Dawn in the Valley of Wisdom – Saaee’n Amar Jaleel


It was by sheer boring routine of the day that I decided to go through some pages on Facebook that I had joined over the past many years. In one of the academic pages, I stumbled upon a post sharing details of Sindh Abhyas Academy seminar on Sindhi literature. Sindh Abhyas Academy of Szabist has started a series of seminars focusing on Sindh – its history, literature, archaeology, and music.

Read: Does changing the script kill the language?

It was 4 am on a Sunday and the seminar timings were 3pm on the same day. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make it since I need a good few days before I decide to go out and socialize. In the morning, I though decided to not miss this opportunity of hearing Saaee’n Amar Jaleel [you can read more about this great Sindhi writer and his published work on his website]. By some miracle, my brother (who hates reading anything and everything and despises any sessions on literature) agreed to accompany me and so we reached at Szabist 90 – a good 40mins late.

First session was a talk by G.M. Umrani. I could only catch last five minutes of his seemingly controversial talk and povs. He sounded aggressive like some religious clergy. Pardon me, if you are a fan. By seeing the heat on Twitter, I am rather happy (or not) to miss the first session.

Afterwards, Mr. Munir Chandio took over the stage whose Sindhi novel was being launched in the seminar. Mr. Chandio read some passages from his novel which were deeply romantic and had some sort of obsession with his beloved’s body and pinkish white skin :/
It was some good poetry with sadness apparent from writer’s voice. Sibling though loved it a lot and couldn’t stop doing waah waahs! 

Madame Ghazala Rahim – director of the academy – translated the poetry in English. Loved her narration! It was followed by a tea break in which I met a long found twitter friend – love such encounters!

The best part of session – talk of Saaee’n Amar Jalil. Though he swayed from one topic to the other inconsistently but loved his calm voice and pearls of wisdom ranging from mystics of Urdu language to partition and Sufism. He talked about how you can’t expect writers to write about topics dear to you; he also discussed the politicization of languages and how Urdu and Sindhi could have been more peacefully co-existed.

Saaee’n Amar Jaleel reminisced his memories of how mosques and Hindu temples were adjoined in the past with no concept of hating the other community. He also seemed distraught by the fact that people from Sindhi rural towns look more miserable and poverty-stricken than other parts of the country. He asked the audience to do a visual comparison from the times of Floods, 2010 when many parts of Pakistan were terribly affected and yet, it is Sindhis who look the most poor, the most affected.

A few live tweets will tell you more about his session:

Today was another seminar by Sindh Abhyas Academy on archaeology which I sadly couldn’t attend. You can learn about more events from Sindh Abhyas Academy FB page here.

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