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It Happened to Me Thus

Qazi ‘Abd al-Ghaffar
1950
Muradabad, India (Original Language: Urdu)

In the same way that a broken film projector fails to display the full image on the screen, these blind impressions of the beginning [of my life] hardly remain on the forgotten shelf of my memory. How strange it is! …

The World in the Eyes of a Woman

Begum Sarbuland Jang
1909
Damascus (Original Language: Urdu)

The Urdu text above corresponds to the excerpts provided below, as well as those published in the companion volume.

 

City life in Damascus

Two-horse carriages can be had very cheaply here, and can also be found at any time. …

Sea Travel during War

Shaista Suhrawardy Ikramullah
1940
Mediterranean Sea (Original Language: Urdu)

We left for India on 6 January by Viceroy of India.  We were commanded to arrive at ship one day prior to departure, so that the ship can leave whenever appropriate. Due to war, there were lots of problems in …

A Tour of Holland

Shaista Suhrawardy Ikramullah
1939
The Netherlands (Original Language: Urdu)

In the last weeks, my husband had to visit Holland for government related work. I also accompanied him. Holland is a small country in Northern Europe, and for the last two centuries it hasn’t played a prominent role in European …

A Tour of Europe

Sughra Humayun Mirza
1926
Zurich (Original Language: Urdu)

Travelling from Lake Geneva to Zurich

We left Territet on the 1 p.m. train. We had to change trains in Lausanne. Lausanne is a very beautiful city. This is the city where the peace conference of the Turko-Greek war was …

Personal Diary, 1935

Muhammadi Begum
1928
Oxford (Original Language: Urdu)

January 1, 1935

Thanks be to God on high, by whose mercy the year 1934 today came to a happy close, and the year 1935 began. I offer my ardent prayers for an excellent year ahead. May God accept them. …

The Book of Life

Qaisari Begum
1936
Medina (Original Language: Urdu)

In Medina
Now it was time for us to travel to the holy city of Medina. My heart was bursting with happiness. When the dawn of that blessed day arrived, we went down the stairs of the chambers we were …

Our Journey and Memoir: From India to London and America, 1953–1955

Mehr al-Nisa
Canton, Ohio (Original Language: Urdu)

A tourist ticket from Bombay to London on the Chusan cost Rs. 1055. The weight of this ship on the P&O line was 24,000 tonnes. Its color was white and it seemed new and extremely grand and up to date. …

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 …

A Pilgrimage to the House of God and a Journey to the Land of the Beloved

Fatima Begum
1934
Mecca, Arabia (Original Language: Urdu)

The original Urdu text corresponding to both the excerpts below and those available in the related published volume are available above.

 

Life Aboard Ship

Gulf of Aden, 14 March 1934: At about 10 o’clock, when I returned to my …