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Urdunama

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Urdunama

The Quint

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Bollywood tunes make compulsive hummers out of us. But wait, do you know the meaning of every word you hum? Especially the ones in Urdu? Urdunama, with @FabehaSyed, takes one word at a time and we slice and dice it for you.
 
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Pakistani singers Ali Sethi and Shae Gill's song Pasoori has spread like wildfire. This is the song that is said to have united music fans across India and Pakistan who simply can't stop humming or grooving to it. But what does pasoori mean? It is a Punjabi word that means a dilemma or a conflict that makes us go back and forth on a decision or act…
 
It's been two years since the passing away of actor Irrfan Khan, and we can't help but wonder how names have an impact on what a person becomes. Irfaan means knowledge, wisdom. It's the power and wisdom that Irrfan exuded in all of his performances that made him a legend. So, in this episode of Urdunama we celebrate the man Irrfan for his irfaan, a…
 
Ikhtilaaf meaning conflicts or disagreements, are unavoidable in a heterogenous environment. One can say that sometimes disagreements might even be healthy and necessary for a synthetized view of the world. But there are also times when ikhtilaaf can deteriorate harmony. At such moments, a sense of ittifaq which means unity or concurrence, can help…
 
Alia Bhatt and Ranbir Kapoor's wedding festivities have set off a frenzy in Bollywood. As fans across the country follow the news of this marital union of two of India's celebrated stars, we found it only apt to give some thought to the word 'shaadi' or marriage, which finds its roots in the Persian word 'shaad', which means happiness and joy. Ther…
 
Navratri and Ramzan both come with a set of rules of dos and don'ts. Sure, it's time for fasting and self-cleansing but it's not just about what we eat or when we eat rather, it's a life altering phenomenon that focuses on discipline. As Greek philosopher Plato is believed to have said, "Abstinence is the surety of temperance", it is 'Parhez' or ab…
 
Oscars 2022 made history with its many firsts – three female hosts for the first time, an actor with hearing impairment bagged the Best Actor Oscar for the first time, first openly queer actor of colour won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Yet, it is the Will Smith-Chris Rock 'slapgate' from the Oscars that overshadowed all of this. It is ofte…
 
Holi is a social festival which has been written a lot about in Urdu poetry from the spectrum of India's ganga-jamuni tehzeeb. Although there are many poets who have expressed their love for the festival, Wali Muhammad, who wrote using nom de plume, 'Nazeer', wrote almost a dozen nazms on Holi. In this episode we not only look at some of Nazeer Akb…
 
In this episode of Urdunama we see how it's the gratitude that helps us hold onto the good things in life. In Urdu poetry, Ismail Merathi tells us that we can be thankful for anything, even a cow. Tune in as The Quint's Fabeha Syed reads Merathi's 'Humari Gayein', Andaleeb Shadani's 'der lagi aane mein tumko..' among other ashaar.…
 
French philosopher René Descartes's famous phrase 'cogito ergo sum' - I think, therefore, I 'am; resonates with every thinking and reasoning mind. And it's thinking that makes us analyse and bring our reflexive and contemplative skills to the fore. This in turn draws us so much closer to what we consider true, that we would even prove any conflicti…
 
Mubarak meaning auspicious, and this should be the way to usher in the start of a new year. This word has often been used in Urdu poetry as a way of taunting. For instance, Shakeel Badayuni's sher is complaining about the lover's oblivion. Ye ada-e-be-niyaazi tujhe bewafa mubaarak Magar aisi be-rukhi kya ki salaam tak na pahunche Tune in, as we exp…
 
'Maseeha' which means a saviour of a tribe who leads towards liberation, is often used for someone who can heal. Jesus Christ is called 'Maseeha' for his healing powers not only in Christianity but in all the Abrahamic religions such as Islam and Judaism. In Urdu poetry, there are many references to the healing powers of Jesus Christ. And it is the…
 
It is said that don't keep waiting for things; instead, make them happen. But then it is also believed that good things come to those who wait. What is it that one should do? 'Muntazir' means the state of waiting for something or someone. In Urdu poetry, the subject of poets' wait is often the lover, and shayar's ultimate fantasy is the moment of '…
 
'Ibtida' means a beginning and 'inteha' means ending of something after having reached an extent. The beginning could be of a relationship, or of an activity. And, since every bigining is a start of an effort, 'ibtida' holds a special place in Urdu poetry that brings hope and comfort to our hearts. In this episode, The Quint's Fabeha Syed explores …
 
Philosophers have always argued about time and have viewed it with different theories. Poets, on the other hand, have made the time the essence of their work and worries. When stuck in the past, it is the 'maazi' that the poet lives in his poetry. When hoping for a beautiful future, the poets are usually dreaming about the union or 'visaal' with th…
 
'Aaloodgi' meaning pollution, is a huge concern of worry for the not just the shayar but everyone. However, in poetry, pollution of any form stands for corruption, absence of lover, a great discomfort, or any negative emotion. In this episode of Urdunama, we explore how pollution has caused distress to poets like Amjad Islam Amjad and Anand Narayan…
 
Philosophers, scientists, thinkers, have been trying to understand the secrets of the universe through the various disciplines of inquiry. Universe, they tell, is all about energy, time and matter. Once we internalise this belief, the universe then moves quickly as we decide. But, how? To understand this, we explore through Urdu poetry, what does '…
 
