Forwarding the cause of travelogue-writing -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Forwarding the cause of travelogue-writing

Karachi:At the launching ceremony of Saleem Alam’s third book and her second travelogue ‘Ik Jahan-e-Taaza’ on Tuesday evening, speakers highlighted the importance of travelogues as a genre of literature as these serve as an important source of information about people having varying geographical or national identities.

The ceremony was held at ‘The Second Floor’, a newly opened coffeehouse that also features a bookshop to revive the culture of learning and questioning in our society. Speakers were hopeful that travelogues, due to the immense interest they command and the wealth of information that they offer will prove to be instrumental in reviving the fast diminishing reading habit in our society.

Moreover, this travelogue by Alam was strongly recommended by those who spoke on the occasion. It is impressive to note that while embarking on successive visits to several countries of South-East Asia, she was not in the least bit deterred by peculiar social taboos or social norms that discourage free and independent movement of women.

Obaidullah Baig, a renowned television personality, documentary filmmaker, and the lead guest-speaker at the ceremony said that travelogues should be regarded as a vital means of acquiring information dealing with the geography, history, civilisation and culture of a particular region or nation.

He said that Urdu literature is immensely blessed as several eminent writers in the Indo-Pak region have written travelogues for the benefit of the largely less-privileged populace of these two countries.

He professed that writing travelogues in Urdu in the Indian sub-continent dates back to the twentieth century as in 1901 the founder of the Urdu newspaper ‘Paisa’, Mufti Mahboob Alam wrote a travelogue about his travels in Europe. In his ‘Safr Nama-e-Europe’ among other events and incidents related to his travels in the European nations, he wrote about his visit to an international-level industrial exhibition which was organised in England. He described in detail his wonder at the phenomenal industrial development and progress that he witnessed in various European countries.

Furthermore, he said that in addition to imparting information about regional and developed countries, travelogues in Urdu should also encourage readers to visit historical sites, holiday resorts, recreational spots and other tourist attractions located within their own countries.

Baig also said that Alam is a fresh addition among female Urdu writers who successfully explore the genre of travelogue writing. He expressed the hope that after her successful literary endeavours, a greater number of contemporary female writers will get the encouragement they need to undertake independent travels to foreign lands for the purpose of writing travelogues.

Also speaking at the ceremony, one of the sisters of writer Syeda Rabia said that despite Alam’s own undoubted devotion to Islam, her writings reflect great respect for the differing religious convictions of those she encountered in the countries she visited.

She added that the distinctive characteristic of Alam’s writing is that it shows her engaging in dialogues with not just human characters but also sea waves, marine organisms and seashells in these alien lands.

In the brief talk she gave at the ceremony, the writer said that travellers who visit foreign lands should learn about basic customs and languages spoken in the countries they visit in order to make their travels useful, comfortable and richer.

Moreover, Ushba Publishing International published Alam’s new travelogue which is based on her recent travels to South-East Asian countries such as Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Maldives. On the occasion, she read out certain excerpts from the book to the audience that comprised a select group of ardent book lovers and admirers of her works.
Source: The News
Date:9/13/2007