Saturday, March 14, 2015

Urdu Language Opportunities in Dallas

Urdu Language Opportunities | Website: 
There was a time when High School kids took German, French or Latin as an optional language to learn, then Spanish became popular, and with the amount of business we do in China, a lot of people went for Chinese. My own daughter took German, which is lost as it is not practiced by her in her daily life. I wish Urdu was an option then, she and my son could have talked with me  and my family in Urdu and enjoyed the Bollywood films without straining to read the text at the bottom.

Now there is a new option emerging for schools, colleges and business field; Urdu.

Urdu-Hindi together is the 2nd most understood and spoken language in the world.  I would call it Urdu or Hindi to mean both, the entire Hindi or Urdu Vocabulary is embedded in each other’s dictionary. Many a poetry books carry a poem in 3 scripts; English (called Roman), Devanagari (Sanskrit) and Urdu (Farsi) to make it easy for those who don’t know the two indigenous scripts. Nearly a Billion people speak Urdu-Hindi. 


If you or your kids have to take an optional language, consider Urdu. Good efforts were made by communities and Hindi is being taught in many schools and colleges now. As India will become the 3rd largest economy, and still retains its 2nd spot in population, and in collaboration with Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, it will become 2nd largest economy within a few decades. It is time to lay the foundation and get our kids and us ready to see a day when Urdu-Hindi will become a language of necessity to conduct business, a large amount of business and communications.

Thanks to the Bollywood films, many in South East Asia, Middle East, Europe and Africa are learning the words and phrases. The other day a Guatemalan Taxi driver surprised me on my way to Love Field, he was playing Fun Asia Radio, and was throwing many phrases at me, that was impressive. My late wife watched Lagaan in a hotel in Costa Rica, and one of my Algerian friends started humming  "Mera tujh se hai pehle ka naata koi" she said that the film ran for a full month and they had to stand in the line to get the ticket. 

The Chief Editor for Saudi Gazette writes quite a lot about India and Pakistan, he went to school in Karachi and speaks Urdu fluently. There is a Jewish business man in Fort Worth, he speaks broken Urdu.  The owner of a Thai Restaurant sings and explains the whole meaning of Baharo Phool Barsao, Mera Mehboob Aaya hai." We walked into New York Deli on Frankford, owned by a Russian, the moment he saw my wife in Sari, he started Raj Kapooring,  "mera Joota hai Japani and repeating Lal topi Roosi, Lal topi Roosi, Lal topi Roosi...". Some one from Ghana has seen Gunga Jumna 10 times! 

In Cancun a road side grill sells Tandoori Chicken as Tandoori Chicken, he was calling me, "Aao, Aao, Tandoori Chicken Khao"  Ah, get this, my daughter in laws father is Malaysian in oil business, he tell me he was in Siberia, the lonely deserted cold place - there was an Indian Restaurant among some five others, that's right, one in five people on the earth are Desi's. This language Urdu-Hindi has great potential for our kids and grand kids. If you have experienced some such things, please write in the comments section below. 

Additionally, if you learn the Urdu Script, it would be easy to learn Arabic Language with so much business we conduct, and will conduct,  this would be an asset to our kids or even ourselves.

There was yet another time, just some 30 years ago, we did not have a direct flight from Dallas to any one of the South Asian Nations, today we have plenty of airlines flying to those destinations everyday, and it will continue to increase. This language Urdu will take a prominent spot on the world stage, and it is time that we the Americans of Native and Desi heritage not miss the boat.

Indeed, almost all of the Bollywood films carry the common language understood by a vast majority of the people of Subcontinent. However politics creeps in and reduces the language’s reach. It particularly happens  when the news segment hits the airwaves, Hindi gets heavily Sanskritized or Urdu gets Farsi-ized reducing the number of people who can understand either in full. Even me, who has a good working knowledge (writing, reading and speaking) in both the scripts, find it difficult to watch the Sanskritized Hindi or Farsi-ized Urdu. News is not a big part of our lives, just skip the news part and you will be fine, and connect with anyone and any where in the subcontinent. 

