By Abdus Sattar Ghazali
The Urdu Academy of North America is well-known globally for its promotion of Urdu poetry for more than a decade. However, as Tashie Zaheer, President of the Academy says, its activities are not confined to the promotion of Urdu poetry in North America but encouragement of the Urdu literature as a whole and poetry is just one sphere of that. "Rather I believe in the promotion of the Urdu language in North America and elsewhere in the world where Urdu speaking Diaspora is."
In the past, the Urdu Academy had the privilege to promote Urdu novels and short stories of Lubna Jahangiri (Baad-e-Mukhalif), Khawaja Ashraf (Mitti ka Beta) and Karamatullah Khan Ghauri (Baar-e-Shanasaai).
As Ali Hassan Cemendtaur rightly points out, the Urdu Academy of North America has become a popular venue for the visiting Urdu poets and literary personalities. Keeping its tradition of welcoming Urdu poets, novelists and short story writers, the Urdu Academy hosted an evening with Neelum Ahmed Bashir, an excellent short story writer, poetess and singer.
The event for Neelum Ahmed Bashir, held on September 28, 2014, at the Chandni Restaurant, Newark, CA, draw large crowd from far and near. Political activist and outstanding short story writer, Ali Hassan Cemendtaur, was MC of the event. He also spoke about the short stories of the guest Afsana Nigar.
Maryam Turab and Sohab Hamdani presented papers on the latest work of Neelum - Wheh-shat Hee Sahee.
A short story is fictional work of prose that is shorter in length than a novel. Edgar Allan Poe, in his essay "The Philosophy of Composition," said that a short story should be read in one sitting, anywhere from a half hour to two hours. There are five key elements of a short story: character, setting, conflict, plot and theme. It will not be too much to say that, like prominent short story writers, Neelum Bashir's short stories have all the five key elements to make her stories enthralling, enticing, fascinating, mesmerizing and spellbinding. [Read more about short story writing]
Neelum belongs to a family of creative and talented people. Her late father Ahmad Basheer (1923-2011) was an eminent daring journalist and writer of Pakistan. One of her sisters, Bushra Ansari is a top -rated performer and show biz personality enjoying popularity all of the world. Two other sisters are also drama artists and singers. Neelum has worked as a professional advertiser in a reputable agency for almost ten year. Neelam Ahmed Bashir is a dual national of Pakistan and America. Neelum lived in USA for over 20 years and currently resides in Lahore Pakistan.
Several collections of short stories including Gulaboun Wali Gali, Jugnoun Ke Kafle, Le Saans bhi ahista and Ek Thi Malika go to her credit. Her book, Chaar Chand, is a collection of her sketches about various literary and cultural personalities. Her latest book is Weh-shat Hee Sahee.
Multi-talented Neelum amused the audience with her distinctive style of short stories. Her parody - O Bhai Columbus - drew wide applause.
Earlier, Tashie Zaheer, President of the Urdu Academy, welcomed the distinguished writer. He also briefly spoke about her creative work.
At the end a brief note about the Urdu Academy's website. It is worth mentioning that the Urdu Academy of North America website is very popular globally. As of September 30, 2014, the Urdu Academy website was read in the following 30 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, European Union, France, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Montenegro, Pakistan, Poland, Russian Federation, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Turkey, United States, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, US Government.
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