Mujtaba Hussain: Urdu Satire

  • A Reading of Urdu Satire
  • Mujtaba Hussain, The Siasat Daily
  • October 8, 2008

Renowned Urdu satirist, Mujtaba Hussain, reads selections from his extensive catalog of Urdu journalism and humor to an audience composed of Hindi Urdu Flagship students and the wider South Asian studies community at UT Austin. The recording should be wonderful listening comprehension practice for intermediate to advanced students of Urdu and/or Hindi.

Mujtaba Hussain is a prolific and critically acclaimed Urdu journalist and creative writer. Over the past forty years he has produced fifteen volumes of incisive, humorous journalism and creative writing. His work has been widely translated into English, Hindi and various other regional languages of India. In 2007, he received a Padma Shree, India’s prestigious presidential award, for his contributions to Urdu literature.

Kushwant Singh describes Hussain as “rare among Indian writers of humour. While he is unable to say anything unkind about others, he is equally unable to say anything in his own praise. His piece Apnee Yaad Mein is a sort of self written in memoriam. He recalls his younger days in Hyderabad, his love of wandering about on full moonlit nights, playing kabaddi on the first night of his marriage when his friends forced him to go home to his bride. He was commissioned to write light pieces for Siasat on the sudden death of the man who wrote the column. He never looked back. He has reason to rest on his laurels: whenever the subject of humour in Urdu writing comes up, the first name that is mentioned is of Mujtaba Hussain of Hyderabad.”

You can also watch the post-seminar Q&A session below: