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Sunday, December 17, 2017

What a lovely evening …

Shaikh Ahmad Ali Shaoq Kidvai

Yesterday (16th December 2017) my evening was spent at the Arts Council where two of my Great Grandfather's brother's books were re-launched. Shaoq Kidvai was a major poet in his time and had many students, including one that, after his death, became my Great Grandfather's student: Üstād Qamar Jalalvi, whom we all loved. (A CD of Qamar Sahab's selected works is available at T2F.)

About the two books, I am thrilled that Ahmad Qidwai Bhai - a cousin of mine who is Shaoq Sahab's great grandson (as is his wife, Dr Ismat, who is Shaoq Sahab's great grand daughter) - did this colossal work, along with his cousins, and brought out one of Lucknow's finest poets back into the limelight. One book is composed of his 'Ghazals', and the other is 'Masnaviāt, Müsaddas, and Tavēl Nazmayñ'.

Among the works is Ālamé Khayāl. The foreword was written by my grandmother in 1925, when she was 39. It is a remarkable document and women (as well as men, of course) should read it. The book is written in a women's form of writing (Yes, they were not allowed to use certain men's styles!) and talks of the desires that women have — but were never allowed to express them. (You can read how I found the original book by going here.)


His Musaddasé Laél-o-Nahār is a great piece and talks about Muslims and their problems. Though not well-known like Hali's Musaddas it shares many thoughts and, according to Ahmad Bhai, it should be called Musaddasé Badhāli.

A long nazm Science & Religion (aka Ilmé Tabē'yāt aor Mazhab) is at the end of the book. It has many footnotes that show the poet's understanding of Science, at least at those times. Think of a poet who died in 1925 writing this. Truly amazing work.

You can buy the books by calling up +92-51-5159800 — and the money that you spend on the books will all be given to Nori Patients Welfare Society in Islamabad (+92-51-285-3926)) where the team runs a FREE surgery ward for Cancer Patients. 

(Listening yesterday to Rukhsana Saba, Iftikhar Arif, and Ahmad Qidwai was a wonderful experience. Plus the promise by Iftikhar to come over next time and have a long conversation at home about his days in Lucknow was a lovely idea and we are anxiously looking forward to it.)

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