Aunty Ainee : A Homage

The Second Floor (coffeehouse) held a gathering on site, yesterday to pay homage to Qurat-ul-ain Haider, the renowned novelist.
Apart from the video of an interview with her, certain members of the audience shared their personal stories of the great writer. Certain attendees were asked to read excerpts of her works but it was suggested that each of us read the works ourselves as that would be better than just whetting our appetites. Still, a poem was read out, written in her honour.

It is stated often, that she wrote high brow novels and has been actively critiqued for writing Urdu novels with English thrown in. This alone is not a measure of her work. When she was once asked why she includes English in her works, she is known to have replied : “kiyoun kay meree Urdu kumzoor hai”!

Her works include “Aag ka Durya” which was termed as “ahead of its time” and heralded as a “different” novel, being compared to “Orlando”.

All in all it was an intimate affair and the family stories which shed light on Qurat-ul-ain Haider’s sharp wit, quick humor and insightfulness made the evening worthwhile.

15 Comments so far

  1. ALAM (unregistered) on September 10th, 2007 @ 1:02 pm

    There used to be strong female role models once…Ismat Chughtai, Fehmida Riaz, Qurat-ul-ain Haider, etc….but now all we have is a bunch of Farhat Hashmi, her brainwashed students, Lal Masjid chicks-with-sticks, seen every where.

    This country is going down the drains

  2. Momin (unregistered) on September 10th, 2007 @ 1:30 pm

    Wasn’t that “Aag ka Darya”?

  3. IUnknown (unregistered) on September 10th, 2007 @ 1:56 pm

    @alam, being an atheist, u can say that. as u r living in a fools paradise.

    Those who dont know, why are they here in this world. Those who can kill ne one in the name of wealth and oil.

  4. Jamash (unregistered) on September 10th, 2007 @ 2:44 pm

    Yes it is “Aag ka Darya”, And I myself haven’t read this book yet, but after yesterdays tribute that book will be the first thing I will be getting from the book store at the soonest of my convenience…

  5. basit (unregistered) on September 10th, 2007 @ 3:03 pm

    Those who can kill ne one in the name of wealth and oil.

  6. Panjaybee (unregistered) on September 10th, 2007 @ 3:11 pm

    deviation from topic is plague to this blog., would anyone pay attention to this????? someone please….!

  7. saba (unregistered) on September 10th, 2007 @ 6:40 pm

    Thanks folks. Correction made: Aag ka Durya

  8. malaika rizwi (unregistered) on September 10th, 2007 @ 7:08 pm

    i have never read any of her books but they seem to be interesting!

  9. MENSHEVIK (unregistered) on September 10th, 2007 @ 7:09 pm

    could anyone tell me why Qurat-ul-ain imigrated back to India?????

  10. GIMP (unregistered) on September 10th, 2007 @ 7:09 pm

    “deviation from topic is plague to this blog”

    yes pls someone ban this plague panjaybee.

  11. MENSHEVIK (unregistered) on September 10th, 2007 @ 7:11 pm

    could anyone tell me why Qurat-ul-ain immigrated back to India?????

  12. Balma (unregistered) on September 10th, 2007 @ 10:16 pm

    Aag kaa daryaa paar karnay kay ba’ad, hukoomat-e-Pakistan baaji kay peechhay lug gayee thee:-)

  13. Balma (unregistered) on September 10th, 2007 @ 10:24 pm

    Actually, Quaid-e-Azam ko agar malik-ul-maut zaraa mohlet daitaa, toh voh khud Bandra vaapis chalay jaatay. Ever wondered why he requested Nehru that his Bandra house should not be given to custodian? One answer could be his desire to retire in Bombay. Other could be that he got disgusted with Pakistan very quickly. I guess it was the former since he didn’t expect Pakistan and India to be enemies. Though lot of people think it was the later. Vallah-o-aalim bis-savaab!

  14. FROZEN (unregistered) on September 11th, 2007 @ 2:14 am

    No genuine intellectual can live sanely in this harsh (both physically and spiritually)society.The subject of Qurat-ul-ain Haider was “humanism” which is something alien to us as we are too keen in categorising people on religious or group basis.For us a hindu can not be a great writer because he is a hindu(our eternal enemy) and same for any other foreigner thanks to the brainwashing started right at schools as we are a patriotic lot and can not stand anything against our ideological boundries.

    The whole literary scene is infested with these typical and prejudice ridden lilliputians who fall short both on human and literature standards.The sporadic departure of our old masters is making the situation even worse.Now when i go for book hunting in urdu literature hardly there comes a piece which captures my attention(except Intezar Hussain).Who will write that Ganga jamni dhuli urdu and that spontaneous wit or capture that universal plot now?

    We may call ourselves free but mentally we are still slaves unable to appreciate or enjoy creative expression of any sorts be it visual,performing art or literature.The debate of whether it fits our so called ideological or cultural mould simply ruins everything.Only, freedom of literary discourse ensures quality work.Technocrats and professionals do not make societies.It is the men of letters and artists which give a human face to the society and make it living worthy.And problem with the artists is that they carve out their own worlds or move to where they are intellectually stable if times or circumstances do not favour them.And i think we hardly offer any chances to flourish and work with complete peace of mind and petty issues of not belonging to this group or that group.

    Qurat-ul-ain Haider was an idol for me and countless others who love good urdu literature.T2F is setting good example in social and literary scene and hopefully will keep up the tradition.In a fast paced city like karachi where people hardly spare time for books and reading events like these makeup for that shortcoming.

  15. shazia (unregistered) on September 14th, 2007 @ 6:19 am

    it’s always important to pay respect to the history of our culture, especially writers, but why do we hear so little about writers in pakistan who are writing today? with all the hundreds of satellite channels available in pakistan today do people just not read anymore? are we neglecting “our own” in favour of stephen kings and danielle steels? or are there simply that there are no more writers?
    it’s always important to support the arts, because it is one of the ways we can see our society and times reflected back to us.
    if anyone is interested in supporting one of “our own” you can vote for a pakisani writer i found at these links

    and, at least saba is taking time out to pay attention not to all the negatives, no electricity, floods, bla bla bla, but to something we as pakistanis can be proud of – our cultural heritage!

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