by F. Akhtar
Any Punjabi speaker will confirm this: after a day of navigating through polite English; or perhaps formal Urdu or Hindi, there is nothing quite like the warm embrace of your mother tongue. This collection of Punjabi ghazal, geet and nazm, written in Urdu, ranges from simple village life, to the complex issues of industrial cities and world politics; from the intimacy of love and deep friendships to the savage alienation of divided communities, brought about by hatred and war. The common themes are man’s human-ness, and of course, Punjabi.
The book is a celebration of Punjabi, but also of the Urdu script in which it is written. For the inquisitive, who lack written knowledge of these languages, each poem has been translated into English, with the transliteration below it, to help you brush up on your linguistic skills.
As Ziai sahib says,
Whenever a few Punjabis get together
The conversation flows in Punjabi