By Saiyed Mohammed Ali
Modern Educational and Social Organisation
102-Al-Fatah Palace, Opp. Sir J. J. English School, Saiyedwada, Surat-395003
40 pages, Rs. 30
Urdu Ustad is a Gujarati language guide for learning Urdu. Nine percent of Gujarat’s population consists of Muslims. They mainly speak Gujarati for normal interaction. Yet Urdu is considered as the cultural link to Muslim culture. More or less same mindset prevails among Muslims whose mother tongue is other than Urdu. How far it is true, is a matter of guess. But the fact remains that most of these people would like to pick up a smattering of Urdu in order to bridge the cultural gaps.
Saiyed Mohammed Ali has tried to contrive a crash course of Urdu for Gujarati-knowing people in the 40-page book which begins from alphabets and ends on children’s tales in Urdu. In between them it takes the learners through two to five-letter words, singular and plural, exercises on gender, phrases, proverbs, opposites, some poetry and letter-writing. One doubts if it fits into the scheme of Urdu-learning. It might be so for Gujarati Muslims whose cultural links with Urdu are quite robust. But it appears to be an effort in hop, step and jump through a language course. However, the fact that the current volume is the fifth edition, speaks for its success. Level of content indicates that any individual who can master this much in Urdu, can continue to read the language lifelong. One hope it serves as an effective guide to learning of Urdu.