Dying usage of art of 'Chronogram' in Urdu literature rejuvenated at NAPA.

KARACHI -- The Urdu literature's history has never been deliberated in such a intense way as it was discussed, here, at the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) on Saturday.

The session 'Urdu Hai Mera Naam' was moderated by Romeena Kizilbash Kurieshy, who is an Urdu Pedagogy specialist at New York University.

She was joined in by emerging Urdu scholar, poet and lecturer Jauhar Abbas who shed light on the evolution of the art of 'Chronogram,' which is a specialized art that can extract the exact date and year the poet intended to portray by just reading the Urdu couplet.

However, not every poet is aware to use the art of chronogram in their respective poetry.

To relive the memories and their technicalities, the session was organized to recall the poets who used this particular art and its related delicacies in executing this art in their form of respective poetry.

To elaborate further, Chronogram, which is viewed as a sentence in which specific letters, interpreted as numerals, stand for a particular date when rearranged. The word if loosely translated is 'time writing', derives from the Greek words chronos and gramma.

This had been the normal set of practice for the classical poets to arrange their couplets in such a way that it reflects the year and date.

For instance, one of the finest elegy poet Mirza Dabeer, while paying tribute to his other famous contemporary Mir Anees, said a couplet which when calculated transpired that Dabeer actually arranged it in such a pattern that it coincided with the Anis's year of demise. For instance he said:

Aasman Be Mah-i-Kamil Sidrah Be Ruhul Amin Toor-i-Sina Be Kalimullah Mimbar Be Anees

The experts believe that the said couplet was arranged in a way which when calculated produced a number that is 1291.

The same number if counted in terms of the Islamic calendar would reveal that then the Islamic year was 1291 Hijri, 1874 AD. Anees breathed his last on 10th December 1874.

For the aforementioned reason, this session was a breath of fresh air which conversed a rare topic and tried to rejuvenate it to register...

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