We Should Give The Legacy Of The Urdu Language To Upcoming Generations: Naseeruddin Shah At Jashne Rekhta

Jashn-e-Rekhta the largest Urdu language fest was held at Major Dhyan Chand Stadium from 2nd to 4th December 2022


The largest Urdu language Festival Jashn-e-Rekhta witnessed a huge crowd at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium in New Delhi as veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah and his wife Ratna Pathak arrived for the conversation on the third day of the grand fest. 

When Shah asked about his relationship with the Urdu language he replied, "My relationship with Urdu began when I went to Aligarh to pursue further studies, then I came back to Delhi and wished to pursue Urdu theatre and shows. I owe my relationship with Urdu to Ghalib..."

In 1998 played the role of Mirza Ghalib in the historical television drama “Mirza Ghalib” written and produced by the famous poet Gulzar.

In conversation, he highlighted how Gulzar was responsible for his relationship with Ghalib. He revealed, the couplet he learned when writing letters to his yesteryear girlfriend: "My letters from the girlfriend were responsible for my first Misra of Ghalib; Khat dekhun to tera chehra nazar ata hai..."

Ratna Pathak, a veteran actor who got famous for her lead role in the television series “Idhar Udhar” in the 1980s, said her relationship with Urdu comes from her childhood, "My mother (renowned actor Dina Pathak) was in IPTA and she used to speak in Urdu. though I couldn't understand a word I was familiar with the flow of language."

Also, she said after she joined the National School of Drama (NSD) she became more familiar with the Urdu language, "When Naseer started his Ismat Chugtai stories, I started learning biggest learning from Naseer would be "whatever language you speak, speak it eloquently"

Responding to the question about the wrong diction of actors in modern cinema she said, "An actor has a different relationship with the language, we aren't allowed to speak the wrong language. I had a Parsi teacher in my school while growing up so my pronunciation was not good, when I came into films I learned that good diction in any language is very important, we can distort a learned language but we need to learn it first.

Shah added, "I think we cannot be purists; we should mix languages."

He said Marathi wouldn't have been so rich if Pharsi (Persian) had not mixed.

Ratna affirmed that Urdu is an amalgamation of different languages as India is an amalgamation of many ethnicities.

In the series “Mirza Ghalib,” Naseeruddin Shah, who played his character, said that he used to visit Gali Qasim Jaan (where Ghalib lived) to visit his pupa (uncle), "We used to go there after coming back from Nainital, I was confused thinking why such a great poet lives in shackles."

On playing Ghalib’s role in the film Shah revealed that Naseer said Sanjeev Kumar was chosen for the role, "I couldn't see Sanjeev in Mirza Ghalib's attire. I wrote a letter to Gulzar saying that I was the actor he was looking for,”

He admitted he also wrote some lies in the letter. “I wrote that I have lived in Gali Qasim Jaan; have been to Meerut from where alcohol for Ghalib came.”

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