The story of Sabrang

Published December 2, 2023
Shakil Adilzada speaks at the event.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
Shakil Adilzada speaks at the event.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

KARACHI: One of the informative post-lunch sessions on the second day of Urdu Conference was ‘Shakil Adilzada Ka Nigarkhana’, which was moderated by Akhlaq Ahmed.

Giving the background information on the genesis of the famous digest or magazine Sabrang that he used to publish and edit, Mr Adilzada said in the past the popularity of Sayyara Digest made him change his magazine Insha into, first, Insha Digest and then Aalami Digest. Aalami Digest came out in 1963 or 1964.

“All the editors of Aalami Digest were like brothers to me. But when the magazine in three to four years sold 20,000 copies, I felt the brotherly feeling was misplaced. So, I decided to publish my own magazine. Some friends helped as a result of which Sabrang came out,” he said.

He said 5,000 copies of the first two editions of Sabrang were printed but 3,500 were sold. Therefore, the third edition was dedicated solely to fiction whose all 5,000 copies were sold. It’s a record for any Urdu magazine that Sabrang in its first year printed 20,000 copies.

Poet Anwar Shaoor said that the marked feature of Sabrang was that Shakil Adilzada did not compromise on quality. Even if a friend of acquaintance’s submitted work did not meet his requirement which he called khana, he wouldn’t publish it.

Playwright Hashim Nadeem said to date when he gets stuck while writing something he reads Sabrang.

Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2023

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