project of Western UP’s upper-middle class society.
After the reading, many academics praised the selection of the story and the way it was read.
Professor Naseemuddin Farees, Department Head of Urdu at Maulana Azad National Urdu University, stated that this story was a tragedy not just for the star-cross lovers for whom dowry and families were impediments, but all characters.
One character whom he praised was Kubra’s sister. “The way she protested against her family going broke just for the hospitality towards the male suitor’s family was a testament to the rebellious characters Chughtai used to always flesh out.”
Farees also said he is looking forward to this forum becoming a platform for students to listen to such classic gems but to ask questions and to take part in discussions alongside learned academics.
Although the patron of this forum Baig Ehsas was not present online due to health reasons, Professor Humera Sayeed, Principal of the Government Degree College for Women — Sanga Reddy delivered a message on his behalf.
“During the lockdown that has relegated us to our homes for the most part, we should not lose touch with literature just because we cannot physically be in the same place at the same,” she relayed.
Next week, the forum will be centered around three of Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s nazms. Here is the link for this next session below.