Letters of Ram La’l to Abbas Khan
Ram La’l is to Abbas Khan as Abbas Khan is to me. Only Ram La’l Abbas Khan equation is more visible in recently published book titled Sultnat-e-Dill Say – compilation of letters written by India Urdu writer Ram La’l to Pakistani writer Abbas Khan over a period (1987 -1995) of time. They are all love letters.
The beautifully published book starts with a travelogue by Abbas Khan who traveled from Lahore to Mianwali (birth place of Ram La’l) and Islamabad together with Ram La’l when the later visited Pakistan. The narrative of the journey clearly shows how interests and observations of both the writers are similar.
People still write letters in this age of fast communication when most have switched over to email, cellular phones and social media channels. In his letters, Ram La’l has documented the contemporary literary history. His letters to Abbas Khan not only show personal relationship, love and affection between the two but also document what was happening and how in different fields of Urdu literature – new books, short stories, translations, literary functions. Most of all, Ram la’l’s silent efforts to urge Abbas Kahn to write more and to write everywhere and to read, read and read everything published not only relating Urdu literature but also of diverse subjects that help understand human behavior.
I suggest everyone who has any love for the written words must read the book that is published by Caravan Books, Sadar Multan Cantt. [Also here