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Ismat Chughtai: Google Celebrates 107th Birthday Of Prominent Urdu Writer

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Ismat Chughtai

Ismat Chughtai: Google Celebrates 107th Birthday Of Prominent Urdu Writer

Google celebrates the 107th birthday of Indian Urdu writer Ismat Chughtai. “The grande dame of Urdu fiction would have been 107 today,” Google wrote in a blog post explaining the doodle. She was described as courageous and outspoken women for her controversial stories.

Ismat Chughtai was born is a small town in Uttar Pradesh in 1911 to a middle class, Muslim family. Her father was a civil servant,  she was ninth of ten children–six brothers, four sisters. As a child, Ismat Chughtai was different from others she was never interested in traditional, pastimes like embroidery, and making friendships outside her caste, according to “Women writing in India”. Despite strong resistance from her family, she completed her Bachelor of Education degree. She started writing much before but did not seek publication for her work until much later.

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With a style characterised by realism, Ismat Chughtai established herself as a significant voice in the Urdu literature of the twentieth century.

Her writings boldly depicted the realistic world of feuds, gossips, scandals, families crammed into small houses in Uttar Pradesh in the first half of the twentieth century. Published at the outset of her career, Lihaaf was based on a well-circulated rumour about a begum in Aligarh who was said to be having an affair with a female helper. Lihaaf is now celebrated as a classic but landed the authour in court on charges of obscenity. Ismat Chughtai refused to apologise for the depiction of the same-sex relationship.

Ismat Chughtai also worked as a screenwriter, after marrying director and screenwriter Shahid Lateef. She helped write Mr Lateef’s film “Ziddi”, and the two later co-directed the movie “Faraib”.

For her contributions to the field of literature. She awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1976.

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