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...