In the first episode of the programme, Dr Arfa Sayeda Zehra, a noted intellectual, educationist and scholar, was the guest. Dr Arfa Syeda shared her experiences and observations with the audience. Sumera Khalil moderated the programme. Opening the windows of the past, Dr Arfa Syeda shared the beautiful moments of her life with the audience and said her life had revolved around three loves, the first love being Pakistan, the second the Urdu language and the third love in Lahore.
Answering a question, Syeda said, “Books have always been very close to my heart because I was born in a house where there were books everywhere. As far as I can remember, I never had anything in my life other than the gift of books from my father.”
She expressed that there has always been a deep connection with the books, which was why she chose to become a professor. She said, “I always worked hard in acquiring knowledge and worked hard on mastering the Urdu language and Radio Pakistan played a vital role in my Urdu language training.”
Referring to the Urdu language, she said, she did a master’s degree in Urdu for two main reasons. The first is because of those people who thought that only those who could do nothing else would get a master’s in Urdu. “And the other most important reason was that my entire intellectual and cultural heritage had been gotten from the Urdu language,” she added.
Comparing her times with today, she said her parents taught her the art of living a very simple life so that she did not have any desire or longing left in her heart. She shared a memory about her mother, saying her mother taught her not to be impatient because Allah knows best what His servant is entitled to.
Talking about the personalities who left a deep imprint on her mind and life, she spoke about Begum Sirajud Din, her teacher in Lahore College for Women, Dr Nazeer Ahmad, who was principal of GC College and Faiz Ahmad Faiz. All these persons taught her respect, patience, and the art of being a good human being, she stated. Talking about Urdu, Sayeda said “I do not know why nowadays people consider it an honour to speak only the English language. In contrast, I did my matriculation in Urdu and did my MA in Urdu.”
Sayeda said she became a student of Urdu to understand the history of the sub-continent better. Regarding her mastery of languages, Sayeda said she could also speak Persian as well as English. Dr Arfa said that gratitude is the best example of being happy in all circumstances.
“At the end of the session, I would send a message to the elders to take care of their inner child,” she said. Addressing the youths, Dr Sayeda said that life is not a list of commands because getting things done is not a big deal. Learn to be happy with what you have, learn to tell the truth to yourself and dream with open eyes. She thanked Lahore Art Council Chairperson Moneeza Hashmi and Alhamra staff.