The problem with Punjabis writing fiction or poetry in Urdu

“While writers and poets writing in Punjabi have captured the colours and nuances of Punjabi culture rather well, most Punjabis writing fiction or poetry in Urdu felt self-conscious about letting themselves delve too deep into their surrounding environment. They thought writing about Punjab’s village life and culture would make them appear small, and instead opted to write what Natiq describes as ‘grand philosophies’ geared to visibly engage with global literary influences. The biggest ‘philosophy’ there can be for a writer, in Natiq’s opinion, is to manage to ‘paint’ his/her surroundings exactly as they are. He feels that Arab and Iranian writers have succeeded in this – they have depicted life as they see it around them.”

Ali Akbar Natiq in The News on Sunday

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