'Raunaq' means lustre or glow. In this episode we understand what is 'raunaq' for poets and how some of the Urdu poetry has thrown light on theme like glow of anyone's presence, of truth, of love, and so on. When 'raunaq' spreads in our lives through all of these things, it enhances the quality of life. But, when the same 'raunaq' is found on a cer…
 
In this special episode of Urdunama, The Quint's Fabeha Syed decodes the theme of riwaaj meaning customs, through Urdu poetry. Poets have often commented over the riwaaj of corruption and social injustice. For this, Fabeha picks out Kaifi Azmi’s Taj Mahal and explains the poets POV. And for the riwaaj of our syncretic culture, the host reads Urdu c…
 
'Watan ka Raag' by Urdu poet, Pandit Brij Narayan Chakbast, and 'Mahatma Gandhi Ka Qatl' by Anand Narain Mulla. These two poems best describe the impact Gandhi had on Urdu poets of that time. Through these powerful nazms, various themes of Gandhi's philosophy come alive, only if we pay close attention to what Gandhi stood for. Tune in.…
 
In this episode, we explore the many meanings and contexts of the word, 'Gulshan'. But before that, why don't you first think of your happy place? Tune in, to find out the relevance of a 'happy place' and 'gulshan'. Host, producer and audio editor: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz…
 
The word 'Saaqi' meaning the bartender, or someone who serves alcohol, is often been used by poets in different ways. For instance, in this ghazal by Jigar Moradabadi, the word 'Saaqi' is used to describe a leader or 'imam': ye hai mai-kada yahan rind hai yahan sab ka saaqi imaam hai ye haram nahin hai ai shaiḳh ji yahan paarsai haraam hai In this …
 
In this episode, we explore the many meanings of having a 'voice', and using it for those who either don't have it or are often silenced by those in power. To make this podcast, we found it vital to refer to the poetry of stalwarts like Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Sahir Ludhianvi, Majrooh Sultanpuri, and Jaun Elia among others. Tune in.…
 
The Quint’s Urdunama turns 50 episodes old. On the 50th episode of your favourite podcast, we bring you a theme in poetry that you felt describes us the best – Sukoon. Sukoon means tranquillity, a sense of inner calm and peace, which, poets have described, comes as a result of acceptance and love. Tune in as Fabeha Syed recites Sahir Ludhianvi and …
 
Mumkin means possible, and possibility means imkaan — a remedy that brings relief to a grieving heart. In this episode, we explore how poetry could bring not just joy but also a relief to a troubled or grieving heart and therapy for our mental well-being. So, we thought what better way to understand the theme of possibility than poetry. In this epi…
 
The word khwahish means desire, but when it's not fulfilled, it becomes 'hasrat' for the pining heart. In this episode of Urdunama, we understand how holding on to hasrat is a great way to accept life's uncertainties. Tune in. Host, Writer, and Audio Editor: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz…
 
This Pandemic has taught us many lessons. One of them is to not be oblivious to the world that we are living in. How awake are we? To answer that, we have tried to explore the word 'bedaar' through Urdu poetry. After all, to be 'Bedaar' is to be alive. Tune in. Host, Writer, and Audio Editor: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang Fuzz…
 
In this episode, we take help from Shakespeare to understand the 'Quality of Mercy'. We also wrap our heads around the cause of 'be-rahm', merciless pain, as compassion first requires one to be humble. Tune in. Host, Writer, and Sound Designer: Fabeha Syed Editor: Shelly Walia Music: Big Bang FuzzDoor The Quint
 
Written by Javed Akhtar, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's iconic song 'Husn-e-jaana ki tareef mumkin nahi...' has always made us wonder about the word 'afreen'. 'Afreen' is an expression that is used to express our admiration for something or someone. And in this episode we dig deep, to find ways in which poets have written, praising about things that amuse…
 
In this special episode of Urdunama, we bring you the poetry of Urdu's female poets. Poets like Ada Jafferey, Fehmida Riaz, Kishwar Naheed, Zehra Nigah, and Parveen Shakir, among others, bring female perspectives to a genre that is largely ruled by male poets. Tune in for some gems from these great women's shayari. Host, Writer, and Sound Designer:…
 
Author of the slogan that echoes in every protest, Josh Malihabadi was a poet who challenged the British in his fierce style of writing. The poet par excellence, Josh Malihabadi was also close to India’s first prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who he considered his ideal. Josh was conferred Padma Bhushan in the year 1954. His fiery poetry was …
 
Bohot barbaad hain lekin sadaa-e-inqalaab aaye Wahin se vo pukaar utthega jo zarra jahaan hogaa This couplet by Ali Sardar Jafri points out the essence of the individual struggles in a revolution that brings people together who desire to change the society, a corrupt system, and so on. But every inquilaab comes only when there is the dissent that n…
 
As the world is rejoicing the arrival of many vaccine candidates in different countries, we take a look at the idea of recovery in Urdu poetry. In this episode, The Quint's Fabeha Syed recites Ghalib, Muztar Khairabadi, and also, Sahir Ludhianvi's nazm against the politics of religion, '26 January'. Tune in. Host, Writer, and Sound Designer: Fabeha…
 
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