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Anarkali

April 19th, 2017|

This article was published in Dawn, Images, May 1, 2005.

According to one contemporary account, Anarkali was in her forties or older when she was suspected of having an affair with the heir apparent, Prince Salim, who was in the thirtieth year of his life and father to at least three sons from numerous wives. Salim’s […]

Naturalism and twentieth century literature

March 6th, 2017|

This article was published in Dawn, The Review, sometime in April 2001. It was based on the postulate of Ayn Rand that the only fundamental alternative is non-existence or existence. Since then, I have become more mindful of the criticism Iqbal had offered on such a proposition (even before Rand had expressed it) in his […]

Tamerlane

February 9th, 2017|

This article was published in Dawn, The Review, November 9-15, 2000. I stand corrected about my statement: ‘There is a less reliable tradition that in Damascus, Taimur held discourse with the famous historian and sociologist Ibn-e-Khaldun.’ In fact, it is the report of the meeting between Taimur and the poet Hafiz that has been questioned […]

Babur

December 26th, 2016|

This article was published in Dawn, The Review, November 23-29, 2000

“Listen to the flute. How it tells its story and complains of separation. It says, I have been crying ever since I was chopped off the reed…”

Thus opened the Mathnavi of Rumi, the favourite reading of Babur’s father Umar Sheikh besides the Holy Quran. Umar […]

Akbar the Great

October 27th, 2016|

This article was pubished in Dawn, The Review, sometime in August 2000.

He was raised like an orphan. Not that his parents were dead, but his father was in exile and the little infant was in the custody of its uncle. A merciless uncle he was, for he had wrung the infant, barely a few months […]

Immortal beloved

October 18th, 2016|

This article was published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, June 17, 2012.

Layla and Majnun, Shireen and Farhad … these are the lovers of legend, whose romances have been told and retold for centuries. But how many know of the Persian poet Nezami Ganjavi who re-imagined these timeless tales? And how many know that he […]