Zambeel Dramatic Readings at the 4th Karachi Literature Festival 2013
LADY CHANGEZ KHAN & POM POM DARLING
Presenting two short stories by Ismat Chughtai and Quratulain Hyder
featuring Ghoonghat and Nazaara Darmiyaan Hai
Preceded by an introductory talk by Asif Aslam Farrukhi.
This selection of stories brings together the works of two masters of Urdu Literature, Ismat Chughtai and Quratulain Hyder. The curious title refers to the names both writers bestowed upon each other during the course of their literary careers. Ismat Chughtai referred to Quratulain Hyder as Pom Pom Darling in one of her essays that criticised her writing, while Quratulain Hyder in an obituary essay for Ismat respectfully named her as the Lady Changez Khan of Urdu literature.
Ghoonghat (by Ismat Chughtai) touches upon notions of pride and arrogance that supersede the importance of personal relations. Masterfully woven by the author, the narrative speaks of the superficiality of traditions and customs and the false pride that rules the lives of the protagonists Kalay Mian and Gori Bi over a span of thirty years. Humorously told, yet intensely reflective of deep sorrow, this short story is skillful in its poignant simplicity.
Nazaara Darmiyaan Hai (by Quratulain Hyder) is a deftly woven tale that addresses human emotions of love and betrayal. Set in Bombay, the story gives us an insight into the lives of the protagonists Khurshid Aalam, Almaas Begum and the young and spirited Parsi girl Peroja Dastoor through the eyes of the housemaid Tara Bai.