articles by Rakhshanda Jalil

India

No country for women: In India, true gender equality proves elusive as attitudes are out of sync with legislation

The silent march of women needs to be recognised by fathers, husbands, sons and in-laws; only then will the sullen and grudging ‘acceptance’ of women as equal partners show itself in attitudinal changes.

Life

Urdu stories, in translation: Read short fiction by Renu Behl, Ramanand Sagar and Krishan Chandar

A round-up of the last four Urdu short stories presented in translation, as part of the eight-part series on Urdu fiction by contemporary Indian writers.

Life

Urdu stories, in translation: Read short fiction by Gulzar, Joginder Paul and Deepak Budki

A round-up of the first four Urdu short stories presented in translation, as part of the eight-part series on Urdu fiction by contemporary Indian writers.

long-reads

In 'Draupadi Has Woken Up', Renu Behl writes of a woman's 'duties' in patriarchal Punjab

Renu Behl situates Draupadi Has Woken Up in Punjab, which is facing a shortage of eligible brides, owing to female infanticide and foeticide. Women from cities are being purchased for a price, and men are forced to marry outside the state. In such a scenario, do the duties of the sole daughter-in-law of a house change? Read a translation of this story by Rakhshanda Jalil

long-reads

In 'A Cup of Tea', Mahindar Nath meditates on love, before and after marriage

A man and his wife have spent 12 years together — happily and unmarried. In this short story, Mahindar Nath wonders how and if their love will change, should they decide to have a wedding. Read a translation of this story by Rakhshanda Jalil

long-reads

In 'Daani, The Generous One', Krishan Chandar writes of shared hunger — and hope — amid homelessness

Krishan Chandar paints a portrait of a man consumed by insatiable hunger — until he meets a woman with whom he wants to build a life. Though they are brought together by their shared hunger and homelessness, the man Daani loses his moorings after the death of his wife. Read a translation of this Urdu story by Rakhshanda Jalil

long-reads

In 'Run From These Slave Traders', Ramanand Sagar writes of women without a country

Ramanand Sagar, best known for producing the television show Ramayana, presents a very different take on the Hindu epic and its ideas of chastity. Read a translation of the story by Rakhshanda Jalil

long-reads

In 'The Rape of an Abandoned House', Deepak Budki lays bare the hunger of scavengers

In The Rape of an Abandoned House, Deepak Budki writes about how an abandoned house is pillaged, bit by bit, by people who bear no respect for the family that lived there. Read a translation of the story by Rakhshanda Jalil

long-reads

In 'Those Without Graves', Joginder Paul blurs the lines between the living and dead

Award-winning writer Joginder Paul meditates on the difference between the living and the dead in his short story, Those Without Graves. Read a translation of the Urdu story by Dr Rakhshanda Jalil

long-reads

In 'The Crocodile', Gulzar tells a story of smoke and fire during Dussehra

Read Gulzar's short story The Crocodile, a tale of brewing disharmony amid Dusshera celebrations, translated by Dr Rakhshanda Jalil

Life

A finer fiction: The story of Urdu writing in Pakistan is vastly different from India's

Urdu, language, has followed different trajectories in the countries of India and Pakistan. And this reflects in Urdu writing as well.

Life

RIP Kashmiri Lal Zakir: Cruel year for world of Urdu letters, as another stalwart falls

The last of the great Urdu progressive writers, Kashmiri Lal Zakir, passed away on Wednesday, 30 August, in Chandigarh

Life

Modern Urdu writing has a multiplicity of voices, a range of concerns and motifs

From Joginder Paul to Tarannum Riyaz, these are the writers you need to make note of when it comes to contemporary Urdu writing