Special Reports

11-Year-Old Farman Knows Five Languages

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Farman Ahmad Khan is an eleven-year-old boy who is learning in standard six now in a local Urdu medium school in Pusad in Yavatmal district of Maharashtra. He is the son of an Urdu, Hindi, Persian and English poet and writer, Khan Hasnain Aaqib who is well known with regard to his creative writings in poetry and prose. Farman is the first among three siblings. He was a premature baby, with very little hope to survive but Allah had destined him to survive. When admitted to Al-Hira English School, in Pusad, he was an average student which he remained for the next three years. But suddenly he developed liking for languages spoken around him. Being in an English school, he polished his English under the supervision of his father who also took care of his Urdu. His father always advocated the knowledge of Persian language and literature saying that it had been the official language of India for about eight hundred years. He introduced Farman to Kareema of Saadi, Haafiz, Khusro and other Persian poets at an age when the child was still afraid of sleeping alone and when most of his class mates were busy playing in streets and doing meaningless mischiefs. Farman can now recite Persian poetry without any hesitation and can also explain its meanings. Then he proceeded to Marathi, the regional language which he would listen around him. Hindi has never been a problem to him as the script of Marathi and Hindi is Devnagri and Hindi is very close to Urdu. Soon Farman could read, write and speak Urdu, English, Hindi and Marathi with ease and he knew Persian too even when he was still in standard four at the age of just nine years. People are taken aback when they listen from him the couplets like kareema ba-bakhshaye bar haal-e ma. Ke hastam aseer-e kamand-e hawa.  Na daram ghair az tu faryaad ras. Tu-ee ‘aasiyaaN ra khataa baksh-o bas. Nigah daar ma ra za rahe khataa. Khataa dar guzaar-o sawabam numa (Saadi) or  Husn-e Yusuf, dam-e Eesa, yad-e baiza daari. AaN che khoobaaN hama darand, tu tanha daari (Wamiq).

Farman’s achievements have been receiving acclaim from all sections of society including professors, engineers, social and educational organizations and intellectuals. He participates in Mushairas and recites poetry with elan.

Mohammad Nafees Iqbal, Pusad

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 May 2013 on page no. 13

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