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American Letters

Herawati Latip
1941
Barnard College, New York, NY (Original Language: English)

World Youth Congress

September, 1938: Shall we start talking about the Second World Youth Congress from its very beginning and dutifully mention each important day? Officially the congress was to start on August 16th but August 12th can not be considered of less importance. The morning of that day saw the S.D. President Roosevelt with the delegates from various participating countries sail in the New York harbour.…

How I learned to Read and Write

Bibi Ashraf
1899
Lahore, Punjab (Original Language: Urdu)

The original essay appeared in two instalments in Tehzib-e Niswan (Lahore) (23 and 30 March 1899).  It was then published with a biographical introduction by the journal’s editor, Muhammadi Begum, in a book entitled Hayat-e Ashraf (Lahore: Imambara Sayyida Mubarak Begum, n.d.).  The essay has been translated from this source with a biographical introduction to the author in C.M. Naim, ‘How Bibi Ashraf Learned to Read and Write’, Annual of Urdu Studies, vol.…

Some Reminiscences of Kashmir

Atiya Fyzee
1906
London, England

A journey from Bombay to Kashmir via Ahmadabad, Jaipur, Agra, Delhi, Amritsar, and Lahore affords, especially to a Purdahnasheen, all the new experiences that she may wish, and reveals many of India’s varied interests, ancient and modern. Among the latter, I may mention that a Jaipuri lady lavished upon me the utmost commiseration because she thought that both my hands had been terribly burnt.…

Roznamcha

Nazr Sajjad Haidar
1942
Dehradun, India (Original Language: Urdu)

EXTRACT ONE

26 May 1912: Today was the most important day of life. When I woke up in the morning to offer my prayers, I saw a different atmosphere in the house. My elder female relatives were busy in arrangements for hosting someone. Everyone in the house including its younger as well as elder members along with the servants seemed extremely happy.…

Diary – Tehzib al-Nisvan

Nur un-Nisa’ Begum
1943
India (Original Language: Urdu)

Every human being has the right to write a diary. Neither fame nor anonymity can keep anyone deprived of this freedom. Events, incidents and disclosures comprise the definition of life. If the diary of Macaulay tells us that he spent every moment of his life in some constructive engagement, then the diary of a poor and wretched person impresses upon us that even the starving people riddled with swollen ribs and shrunken cheeks hail from the same descendents of Adam on whose distinction and excellence men take pride.…