You can go to India or Pakistan and even cities in Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka and speak the generic language, the language of the Bollywood Films, and you will be able to communicate to a larger segment of the population anywhere in the world.

If you sing Hindi songs professionally you have to learn pronouncing the words properly and almost all of the singers and actors in Bollywood (world's largest film industry) learn the language of Urdu. 

If you have the option to choose a foreign language in the school, Urdu  is an attractive choice and a good business asset. Urdu will make a big come back.

The leaders who are taking this initiative forward are: Mr. Amin Tirmizi, Mrs. Talmeez Fatima Burni, Mr. Like Ali Khan, Dr. Akbar Haider and Dr. Amer Suleman.  I have taken the tiny responsibility of administrative support.     

I am developing this article as a survey to see how many kids and adults have an interest in joining the Urdu classes. A lot of benefits are offered right now as an incentive for kids.

I urge my Urdu-Hindi friends to write a sentence or a few words to be quoted in the article that we will publish in a News paper. Let it be no more than 50 words.

On my part, my tiny contribution to the vast Urdu-Hindi literature would be through a brand new stream of poetry that focuses on Pluralism, and we have already conducted several Mushaera-Sammelans on the topic and hope to continue them.

Last year, Dr. Amer Suleman of the Urdu Ghar fame experimented with his kids,  on Father's Day, he asked them to speak to him in Urdu and learn at least 25 words as his Father's Day gift, and they did, and my son did it too. We had sent that note to all the Desis' on my lists.

Through America Together Foundation, we are hoping to see the need for starting classes in Urdu language affiliated with established schools and colleges, and if we have enough members of the community wanting it, we can start soon.  Are you ready?

At America Together Foundation, our Mission is to educate, entertain and invoke critical thinking in creating a cohesive environment to work, socialize and function effectively.  

Please write your notes and interest in the comment section or click this link to write your comment -

Thanks to Milton Roy for sharing this information

Urdu Couplets are elixir for brain, learning prevent dementia

You don't have to believe this, but it is research done by Doctor Uttam Kumar. Urdu Couplets are elixir for brain; learning the language helps prevent dementia.

A recent study by the Center for Bio-Medical Researches (CBMR), Lucknow, suggests that reading Urdu passages helps in brain development. Learning Urdu also has a role in delaying the onset of dementia, besides helping children with learning disabilities. The work, which has made it to the recent edition of international journal 'Neuroscience Letters'.

Urdu is the deepest language and therefore reading it involves more areas of the brain, which is good for mental health," said Kumar adding, "Urdu has two more advantages over others — visual complexity of letters and direction of writing."
Please read the business opportunities for Urdu - Mike Ghouse

Thank you.

Mike Ghouse 

A Gandhian Insight Into Muslim Mind – Aijaz Zaka Syed


A good thoughtful piece. I am with the writer, when he concludes, "All said and done, the Partition is a reality. What really matters today is what India, Pakistan and Bangladesh can do to ensure that their future is better than their past." and "If the subcontinent’s tragedy can be summed up in one word, it’s this: Selfishness.

Our problem, meaning the the right wingers among us are stuck up with the past, they need to let it go. Here is a good story for them. Naked woman on the man's back.

Mike Ghouse

# # # 

Aijaz Zaka Syed is an award winning journalist and commentator on Middle East and South Asian affairs. For feedback, write to Follow him on

