Today's top 5

dil saarā dard bharā tasvīroñ meñ

ek musavvir naqsh huā tasvīroñ meñ

dil ka sara dard bhara taswiron mein

ek musawwir naqsh hua taswiron mein

Manish Shukla

maiñ badalte hue hālāt meñ Dhal jaatā huuñ

dekhne vaale adākār samajhte haiñ mujhe

main badalte hue haalat mein Dhal jata hun

dekhne wale adakar samajhte hain mujhe

Shahid Zaki

'jamāl' har shahr se hai pyārā vo shahr mujh ko

jahāñ se dekhā thā pahlī baar āsmān maiñ ne

'jamal' har shahr se hai pyara wo shahr mujh ko

jahan se dekha tha pahli bar aasman main ne

Jamal Ehsani

ye mai-kada hai yahāñ haiñ gunāh jām-ba-dast

vo madrasa hai vo masjid vahāñ milegā savāb

ye mai-kada hai yahan hain gunah jam-ba-dast

wo madrasa hai wo masjid wahan milega sawab

Ali Sardar Jafri
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mat poñchh abrū-e-araq-ālūd haath se

lāzim hai ehtiyāt ki hai āb-dār teġh

mat ponchh abru-e-araq-alud hath se

lazim hai ehtiyat ki hai aab-dar tegh

Meer Hasan
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Quiz A collection of interesting questions related to Urdu poetry, prose and literary history. Play Rekhta Quiz and check your knowledge about Urdu!

Among the following pick out the correct idiom
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When it comes to couplets of love, Urdu poetry abounds with verses of Sham’a and Parvanah, the lamp and moth.
parvaano.n kaa to hashr jo honaa thaa ho chukaa
guzrii hai raat sham.a pe kyaa dekhte chale.n

But in Urdu, there is yet another Parvana, that has nothing to do with a moth. This Parvana means an approval, a warrant, or a government or royal order. Now, what does this legal term has to do with poetry?
Well, Akbar Allahabadi, while sarcastically needling at Sir Sayyad's educational mission and the revelry of Englishmen, ropes in this “legal-Parvana” into Urdu poetry, along with two other English words, loyalty and honor:
Dila de ham ko bhi sahib se loyalty ka parvana
Qayamat tak rahe Sayyad tire honor ka fasaana

Additionally, Urdu dictionaries also tell that Parvana is a small animal famous for walking ahead of a lion and raising a scream so that other animals would become aware of the lion’s presence and hide. Let’s see, maybe one day some poet would write a couplet on this Parvana as well.



Shakeel Badayuni, the famous song-writer, was famous as ‘Shayar-e-Shabab’, or poet of youth. Shakeel, who stole Mushairas with his Ghazals and unique recitation, received five rupees as his first ever compensation. It happened in 1937, when he was doing BA from Aligarh Muslim University, a noble from Ichhra district organized a Mushaira, and Shakeel was showered with praises, and was handed over five rupees in an envelope.
Many years later, Shakeel quit his job in Delhi at the invitation of filmmaker Kardar and went to Bombay, stirring the film industry with his songs. Shakeel and music composer Naushad’s duo was a huge hit, and Naushad never wanted him to work with anyone else. Naushad would give him five thousand rupees for each song. With each film being a hit, Naushad would increase his own remuneration but not Shakeel's. As Guru Dutt entrusted Abrar Alvi to direct the film ‘Chaudhavin Ka Chand’, he brought in Shakeel as the lyricist. When Guru Dutt asked about compensation, Shakeel simply asked for Rs. 5,000 to write a song. Guru Dutt smiled and offered him Rs. 25,000 for each song. Along with the success of film songs, Shakeel was also a coveted performer in Mushairas. He was invited to so many Mushairas that he had grown sick of them. In a private letter of his from 1958, he writes, “Ab ye aalam ho gaya hai ki Mushairo.n ke naam se chiD jata hun. Shayar ban kar khud ko public property samajhne lagaa hun”.



