A Treasury Of Urdu Poetry (From Mir to Faiz) - Ghazals with English Renderings

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Item Code: NAE418
Author: Kuldip Salil
Publisher: Rajpal and Sons
Edition: 2022
ISBN: 9788170286912
Pages: 319
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.0 inch X 6.0 inch
Weight 510 gm
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Book Description


Poetry has always been my first love and Urdu poetry has fascinated me the most. Urdu poetry casts a spell which poetry in no other language does. I remember when as a schoolboy I first read:

I was in a state of daze for good eight days. The sheer wit of it tragic tinge therein so well fused, I don’t find it, say in English poetry (excepting Shakespeare) which I have read and taught all my life and which I have been writing for some time now. If this is one’s experience with Bahadur Shah Zafar, who is not among the greatest of the Urdu poets, it is not difficult to imagine how one would respond to Ghalib, Meer, Faiz or Iqbal. I have virtually lived with them, enjoying them immensely, moved, comforted and uplifted by them. If Ghalib has a couplet for every situation in our daily lives, Iqbal can infuse life even in a dying man, and if Meer can teach you how to illuminate an abstract idea by illustrating if with images and allusions from ordinary life, Faiz moves you with his lyrical sweetness, rousing you at the same time to fight injustice and oppression. A part from these great names, some of the later poets like Parvin Shakir and Ahmed Faraz (both from Pakistan) are remarkable for their freshness, depth and awareness. And then there is a long list of good poets.

However, much as I have loved Urdu poetry, I had never thought of translating it into Preface English. The encouragement for it came from my publisher Shri Vishwa Nath Ji who is a connoisseur of poetry and a good poet himself. Also I had all along felt the need for an anthology of Urdu poetry in English translation for the benefit of readers who are not so well versed in Urdu. Preparing such an anthology I knew, was an uphill task, particularly because where poetry is concerned, I am bit of a perfectionist. And I cannot reconcile to the idea of a translation of ghazals and nazms which merely conveys the meaning of the original and is as such not much better than a prose rendering of them. Translation of poetry from one language to the other is extremely difficult, some would, say impossible. The challenge here is the challenge of being faithful to the original that is to be conveyed but its soul, its strength, its poignancy and sweetness, and if possible, its rhythm and resonance should also reach reader. As Sheffered Peach said, “Translation is not just translating ideas from one language to the other; a good translation is akin to the original, even better”. The challenge is that in the translation also, it must read like good poetry. And the challenge is particularly tough in the case of the ghazal. One of the ways I could think of meeting this challenge is to translate the verses in rhymed couplets provided the rhymes are not labored.

I started on the project with Ghalib and got so immersed in the poetry of the great man that the number of pieses translated went on increasing till it became a separate book ‘Diwan e Ghalib, a selection.’ For the present anthology, I have selected thirty four poets from Meer to Ahmed Faraz and Shaharyar. Needdless to say, some important names have remained unrepresented. This is because the number of good poets is so large that it is very difficult to include them all. Also, I have had to make a rigorous selection of verses even within a single ghazals so that only the best reaches the readers.

Besides Vishwa Nath Ji, I thank Dr. Khalid Ashraf of the Urdu Department, kirori mal college, Delhi University for his invaluable help in preparing the anthology. He has read through and corrected the manuscript and made valuable suggestions.

Thanks are also due to Mr.Khushwant Singh for his encouraging words. When I sent to him three or four of my pieces for opinion, he wrote “you have done a superb job of ‘Abhi to main jawan hoon’. I tried my hand at it and published the first half in my column. It was not half as good as yours. Majaz and Sahir are also well done”. I thank Mr.Mithuraaj Dhusiya, shri O.P. sapra and Shri Rahul Gupta for their help in preparing the manuscript. Also to be thanked are my daughters, Ritu Dewan and Sarika Jha for being readily available for consultation and correction and for running miscellaneous errands. Last but not the least; I thank my wife for bearing with me when I was annoyingly busy with the translations.


