We all know that the entire earth is firmly fixed on two powerful pillars of the two genders i.e. — Woman and Man. They have been creating and recreating the world together since time immemorial – Rita Shahani (August 1934-September 2013)
Like all the spheres of life, Sindhi women have been contributing a lot in the field of literature, be it the poetry, short story and the article writing. There is a long list of Sindhi women who have earned name and fame in the field of short story writing and the poetry.
Sindhi short story in modern form has crossed over a century, as the very first short story in Sindhi was written in 1904 and today it is 117 years old. But the history of folk story and poetry in different genres in Sindhi language is thousands of years old and the Sindhi women had been equally contributing to folk literature of Sindh as the men did.
The names of women poets of ancient times are not known like Markhan Shaikh, who is said to be the Sindhi poetesses during the Soomra Dynasty, despite the fact that her poetry was very charming and her poems are still sung in wedding ceremonies. Similarly, the first Sindhi lady writer was Guli Sadarangali, who wrote a novel ‘Itihad’ in early 20th century, in which the Hindu heroine falls in love with a Muslim boy and marries him, despite all the opposition. This way, Guli Sadarangani paved the way for Sindhi lady writers.
The Sindhi literature flourished during the late 19th century and with beginning of 20th century when the printing machines were introduced here, and a large number of Sindhi male and female writers and poets emerged on the literary scene. The Sindhi lady writers have the distinction from the rest of the women writers of world that they can write poetry and prose in various languages like English and Urdu beside their mother tongue Sindh. In India, they even write in Hindi and some other Indian languages.
The list of Sindhi women short story writers and poetesses, who enriched Sindhi literature during the period spanning over a century, is very long, however the Sindh Courier is initiating the series to introduce to the world the contemporary lady writers. To start with, profiles of three lady writers are being published.
Hailing from Nasarpur, a historical town administratively falling in Tando Allahyar district of Sindh, Safia Kanwal Abro, daughter of Muhammad Tayab Abro is an eminent short story writer and poetess. Around fifty of her short stories have published so far in different magazines and newspapers. Some of her short stories are – ‘Mazloom’, ‘Qahri Koat’, ‘Ghayal M’an’, Hin Khudkashi Jo Zimedar Ker?’, ‘Ma Fakeeriyani na Ahyan’, ‘Rah Main Kawa Ubha’, ‘Band Darwazo’, ‘Wichhore Ja Deenh’, ‘Dukh Sukhan Ji Soonh’, ‘Safarish’, ‘Bharam’, ‘Lalarukh’, ‘Ajeeb Dastan’, ‘Tazad’, ‘Dahiyoon Dukh Disan’, ‘Corona Ja Qahar’, Kadanh Kiranda Koat’ etc. Her short stories are the mirror of Sindhi society, as almost all the stories are focused on social taboos, issues faced by women and other such topics.
She is also author of a poetry book titled ‘Chand, Chahro, Kanwal’ with preface written by acclaimed poet of Sindh – Imdad Hussaini. In poetry, she has touched almost all genres including the Ghazal, Waee and Nazm. She also had been writing articles for the newspapers.
زرد ساعتن جا سايا
ڪيڏا نہ بي مھر آھن
اداسين جي ايذائيندڙ
اسان جو وجود ڦاسيو وڃي
سڏڪندڙ ھوائن ۾
پنھنجو وڃايل پاڇو
تلاش ڪري ٿي
۽ ان جي اکڙين ۾
ڪنھن آس نگريء
ڏي وڃن ٿا
سڪ سوز کان
بي حال ٿي
ھوء ھمٿ ساڻ
ھا سڪ جا ناتا
ڪنھن حاصل ڪيا ھن
ھت خشڪ چپن ڏانھن
آب ايندي ايندي
سڪي ويندو آهي
۽ پياسي لاءِ
Maria Khushk, originally hailing from Naushehro Feroze, was born in 1994 and grew up in Hyderabad, a historic city of Sindh known for wind-catchers and the manufacture of glass bangles. She belongs to a well-educated family, as her father too studied in Hyderabad, got a position of Lecturer and later received the honour of Head of the Department (HOD) of Physics in University of Sindh, Jamshoro. Following the footsteps of her father, she also chose the same profession.
After completing Bachelor Studies (BS) in English Language and Literature from University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Maria joined Iqra University for Higher Education where she is doing M.Phil. During her academic career, she has received half a dozen awards.
Maria joined as Teaching Assistant in 2016 at University of Sufism and Modern Sciences, Bhitshah and was later in in 2019 was elevated as the Lecturer where she continues till date.
She also has been doing research work. A Comparative Study on Portrayal of Marvi in Shah Jo Risalo and Cordelia in King Lear, as a Female Character’ has been published while research on some other subjects is underway.
Maria is author of a book in English titled as ‘The Cage of Innocence’, published by Auraq Publishers International in 2020. She has also been writing articles on various social issues, human rights etc. and about a dozen articles have been published online in Sindh Courier and other English dailies.
She can fluently speak, read and write in four languages – English, Urdu, Sindhi and Siraiki.
Maria Khushk says she started her writing career by sharing ideas and thoughts with newspapers. “Then I wrote a piece of short story and sent to one of my friends, who encouraged completing it and to get publish in the book form. I started work on it while the Covid-19 was on the peak. It took me 8-9 months to complete. Now, it’s available in the book form titled ‘The Cage of Innocence.’
“They journey doesn’t end here, as the reading and writing continues with fast face,” Maria Khushk says.
“People say writing is difficult but I think imagination is more difficult than writing; if the pen stops while writing it doesn’t mean the pen is not working, it simply mean the ideas are not up and running. Literature is an amazing and beautiful piece of imagination as authors write their heart on the piece of paper. The people in literature have different styles of writing so do I. In Literature the meaning of each word is as deeper as an ocean; language speaks louder so words matter more than the language,” she said.
Hailing from the small town Tandojam of Hyderabad district of Sindh province, Mustajab Zahra Khoso, has done B.S Hons in Physics from the University of Sindh, Jamshoro. Additionally, she is a graduate in Political Science. She has been writing in English blogs on social media since long however started work in Sindhi language during initial months of this year, as she felt there is a dire need of contemporary and modern topics in Sindhi. So far more than eight pieces of writings have been published in Sindhi daily Kawish. She also committed to Art Gallery of the same paper for every Monday.
She teaches Physics and International Relations, and writes on the advanced and modern topics of e-commerce, gender issues, and modern physics and focuses on the genre of Digital Marketing and its expanding notions.
“I do count myself a humble and novice learner in the field of writing. There is a lot to do more,” Mustajab says.