A Small Semiotic Adventure

arabic, Culture and Media, dubai, movie, Odds and Ends, pakistan, Urdu


My friend Kristin recently went to Dubai on vacation. And she took some pictures, which she posted for her friends. It included this one with a note saying, I have no idea what it says.” So I asked my friend Niam, who lives in Doha, if she knew what it said. Here is our little exchange (I know its all a bit self-indulgent, but humor me folks) for your pleasure (edited down):

Niam: This is not Arabic. I think its Urdu. It looks as if an Urdu poster version for an Arab film though, but I can’t be sure as I don’t have any idea what the words mean.

Shashwati: Oh, I can understand Urdu, just can’t read the script. So if you can give me the transliteration I can probably get it. It looks like movie posters from 15 years ago in India, when they still hand painted them.

Niam: Ok, the main title reads like Injmen” or anjaman.” The name above it is naghmati shanikar and the words below it look like vak ardornkayn film

Shashwati: Ohhhh, its probably Anjuman, which means meeting, association, getting together. The names seem like Tamil names, but the words below I can’t figure it out-probably the film company’s acronym. I found a reference to a Pakistani film from 1970 that looks like a good match.

Niam: Thats it! The actor names are the same. Waheed Murad, Rani, Deeba, etc. lol. Thats so funny. And enlightening We are all feeling absurdly pleased at this bit of detective work. I am curious about the film and want to get hold of a copy to watch. Pakistani soap operas were hugely popular in India in the 80’s and avidly exchanged in the black market. The film looks like it would contain the same pleasures.