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Kooza is the Urdu lafz for a very small utensil or vessel generally used to hold liquids. The lafz is most commonly used in the Urdu adage kooza main darya bund karna, metaphorically meaning to express a large idea or thought in a few words.

KoozaKooza is also the name of a collection of Urdu short stories that includes 40 stories and writings on the city of Karachi, selected and introduced by Zahra Sabri. These stories were a result of an invitation by Oxford University Press for writings in Urdu, on the city, as part of a Literature Festival – and the response was overwhelming.

Here are excerpts from an article about the book and the initiative. The entire article can be accessed here – http://tns.thenews.com.pk/forty-urdu-stories-in-a-book/#.VZ6lY_lTPCa

Since it was difficult to make a choice from the huge response that the initiative triggered, the small number of forty was given the title of “kooza” based on the axiom “kooza main darya bund karna”. So the present edition took shape and formed the body of the work that reflected the sensibilities of the younger writers who are living in a Pakistan that may be very different from the one which the previous generation had lived in.

Since most of the stories are by writers who are young or not into writing, there may be a certain naivety about the approach to the various themes. The stories are not really stories in the sense of a proper plot and characterisation but these appear to be like peeping into a certain situation. It is more like the expose to a certain tangle in a family or in the trait of an individual rather than a developed and evolved course of the story. Besides the fact that it might be the consequence of the rather direct approach which younger people tend to take, it could also be the consequence of the word limit that was imposed on the writers. To say much in fewer words in the hallmark of great writing and to expect these novices to create a good story was not being fair enough.
But the variety of themes and the wide array of situations that are tackled give great hope that the principal reason for lack of expression, writing and creative work is lack of platforms in the country. Once the platform is offered, it does have fruitful consequences.


The Kooza is also a Pakistani Newspaper available in English and Urdu that offers news and entertainment and is accessible at http://www.thekooza.com