The Partition of the subcontinent saw history's biggest migration and marked unprecedented bloodshed and chaos on both sides.
The Partition of the subcontinent saw history’s biggest migration and marked unprecedented bloodshed and chaos on both sides.
If the subcontinent’s tragedy can be summed up in one word, it’s this: Selfishness. Almost every fabled giant is exposed to have the feet of clay. Tunnel vision defined those troubled times. A little magnanimity by leaders on either side would have perhaps averted the all-consuming madness that marked the eventual parting of ways after nearly a thousand year of co-existence.  What’s more, the violent split in 1947 continues to eclipse the region even today as the nuclear neighbors remain locked in a perpetual duel
Who was really responsible for the Partition? Jinnah and his Muslim League, the Congress led by Nehru and Patel or the retreating British? Could the catastrophic carnage that followed the violent separation have been averted if the leaders on both sides had demonstrated greater maturity and flexibility?
Did the Quaid-e-Azam, as he came to be known, really want a homeland for Muslims or was the demand merely a bargaining chip to protect the future of the ‘qaum’?
These are questions that have been visited and revisited ad infinitum by South Asian and international scholars and historians since 1947.
Yet the questions and the larger issues that they raise about the troubled legacy of the Partition and its continuing shadow over the present and future of the region remain as riveting as ever. And when they are raised and addressed by the grandson of Gandhi, the man who successfully steered the freedom movement and had been at the heart of all the action, they lead to a book as fascinating as ‘Understanding the Muslim Mind’. I cannot thank my friend enough who gifted this invaluable book by Rajmohan Gandhi, originally published in 1986 by Roli Books and later by Penguin and the State University of New York Press.
As the author puts it, this is a personal quest to understand the Hindu-Muslim question, “which has broken hopes, hearts and India’s unity”, and an exercise undertaken with the hope that it might “inform us of times when the other side too was large-hearted, and of other times when our side also was small-minded.”
He chooses an unusual approach to explore the psyche of the South Asian Muslim and the larger question of Hindu-Muslim relations. ‘Understanding the Muslim Mind’ examines the lives of eight Muslim leaders and intellectuals who did not merely leave an indelible imprint on their followers, they have been responsible for the way things have turned out for the region, at least for its nearly 600 million Muslims.
Gandhi aptly begins his pen sketches with Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan (1817-1898), perhaps the earliest and most influential of political and social reformers in India and the pioneer of the Aligarh movement. Although a firm believer in Hindu-Muslim amity, Sir Sayyid opposed the Congress in its nascent stage, fearing as Jinnah and others did later that it would lead to a majoritarian polity. No wonder many in the Pakistan movement identified with Sir Sayyid.
Next in the spotlight is the legacy of the incomparable Muhammad Iqbal (1876-1938), seen by many as the ideological architect of Pakistan although the poet philosopher did not believe in the concept of nation state or man-made borders. A passionate believer in pan-Islamism, he died long before the idea of Pakistan acquired a distinct, tangible shape.
However, the bard who sang the soul-stirring ‘Saare Jahan Se Accha Hindustan Hamara’ did in 1930 talk of a single Muslim state comprising the Punjab, Northwest Frontier Province, Sind and Baluchistan. Gandhi devotes considerable time and space to Iqbal and rightly so. The poet’s influence on Muslims of the subcontinent and beyond remains formidable.
Also judiciously handled are Muhammad Ali Jauhar (1878-1931), the champion of the Khilafat movement and Hindu-Muslim unity, Bengal tiger Fazlul Haq (1873-1962), Congress leader and India’s first education minister Abul Kalam Azad (1888-1958), Pakistan’s first premier Liaqat Ali Khan (1895-1951) and the educationist responsible for the success of Jamia Millia Islamia and later Indian president Zakir Hussain (1877-1969).
However, it is Jinnah who remains at the center-stage throughout the book even when other dramatis personae are being profiled. The founder of Pakistan is dealt with in exhaustive detail offering interesting insight into his strong personality, leadership and existential struggle for the idea of Pakistan that eventually became a reality against great odds and at a colossal cost.
Interestingly, what is common among the eight luminaries is the fact that they had all been great believers in India’s syncretic heritage and diversity. At least, they began as such. Sir Sayyid, the founder of Aligarh Muslim University, described by Sir Hamilton Gibb as the first modernist institution in the Islamic world, who would describe Hindus and Muslims as the two eyes of the beautiful bride that is India, had come to despair of their peaceful coexistence in his twilight years.
