By Khalid Hashmani
Washington DC — The Pakistani community of the greater Washington DC area once again witnessed a unique event aimed at bringing two founding nations of Pakistan, Sindhis and Punjabis, to better understand each other. The occasion was the formal introduction of “Amar Kahanian”, translation of several short stories of great Sindhi writer Amaar Jalil published by Dr. Manzur Ejaz from Fairfax, Virginia, USA. The function was held in Fairfax, Virginia on Saturday, 24th November and attended by several members of Sindhis, Punjabis, and other Pakistanis.
In addition to reading of beautiful story “Arror Da Massat” (Aror Jo Massat), Dr. Ejaz gave a short briefing on the activities and programs of “Wichaar” that includes a very impressive Web site and publishing books in Punjabi. He said that Sindh and Punjab have from time immemorial lived side by side and shared a wealth of common culture and literature. Lately, for some right and wrong reasons, the two communities are moving away from each other. He expressed his belief that renewing cultural and literary relationship has great potential for eliminating many misunderstandings. He added that the great Sindhi and Punjabi poets from 12th to 18th centuries, Sachal Sarmast, Buleh Shah, Shah Abdul Latif, Wasris shah, and others shortened many cultural gaps between the two communities and it is time again to renew those links again. Dr. Ejaz, who himself has a mastery of both Punjabi and Sindhi languages, explained the plans of “Wichaar” to further this objective. He said, Wichaar web site has been frequently translation of Sindhi articles into Punjab and vice versa and has become very popular with those who are interested in Punjabi and Sindhi literature. On the publication side, the first book “Amaar Kahanian” was published last last and another Sindhi book that will contain Punjabi translation of short stories by Nasim Kharal is under preparation. The second phase will include translation of two Punjabi books into Sindhis. He said that one of the challenges that “Wichaar” faces is lack of volunteer translators and computer linguist computer experts and any help provided to Wichaar in those contexts will be a great boost to increase the opportunities for literary exchange between Sindhi and Punjabi communities.
During Question-and- answer session, a proposal was made that it will bring Sindhi and Punjabi communities much closer if instead of using Gur-Mukhi or Shah-Mukhi (Persian) scripts, it makes much greater sense to adapt the Sindhi script in Punjabi literature. Another member of audience said that the Sindhi script is a rich script and just like rich array of sounds in Sindhi language, it coves all sounds of the Punjabi language. The Sindhi script has been existence for more than a century and has been the language of the court system and government of Sindh for many years. This step will be a great boost to national integration in Pakistan and help in creating a true national language as Siraiki, Balochi, Pushto, and Urdu too can easily be adapted to the Sindhi script.
The “Amaar Kahanian” book contains the following 11 stories:
Punjabi Name — Sindhi Name
Aror Da Massat — Aror Jo Massat
Tarikh Da Kafan — Tarikh Jo Kafan
Addam Di Maa — Adam Ji Maa
Ik Doar Da Matam — Hik Doar Jo Matam
Mera Dil Moen-Jo-Daro — Munhjo Dil Moen-Jo-Daro
Eis Jaal Which — Hin Jaaria Mei
Qurban Ali Kangle Di Rooh — Qarban Ali Kangle Ji Rooh
Dil Di Dunya — Dil Ji Dunya
Mera Putar Menhdi — Munhjo Puta Menhdi
Barnes Street Da Ghundaa – Barness Street Jo Ghundo
Dharti Di Dhoar, Asman De Tare — Dahrti Ji Doar, Asman Ja Sitara
Visit http://www.wichaar.com to learn more about the mission and objectives of Wichaar Publishers.
May 10, 2010