H for Hindustani
A two-day session on expression and writing in the sweet blend of Hindi and Urdu aims to help participants appreciate the language of everyday conversation
It was during a lecture in college that Vrinda Vaid realised she was the only student in her class who had heard a Ghalib sher in her textbook. “Kab tak aasmaan ko chhuoge, jab zameen ka hi pata nahi,” says the 22-year-old from Delhi, seamlessly switching languages as she makes her point. “We have forgotten where we have come from and that’s a shaky existence.” The English literature graduate — who had grown up on a steady diet of Hindustani music and literature, thanks to her father’s keen interest in the language — then took it upon herself to further educate herself in the blend of Hindi and Urdu, which forms the medium of most “Hindi” conversations in our country. “Bahut sundar” is a simple example of this, with bahut being an Urdu word, and sundar a Hindi one.
This weekend, Vaid is in Mumbai to conduct a two-day workshop called Arq-E-Zabaan, or the essence of language, which will introduce participants to writing, articulation and expression in Hindustani. While Vaid is learning the Urdu script, the workshop will be conducted in the Devnagari script, which she has been writing in since she began her engagement with Hindustani. But before she picked up the pen, she devoted time to finding what she could read and watch in the language.
“Through the workshop, my aim is to also make people realise that reading ought to precede writing. You can’t simply start writing in Hindustani before exposing yourself to good quality sources of the language,” Vaid shares. The first day of the session will entail introducing participants to the literary structures of Hindustani. “So, through existing literature, I will explain what a ghazal or a nazm is, and how they are different from each other. The next day will be about taking the attendees through the process of writing their own couplets,” she says, adding, “Bombay is one place that has shown great interest in Hindustani.”
On September 14 and 15, 4.30 pm to 7.30 pm (limited seats)
At Veda Live, Aram Nagar Part II, Versova, Andheri West.
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