Meer Taqi Meer
Our life is but a bubble, nothing more21
All our efforts went unavailing, the medicine had no effect, at all23
The head that so proudly wears the crown today25
Every plant and every petal my condition knows27
All those stricken with love are dead29
If Meer continues so loudly to weep31
Like faqirs we came and gave our call33
Mohammad Rafi sauda
Showering flowers on others37
How can one avenge oneself for your curel action39
Khwaja Mir Dard
A few allegations I have earned against my name43
O heaven, what is it that we can hope from you get45
Asad Ullah Khan Ghalib
Thousands of desires, life-consuming and tough49
If ever she thinks of being to me a little kind51
This world for me is but a children’s playground53
It is heart after all, not brick and stone55
What shapes and forms must lie buried in dust57
It is ages now that we were by our friend visited59
We cried in love and opened up further, thus61
After losing the heart to somebody63
Ibrahim Mohammad Zauq
Out of sheer frustration, we’ll die now we know69
Life brought us hither, death comes and takes us away, let it be71
Momin Khan Momin
Whichever way the arrow-shooting eyes of my beloved are bound75
She is least affected by my grief77
Bahadur Shah Zafar
Neither am I a source of light to any eye, nor of comfort to any heart81
I feel so out of place in this desolate, world83
Daagh Dehlvi
Out of consideration and concession, I trusted you though87
She invites not and also has objection to coming89
Amir Meenai
It is needed difficult to protect your heart against that sharp shooter’s art97
Mohammad Iqbal
Let your shinning hair still brighter shine97
There are worlds beyond, the stars too99
The world would see when my heart speaks up like a blast101
The Anthem of Hindustan103
The New Temple107
Majaz Lukhnavi
The Vagabond115
To a Young Lady121
The whole world is intently listening123
Instructed by heaven to go slow125
Intensity of my love is not less in any way127
Josh Malihabadi
She declares after making me addicted to sorrow:131
If worrying is our destiny133
Your life is so moving135
Haffez Jallandhri
I am youthful still, still I am young139
There was nothing special in me145
Jigar Muradabadi
O what stages in love we are going through149
I remember neither the cruelties of the world nor my own fidelity151
This word ‘love’ is nothing more, nothing less, it may be said153
Tossed over by Saqi’s every single glance, I drank155
Firaq Gorakhpuri
Nobody loves anybody else forever though159
There is no wine that decreases not when it spills out161
I am getting tangled with the stars, unwittingly163
Let the silence of the evening break, for it’s very dark165
What we had thought was the world167
The evening too was dusky and darkling, and sad and somber the beautiful one169
Speak of those imperious eyes, O thou, this sad evening171
There is no madness in the head though173
Shakil Badauni
Let no the sorrow of love the common street hit177
Now even she seems to be love-lorn,179
Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Ask me not for love, O dear, like before183
If I were sure of it, my comrade, my friend185
Speak up189
Let me bow before you193
Jaan Nisar Akhtar
The Last Meeting201
Some sorrow or the other is hidden in every heart207
Akhtar ul Imam
A Question211
To the uncaring life213
Sahir Ludhianvi
Taj Mahal219
The struggle and strains of life223
Whenever I find her attention wandering225
I pick up some buds of happiness227
Kaifi Azmi
A moment233
Remove bramble and dry grass, let the road be cleared235
Ali Sardar Jafri
The New Dawn239
My Journey243
Majrooh Sultanpuri
Even the wind changed its course and the destination became easy to reach249
When understanding came251
Nasir Qazmi
Carrying a clue to the days of yore255
He lit a candle, so to say, in the night of my heart257
Hari Chand Akhtar
As I step into my youth261
Makhmoor Dehlvi
Nobody can label her unfaithful just yet269
Abdul Hamid Adam
My cup is empty, yet, and I am lost in thought273
Often in the tavern, we forgot our place and zone275
Qateel Shifai
May my love show this miracle too279
The art of which you are so proud, I know that art too281
Ahmed Faraz
You may be cross with me285
Like withered flowers in the books287
This time,when the season changes289
Parveen Shakir
The face was mine his the eyes293
Why hide it, the people already know295
As it rained, the flowers had holes in their bodies made297
Has nothing whatever happened in your city?301
Apart from you, I had somebody else too in my mind303
Basher Badar
Like a flower wrapped in sunlight and tied with a green ribbon307
Don’t be wandering in sunlight and tied with a green ribbon309
Nida Fazli
This world is a magical toy313
God is silent315
A declaration317
Karachi is home to a mother319
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