Mohammed Ali Jauhar, who had been among the first leaders to welcome and embrace Gandhi on his return from South Africa and who travelled the length and breadth of the country with the Mahatma as part of the freedom struggle and Khilafat movement that saw Hindu-Muslim amity at its peak, died a bitter man far away from India, in Jerusalem.
Even Jinnah, the man routinely panned as the architect of the Partition, had been, in the words of Sarojini Naidu, the ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity. Indeed, he had been the tallest leader of the Congress before Gandhi arrived on the scene. However, with the exception of Azad and Zakir Hussain, nearly all of them abandoned their hope and faith in the common destiny of Hindus and Muslims.
Poet philosopher Mohammed Iqbal (left) and Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Poet philosopher Mohammed Iqbal (left) and Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah
The question is why. The answer, not simple or straight by any means, stares you in the face throughout the eminently readable book. Rajmohan Gandhi blames the arrogance and partisanship of the Congress, over and covert exploitation of religion and the increasing insecurity of the Muslims in addition to personality clashes between leaders like Gandhi and Jinnah for the conflict and eventual rift.  He cites the “ungenerous” attitude of the Congress to accommodate and share power with Muslim League in provinces in 1937 and inflexibility of Jinnah as the defining turning point that paved the way for the Partition.
Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel
Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel
A liberal like Nehru, later the first prime minister of India, refused to accept even two Muslims in the coalition eventually forcing the League out and strengthening its demand for Pakistan.
To be fair to Gandhi, he does not shy away from shining the light on the failings of the Congress leadership, including his own grandfather, that drove Jinnah out of the Congress and alienated a significant population of Muslims, including their top leaders like Mohammad Ali.
“In May 1937, when it was plain that Congress had scored huge victories, Jinnah sent a private verbal message to Gandhi; the communication urged Gandhi to take the lead in forging ‘Hindu-Muslim unity,” writes the Mahatma’s grandson, suggesting that Jinnah  had in mind a Congress-League settlement involving, among other things, power-sharing. In response, the Mahatma wrote: “I wish I could do something but I am utterly helpless. My faith in unity is bright as ever; only I see no daylight…”
Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Rajmohan Gandhi and author of 'Understanding the Muslim Mind'
Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Rajmohan Gandhi and author of ‘Understanding the Muslim Mind’
Understanding Muslim mind
The author goes on to note that “it is the view of many scholars and public figures alike that the Congress’s failure in 1937 to share power with the League turned the ‘qaum’ in the direction of Pakistan. Pyarelal, Gandhi’s secretary and biographer, calls it a ‘tactical error of the first magnitude.’”
He quotes veteran journalist Frank Moraes who noted that “had the Congress handled the League more tactfully after the 1937 elections, Pakistan might never have come into being.” Penderel Moon, a Briton who served the ICS before and after Independence, describes the Congress’s failure to cooperate with the League in 1937 as the ‘prime cause for the creation of Pakistan’.
He is equally forthright in assessing the Muslim leadership and its many flaws and narrowness of the vision. He notes with amusement how Muslim leaders remained obsessed with the Caliphate and Ottoman Empire when it was being rejected by Turkey’s new leadership like Mustafa Kemal.  Or how in demanding and settling for a ‘moth-eaten’ Pakistan, the League leadership which claimed to speak on behalf of the subcontinent’s Muslims ignored the fate of the vast population of Muslims left behind in India, accounting for more than 40 percent.
Indeed, as one has argued before, Indian Muslims have been the biggest losers in this battle of egos and game of one-upmanship between great men.
If the subcontinent’s tragedy can be summed up in one word, it’s this: Selfishness. Almost every fabled giant is exposed to have the feet of clay. Tunnel vision was the characteristic of the time. A little magnanimity by leaders on either side would have perhaps averted the all-consuming madness that marked the eventual parting of ways after nearly a thousand year of co-existence.  What’s more, the violent split in 1947 continues to eclipse the region even today as the nuclear neighbors remain locked in a perpetual duel.
All said and done, the Partition is a reality. What really matters today is what India, Pakistan and Bangladesh can do to ensure that their future is better than their past.
Citing the Congress-League tussle and the convenient use of religion and religious discourse that led to the split, Gandhi calls for a ‘national idiom’ to be developed in India, to tolerate the other man’s beliefs and convictions. The advice is indeed valid for both India and Pakistan, beset by rising intolerance.
The same should apply to the India-Pakistan equation as well. Today, more than ever, the neighbors need to listen to each other and be more tolerant of each other’s perspective. They need to learn from history, not remain handcuffed to it forever.