Litterateurs Nand Kishore Vikram and Nisar Aziz Butt, recipients of this year’s Alami Farogh-e-Urdu Adab Award, share a lot in terms of literary tone and tenor towards fame

Urdu has got the better of long odds of the history and it is no longer looked at with suspicion, bias, aversion and derision. Now it is viewed as the strongest medium of creating an enduring cultural affinity and creative collaboration among the Urdu and non-Urdu speakers of the subcontinent resettled across the globe. Inherent lilting prowess of Urdu brings forth scores of poetic symposiums, seminars, conferences and literary workshops which are held regularly in different parts of the world. Some more discerning enthusiasts of the language have instituted awards for prominent exponents of its literature and Alami Farogh-e-Urdu Adab Award Qatar is one of such awards (international award for the promotion of Urdu literature) that has gained tremendous literary reputation. This year’s coveted award was given to two eminent fiction writers: Nand Kishore Vikram (India) and Nisar Aziz Butt (Pakistan).

The awards were given by Indian Embassy’s head of chancery Suneel Thapaliyal at a glittering ceremony attended by scores of the connoisseurs of the literature

The selection was made by an independent jury comprising reputed scholars headed by Professor Gopi Chand Narang (India) and Mukhtar Masood (Pakistan).

“In a completely fragmented and violence-prone contemporary world, literature alone could provide much- needed solace to beleaguered humanity and Majlis-e-Farogh-e-Adab has been relentlessly working towards promoting literature,” said Mohammad Ateeq, Chairman of the organisation, who has been living in Qatar for more than four decades after migrating from the Walled City of Delhi. Started in 1996, the award, carrying a cash prize of Rs.1,50,000 is given to two prose writers, one each from India and Pakistan, annually. Many prominent Urdu writers, including Intizar Hussain, Quratul Ain Haider, Ale Ahmad Suroor, Gopi Chand Narang, Gulzar, Ataul Haq Qasmi, Ratan Singh, Abdullah Husain, Waris Alvi, Shimoel Ahmad, etc have so far received the award.

This year’s recipients, Nisar Aziz Butt and Nand Kishore Vikram share a lot. They believe in self-effacement and they keep themselves away from the showbiz. They are to be read, not seen.

Nisar Aziz Butt has written six novels, and her debut novel got widespread critical admiration and many critics pointed out similarities between it and Thomas Mann’s famous novel “Magic Mountain”.

Highlighting the literary contribution of Nisar Aziz Butt, Amjad Islam Amjad, a prominent playwright and poet of Pakistan said emancipation of human beings and unflinching commitment to liberal values are the marked feature of her writings. Her third novel “Karavan-e-liajord” (Caravan of the Existence) is stoked by existentialist questioning and she vividly juxtaposes various patterns of things seen and of things thought about,” Amjad added.

Nand Kishore Vikram writings manifest a strong sense a new historicity and polarisation of history. His stories “Aadha Sach” (Half -truth), “Akhri Pakistani Ki Maut” (The Death of the Last Pakistani) and “Kabli Wale Ki Wapsi” (The return of Kabliwala) unleashes biting sarcasm on the feigned righteousness in the name of nationalism. The protagonist is seemingly piqued at all pervading decline and he ruefully recognises that universal truths have ceased to exist.

The distinct features of Nand Kishore Vikram’s fiction, come through his novel “Uneesswa Adhiya” (The Nineteenth Chapter), which provides a creative update on the eighteen chapters of the Geeta. The never ending conflict between human destiny and day-to-day reality and the subsequent suffering and agony of the common man is the focal theme of the novel. Nand Kishore Vikram tears apart the widely-held notions about life, death and God and he subverts the very concept of creator, a speaker recalled.

The author does concentrate on retelling wistful experiences and inner reality wrapped in temporal time takes up his whole attention. Drift, the dominance of differences, disillusionment and dilution of other’s importance impel the novelist to create several poignant images of submerged motivations and he simultaneously explores certain prohibited areas of religion and metaphysics.

The award ceremony was presided over by a prominent Urdu poet and the vice-chancellor of Karachi University Qasim Peerzada and he congratulated the award wringing authors who invigorated the traditional realist narrative and and blended a carefully crafted structure.

An international poetic symposium was also organised to mark the occasion.