At the age of 13, Ghalib relocated from Agra to Delhi, and moved from one rented house to the other. His last house was a mosque-adjacent, three-room house in Gali Qasim Jan, Balli Maran, Chandni Chowk, Delhi, where Ghalib spent the last nine years of his life, and became the one house which largely came to be known after him. It is now known as Ghalib Ki Haveli. Maulana Hali writes in his remarkable book "Yadgar-e-Ghalib" that Ghalib also stayed at the house of his friend Miyan Kale Khan for some time. At one time, it had become a depot for household fuel-wood. In 1997, the Archaeological Survey of India acquired it and declared it a Heritage Site. Behind this, were the efforts of Firoz Bakht, a well-known literary and social figure from Delhi, and Ateeb Siddiqui, a lawyer, who filed a petition in the court to make the mansion a heritage site. After a long legal battle, on August 8, 1997, Justice Chandra Mohan Nayyar finally delivered a landmark judgment ordering the Delhi government to preserve Ghalib's house within six months, and exemplify it at the level that the great poet truly deserved.



Izhar Asar (1929-2011), with his multifaceted and unalike personality, was the first writer to regularly write science fiction in Urdu. Even though he had studied only up to the matriculate, he went on to write about a thousand scientific, social and detective novels in Urdu and Hindi. Interestingly, he practiced the dance form of Kathak for many years, did stage shows, and even taught Kathak to others. He wrote 200 scientific articles which were published in Indian and Pakistani journals. Additionally, collections of his articles were also published, namely ‘Science Kya Hai?’ and ‘Aaj Ki Science’. He was also a poet and tried to dovetail scientific thought and imagery in his poems. Most of the poems in his poetry collection "La Shirk" are based on scientific motifs. He wrote Shama group’s detective novel ‘Mujrim’, under the pen-name ‘Qanuun-Waala’. One of his radio dramas, "Teesri Aankh", became immensely popular and was broadcasted on all the stations of All India Radio. He also published magazines and digests and did ghostwriting for TV serials.

Main to Aflaak ke aage kaa parindaa huu.n Asar
Baal-e-Jibriil bhii shaamil hai mire Shah-par mein


The words that we use countless times in our everyday speech, they, too, show striking aspects about them when reflected maturely. Two such words are ‘Na’ and ‘Naa’.
guu.njtii hai tirii hasii.n aavaaz
jaise naadiida ko.ii bajtaa saaz

“Naa-Diida” means that which can’t be seen, or invisible. Another word, on the same lines, is ‘Nadiida’, meaning a greedy person. Although it literally means one who has not seen- why? -because a greedy person looks at a thing in a manner as if he had never seen it before. The word ‘Naa’, when prefixed to nouns, functions as a pleonasm, and conveys negation. For example, ‘Naa-Laaiq’, ‘Naa-Khush”, etc.
Those who know the language, know it well enough as to where and how ‘Na’, ‘Naa’, and ‘Nahin’ are to be used.
Na suno gar buraa kahe koi
Na kaho gar bura kare koi

Interestingly, Javed Akhtar's famous film song "Kuchh Naa Kaho, Kuchh Bhi Naa Kaho", although written to the tune, never comes out as an oddity. 
Let the purists say whatever they wish to!

In Urdu, ‘Naa’ is also used as an article of emphasis and affirmation. For instance:
Kisi buzurg ke bose ki ik nishaani hai
Humaare maathe pe thoDii sii raushnii hai naa

Today's Special

Aasi uldani

Aasi uldani


A prominent poet and scholar of Lucknow, a disciple of Dagh and Natiq Gulawathhi, known for his annotations of Ghalib and Hafiz, and editing the works of the earliest women poets of Urdu

hazāroñ tarah apnā dard ham us ko sunāte haiñ

magar tasvīr ko har haal meñ tasvīr paate haiñ

hazaron tarah apna dard hum us ko sunate hain

magar taswir ko har haal mein taswir pate hain

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