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Monday, 28 April 2014

Invite for the Launch of my new book on Dr Rashid Jahan, 1 May

Friends, I have written a biography of Comrade Dr Rashid Jahan. It has been published by Women Unlimited and is being launched on 1 May at the IGNCA, New Delhi. I have also curated an exhibition of 30 rare photographs about her life. The exhibition will be inaugurated at 5 pm followed by the launch of the book and a panel discussion on the book. Prof Aijaz Ahmad and Dr Geeta Patel will discuss the book.

The details are in the card attached. Please do find the time to attend the function.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Hindustani Awaaz Invite: Sohail Hashmi Speaks about Nazir Akbarabadi, 24 April

Friends, I take great pleasure in inviting you to the next talk in our monthly series 'WHY IT SPEAKS TO ME'. This month we shall hear Sohail Hashmi speak about the remarkable poetry of Nazir Akbarabadi, on Thursday, 24th April at The Attic. Please join us for Tea at 6.00 pm. The Talk will begin at 6.30 sharp.

'Monthly Monologue: Why it Speaks to Me?'
Hindustani Awaaz, in collaboration with The Attic, presents a monthly series of monologues: poetry, literature, short stories, plays, essays, nazms, ghazals. On the last Thursday of each month, a series of eclectic speakers present/sing/recite their favourite Urdu text and explain why the text ‘speaks’ to them the way it does. They share their passion for a poet, a text, even a fragment and tell us why, from all they have read, those particular set of words speak to them with a familiarity that is at once unique and insistent.
thursday 24th april
6.30 pm ‘Why Nazir Akbarabadi Speaks to me' by Sohail Hashmi
Nazir Akbarabadi (Wali Muhammad) (1735–1830) was  the Father of Nazm, (a genre of Urdu poetry). His mother was the daughter of the governor of Agra Fort then known as Akbarabad.
Only 6000 of his roughly 200,000 verses have survived.  His poetry conveyed the plight of the common people in their own everyday language and was very popular among the masses. His poetry has been neglected due to the lack of the “elite” element but discerning fans of Urdu poetry will not fail to recognize the greatness of “Banjaranama” (chronicle of a nomad), “Kaljug nahin karjug hai yeh”, “Aadmi Naama” (chronicle of man).
In the early 50’s, one of the greatest theatre personalities of modern India  Habib Tanvir, wrote and directed his first significant play Agra Bazar, based on the works and times of Nazir Akbarabadi, using local residents and folk artist from Okhla village in Delhi.
Sohail Hashmi He produces documentary films, is involved in women’s education, is a social activist, writes on the lesser known monuments of Delhi, its water bodies and its landscape. He is deeply interested in the heritage of Delhi, its language, its food and its wonderful eating places makes and loves to showoff his city to anyone who is interested.He studied in Aligarh and Delhi and did his graduation and post graduation from Delhi University. He gave up his PhD in JNU mid way to work full time with the CPI (M).
He is a former Director of Leap Years - a Creative Activity Centre for Children, a founding trustee of SAHMAT.  He conceptualised, researched and scripted a 4 part series on the History of Urdu for the MEA that was shown on Discovery for four Years, he conceptualised and scripted  9 part series on Pioneers of Women's Education in India and a 5 part series Shehernama on the history of Shahjahanabad. He has scripted 6 half hour documentaries on the real life stories of 6 rural women and their struggles to become literate and self reliant. Sohail writes a monthly column "Past Present Continuous" for Terrascape  on culture, heritage and conservation and blogs irregularly, on issues of culture and communalism at He conducts heritage walks in Delhi and loves to cook and talk about food.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Reading from my new book on the progressive writers' movement, 22 april, oxford bookstore

I shall be reading from my new book, Liking Progress, Loving Change: A Literary History of the Progressive Writers' Movement in Urdu (OUP). The reading will be followed by IPTA songs sung by Parcham. The event is being hosted by the Oxford University Press and the Oxford Bookstore at N-81 Connaught Place, New Delhi on Tuesday, 22 April at 6.00 pm. Please do join us.

The details are in the link below.