Richness of Urdu attracts new breed of tech-savvy boys and girls

Hyderabad: While we hear stories of Urdu fading out in India, there is a group of youngsters from diverse backgrounds in Hyderabad that is trying to learn the language and enjoy its rich literature.

The group has established an NGO ‘Anjuman-e-Fannan (Constellation of Artistes)’ which is endeavouring to revive the popularity of Urdu and its literature.

The nearly two-year-old Anjuman-E-Fannan has been conducting programmes like open-mics, mehfils, yaad and mushairas along with workshops on Urdu poetry and prose with a view to providing a platform for young amateur writers, poets, and artists to showcase their talents.

An Urdu learning workshop was organized by the Anjuman last week in OCTO spaces at Road No. 10, Banjara Hills. It was like a classroom set up for the audience. In the latter part of the event, an open-mic was conducted in which youngsters shared their short stories and poetry in different forms with the audience. The atmosphere was mesmerizing and left a lasting mark on the mind and heart of the audience.

Speaking to Riasath Ali Asrar, a young poet and founder of Anjuman, said, “Our initiative was conducted over a cup of chai(tea) and samosa back in 2017 and after about a year Anjuman has brought about a drastic change. We have more than a hundred people coming from different states, cultures, religions and beliefs to learn and share their love for Urdu. Surprisingly most of them were non-Urdu speakers.”

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  “We are trying our best to help others learn Urdu so that the love for the language and its essence do not vanish,” he added.

“I am from a Telugu speaking family. I started reading Urdu poetry written in Roman English back in college. I never got the chance to learn Urdu before but thanks to Anjuman I have learnt the language,” Anjali who attended the workshop said.

Zakariya Zaki, co-founder of Anjuman said, “There is a social stigma that students who read and write Urdu are from Urdu medium schools and from weaker financial and social backgrounds. Therefore, they are no good. That is not true. We want to change that and encourage people to learn Urdu.”

 When asked how they manage their expenses he replied, “It’s all about savings and contributions within the group. We do not have any sponsors as of now; we manage everything on our own.”

 “Learning Urdu has helped me to connect to the rich heritage and culture of Hyderabad,” Sridhar, a software expert who attended the workshop said.

Authored by Roshan Bint Raheem