‘Zafar Omar: The Man Who Invented Bahram Daku’

Zafar Omar was among the pioneers of mystery fiction in Urdu, and his book Nili Chhatri (1916) was a huge bestseller. It also introduced an extraordinary character named Bahram, who soon became a household name. Within a short time more than fifty other novels appeared in Urdu by other authors allegedly of Bahram's further adventures. For many, even as late as the 1940s, Bahram was a real figure, like Sultana, though with boundless legends about him. The talk was a part of a work on the first fifty years of Urdu mystery fiction.

C. M. Naim studied at Lucknow University, Deccan College, and the University of California, Berkeley. He taught Urdu language and literature and the cultural history of Muslim South Asia in the Dept. of South Asian Languages & Civilizations, Univ. of Chicago, for forty years, retiring in 2001.

Among his publications are: Urdu Texts & Contexts; Zikr-e Mir: The Autobiography of Mir Taqi Mir; and Ambiguities of Heritage (polemical essays). He was a co-founder of the Journal of South Asian Literature and the founding editor of the Annual of Urdu Studies

Wednesday, 12 March 2014, 4 pm
CSDS Seminar Hall