Language Essay from Lahore


Being part of the city Lahore has integrated in me the love for spicy food; ‘kebabs’ (meat grilled on a skewer over coal), ‘malai boti’ (creamy, buttery chicken), paalik paneer (spinach with cottage cheese), are some of the famous dishes. Being part of the province Punjab has incorporated in me humor and how to appreciate it. Being part of Pakistan has made me realize success is achieved after sacrifices; it has made me strong and fearless. Being Muslim has taught me peace, love, kindness, modesty and good. This forms my culture and most of my identity (the rest I am still figuring out.)

These aspects of my identity automatically include the Urdu, English and Arabic language. Urdu is Pakistan’s national language. Urdu played a major role to help my country gain it’s freedom in 1947 also because of Sir Syed’s two-nation theory. Being the main language used by the Muslim League and being the language in which countless writers, the most famous of them being Allama Iqbal wrote stories and poems which awakened the readers and encouraged them to fight for their freedom. The power and influence that Urdu has, along with its beauty and tranquility is something I would like to inculcate into the BTL program. The written works in Urdu have such a melodious tone that one cannot help but get goose bumps. Famous works by Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Mir Taqi Mir, Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi, Ghalib are astounding. My favorite is of course Allama Iqbal, quoting one phrase from his poem (even though the translation does not do this phrase justice):

Develop the self so that before every decree

God will ascertain from you: “What is your wish?”

Arabic I can read fluently because I was taught the Quran. Arabic has an extremely unique charm. It makes you want to continue reading/reciting even when you do not know the meaning. It is very over powering. I have seen people start to cry when they hear the Quran even when they do not understand it. It has a mystery of its own.

What I would like the inculcate in the BTL program is try to create awareness about Urdu literature, a literature so vast and impeccable that it leaves one dumbfounded and stunned and forces one to rethink their whole life and purpose. I would also try to clear misconceptions about my culture and Pakistan. I want people to know how educated people in Pakistan are, what we have accomplished, the fact that we give rights to our women, the fact that we have so much happiness to give and take besides our miseries, the fact that we have the most beautiful sites here; it is not just a war zone. I want to represent a great culture through my actions.