Lets start from the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read you begin with A-B-C
When you sing you begin with Do –Re-Mi
And when you read Urdu you begin with Alif-Be-Te

When I started attending Urdu class, the beauty of its written style enamoured me, it looked like a lovely pattern, which my professor skilfully painted on the black board, I felt like I was in an art class back in the second grade. Until much later, I figured that every dash and curve, which is written above and below every alphabet, is a significant tool for pronunciation. My training in Arabic as a child I must admit was non existent, my grandmother a devout Muslim innocently thought I was attending religious class or madrassa on the weekend when actually my sister and I whiled our time, having ice lollies which smothered on our faces as we swallowed it impatiently and exchanging multi coloured marbles which we purchased from our very own corner shop.

But when Urdu was introduced to me, it felt like a language, which is closer to home. I could understand its meaning and thus my passion was accentuated. I wanted to learn more about it as it intrigued me. I could relate to the nuance of each word and that is when a language spun its magic on me. I owe this to my Urdu professor who exuberated passion for the language that transferred to his students and the unassuming classroom with dilapidated furniture tucked away in a small yet prominent corner of our city

The most interesting part of my Urdu class was the last half hour where we discussed a couplet which was written by one of the masters in Urdu poetry (Ghalib, Daag, Iqbal, Faiz) and then we were asked to dissect it with a fine tooth comb. Every one from burkha clad women to Sindhi art students tried their hand at producing an eclectic meaning. It was such a riveting feeling when these couplets were explained. Imagine a sculptor chiselling his marble at nooks and bends to create the most perfect masterpiece; the same process was taking place in the crevices on my mind.

From Alif Be Te now I am able to read not only couplets but also short stories in Urdu.

But to get here I had to start from the very beginning