A Bollywood lyricist’s daughter in Pakistan and other stories

Some steps in a journey sparked by India and Pakistan’s nuclear tests in 1998

Screenshot from Sapan News site, designed by Aekta Kapoor.

Inspired by email updates from Isa Daudpota and Harsh Kapoor of South Asia Citizen’s Wire (SACW) after India and Pakistan tested nuclear weapons, I too had begun a bcc email list. This developed into my beena-issues Yahoo-group in 1998 but I had begun to post more irregularly after 2009 when I started a WordPress blog, Journeys to Democracy. Yahoo shut down its Groups platform a couple of years ago.

Now, as I work on developing a new media entity, Sapan News Network syndicated features which emerged from Sapan, the Southasia Peace Action Network (thanks to Aekta Kapoor for the beautiful website), SubStack seems like a good place to revive something like the Yahoo-group community feel. But then there’s also Medium where I have over 2.4K subscribers. All very confusing. Welcome feedback and suggestions.

Anyway, let me start by sharing here the last few offerings from Sapan News, like Dehra Dun-born Manisha Sharma’s experience of Pakistani music, penned after a qawwali session in BostonDr Ramu Kharel, a Nepali physician at Brown University on what the FIFA World Cup in Qatar triggers for him; Padma B. on how journalists can counter the ‘dictators’ handbook; and more.

The latest piece is about a Bollywood songwriter, a daughter married in Pakistan, and a family torn apart. When iconic Bollywood lyricist Hasrat Jaipuri’s daughter Kishwar married a handsome suitor from across the border in Rahim Yar Khan, no one could have foreseen the hardships she would have to face. By Boston-based music aficionado Siraj Khan.

For his annual offering for January, ‘OP Nayyar month’, Siraj Khan also shares these fascinating stories of the legendary composer’s ‘ghost songs’, many recorded but never seen on the big screen.

Lahore-based teacher and poet Sara Arshad shares thoughts from a discussion about how interfaith collaboration can contribute to climate justice – When faith actors combine forces with climate activists.

Screenshot from Sapan News site.

Read reporter Javed Khan’s insights on the January 30 suicide bombing in his hometown Peshawar – the worst in a series of targeted attacks on Pakistan policeThanks to veteran journalist Kathy Gannon who recently retired from AP, for contributing to this piece.

From New Jersey, volunteer physician Geet Chainani shares personal experiences of working with medical camps in Sindh following the catastrophic floods – and her fears for the looming disaster ahead.

Imran Aslam: Lessons in journalism from a life and legacy transcending borders across Southasia: Aspiring journalist Abdullah Zahid, a student in Karachi, on his takeaways from the rich two-hour event organised in tribute to a media giant whose life and legacy transcended borders across Southasia.

Journalist and interfaith scholar Urmi Chanda in Mumbai shares a poetic call for peace in her review of ‘Amity’, an anthology of poems edited by the Indian poet and peacebuilder, Sahana Ahmed.

Don’t miss groundbreaking author Urvashi Butalia‘s piece on the need for dialogue and relationship-building to heal the wounds of Partition, based on a talk by the retired scientist Vinod Mubayi, editor of the INSAAF bulletin (International South Asia Forum) where he talked about how Sapan gives him hope.

There’s more on the website. Hope you’ll have a look. Feedback welcome. If you like our work, all entirely voluntary so far, please consider contributing financially. Any amount welcome, processed by our fiscal sponsor encuentro5, Inc, or e5.

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