02 March, 2021

Our Loves, Lost Once, Then Regained

Urdu poetry, ghazals and tales are harmonised in a whole in Sukhan, a labour of passion by a few Marathi performers

Perfect Ensemble
A performance of Sukhan in progress
Our Loves, Lost Once, Then Regained

Urdu hai jis kaa naam hamiin jaante hain “Daag”
Saare jahaan mein dhoom hamaarii zubaan ki hai

 - Daag Dehlvi

Mein kisise apne dil ki baat keh sakta na tha
Ab sukhan ki aad mein kya kuch na kehna aa gaya

- Akhtar Ansari

Urdu, which has its origins in the cosmopolitan melee of military camps, grew to be a language of singular beauty—a medium for classic lyric poetry as well as avant garde modernism. A happy commingling with Hindi resulted in Hindustani, later the language of the Raj and thence of Bollywood. Elevated and enc­ased as national language in Pakistan, Urdu has lost much of the lofty standing in India—except in a few enlightened pools—it enjoyed before Partition.

Now, a group of young performers from Pune has been taking Urdu literature out of its neglected libraries, mixing the profoundly soulful with the outrageously popular through a show that has narration, recitals, songs and qawwalis...

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