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Pakistan

November 23, 2018

'Urdu main khawateen k gumshuda safarnamay’: US’ Daniel Joseph to pay tribute to women authors from Pakistan

Pakistan

Fri, Nov, 18

KARACHI: To mark the presence of significant travelogues present in the world of Urdu literature penned by women writers, Daniel Joseph at the eleventh international Urdu conference shed light on his project titled ‘Urdu main khawateen k gumshuda safarnamay’ that aims to bring to limelight the long-forgotten travel pieces written by eminent women authors of Urdu by presenting it to the rest of the world.

Featuring distinguished speakers, scholars and writers from all across the globe, the distinct conference that kick-started on Thursday, saw the likes of renowned writers like Mustansar Hussain Tarar and Mirza Hamid Baig, who went into a detailed discourse regarding Urdu fiction-writing and how it has changed over the years in a talk titled ‘Urdu fiction: Maazi, Haal aur Mustaqbil’.

Amongst those who were invited to speak at the occasion from overseas was Daniel Joseph who has travelled from United States to be a part of the conference.

His current work includes researching about women authors who have etched distinct travel experiences in writing - pieces that are now nowhere to be found in history - and to present them to the masses  after translating in English.

Speaking in chaste Urdu, Daniel said, “Humein Alaska k safarnamay milte hain, Cheen k aur Junoobi Africa k bhi, lekin zamana-e-taqseem se pehle aik groh jo nazar nahin aata tha mera collection mai who khawateen ka tha (We find travelogues of Alaska, China and South Africa, however the one thing that remains missing from my collection, I thought, was travelogues written by women).”

He added, “Humein achi tarah se pata hai k taqseem se pehle auratein bohat bari tadaad mai safar karti thein lekin unn k safarnamay nahin milte. Kya who safar karti thein magar likhti nahin thein ya shayad woh likhti thein lekin who safarnamay humari aankhon se ojhal ho gaye hain (While we know a large -number of women used to travel pre-partition but their travelogues are not present in the world of literature. Did they not travel, or they did but not write about it and the masterpieces they created have diminished into hindsight).”

Explaining further about how he started to dig up travel stories by women, Daniel stated that he commenced his project from reading autobiographies, magazines and other publications.

Daniel’s work pays insightful homage to women like Shaista Suhrawardy, Nishat-un-Nissa Begum who have carved their identity as esteemed writers who have produced travel pieces that are worthy of celebrating world-over.

Another international speaker who was present at the occasion was Aslam Jamshed Puri who has flown from the Indian city of Meerut.

Sharing his thoughts over ‘Jadeed afsana’ and how the practice of story-telling through afsaana has evolved with time, the veteran writer stated that the genre of story-writing is right now in its post-modern age.

He went on to add that the modern afsaana possesses many names and nuances now and its theme has also seen a major variation with time after the 1960s and 70s.