Mumbai Urdu author bags Sahitya Akademi award

MUMBAI: City-based progressive Urdu author Rahman Abbas who had courted controversy and used to be even jailed for allegedly depicting obscenity in his first novel has received the celebrated Sahitya Akademi Award for his fourth Urdu Novel ‘Rohzin’. The Akademi awards were announced in Delhi on Wednesday and Abbas, along side other winners, might be awarded in January 2019. The award carries a money prize of Rs 1lakh and a citation.

Born in Chiplun (Konkan) and educated in Mumbai, the Mira Road-based Abbas’s novel ‘Rohzin’ (The Melancholy of the Soul) is set in the backdrop of the 2005 deluge in Mumbai and is a tale of love, lust, belonging, rejection and identification unfold across sunglasses of the city. “I have lived in Mumbai since age 4 and my novel is set right here. It talks in regards to the city’s sociocultural existence, its darkish underbelly. The reader feels fragrance and smells as he meanders thru localities like Mumba Devi and Mohammed Ali Road,” stated Abbas, sipping tea at a popular Mira Road ‘adda’ on Thursday, amidst a flurry of congratulatory calls.

Abbas, 46, claims he's the youngest and first Maharashtrian Urdu novelist to have received a Sahitya Akademi Award. Part of the 2015 ‘Award Wapsi’ marketing campaign (he had returned the award of the Maharashtra State Urdu Sahitya Akademi given to him for his 2011novel ‘Khuda Ke Saye Mein’), Abbas says he'll now not go back the newest award. “That time it used to be a protest in opposition to assaults on liberal writers and rationalists. Sahitya Akademi is an independent body and chooses books for awards purely on advantage. I will keep this award,” stated Abbas.

The 2016 novel ‘Rohzin’ has been translated into English, Hindi and German. He used to be invited by means of the German publishers for the e-book’s launch in Zurich, Switzerland, previous this year. It is a bestseller in Pakistan and has received rave evaluations by means of eminent commentators, including Pakistani author Mustansar Hussain Tarar and eminent Indian Urdu critics Gopichand Narang and Shafai Kidwai.

Abbas first hit the headlines in 2005 when his first novel ‘Nakhlistan Ki Talash’ (Search of an Oasis) landed him in hassle for allegedly depicting obscenity. Some conservative components locally filed a case in opposition to him and he used to be arrested and needed to spend a couple of days at Arthur Road Jail too. He used to be therefore acquitted by means of the top court in 2016.

“This is all a part of a author’s existence. Right now, I am celebrating the award which I devote to Mumbai, the city which has made me,” stated Abbas.

Mumbai Urdu author bags Sahitya Akademi award Mumbai Urdu author bags Sahitya Akademi award Reviewed by Kailash on December 08, 2018 Rating: 5
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