Reading Hyder in 2018: A Socio-Cultural Critique of Qurratulain Hyderâ€™s Short Story â€œThe Sound of Falling Leavesâ€
Keywords:Contemporary, Modernisation, Purdah, Partition, Woman.
On 21 August 2007, QurratulainHyder took her last breath, leaving behind a range of literary works that continue to keep her alive in the literary world. In 2018, almost eleven years after her death, Hyder continues to remain one of the most influential names in the world of Urdu literature and the social, political, cultural as well as the feminist issues highlighted by Hyder through her fictional narratives continue to remain prevalent even today in our contemporary society. With a vision that transcended time and a style that enriched the Urdu literary canon, Hyder and her work remain as contemporary as ever. Though most often remembered for her novels, particularly her magnum opus AagKa Darya (1959), QurratulainHyder is also regarded as one of the most celebrated short story writers of her time. This paper aims at presenting a socio-cultural critique of Hyderâ€™s short story â€œPatjharkiAwazâ€, one of the most memorable creations of modern Urdu literature that brought forth a range of social and cultural issues through the first person narrative of its protagonist Tanvir Fatima. The paper aims at highlighting the contemporary relevance of this fictional account that foregrounds the invalidity of most claims of complete socio-cultural progression as most of the issues depicted in the short story continue to plague our contemporary society.