Faiz and Gorakhpuri ghazals in Polish

By Surender Bhutani, Warsaw, Oct 6: Urdu verse is making inroads into Poland with the ghazals of 20th century poets like Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Jan Nissar Akhtar being translated into Polish.

Janusz Krzyzowski and Surender 'Zahid', an Indian poet based here, who earlier translated "Mir Taqi Mir" and "Mirza Ghalib", have published an anthology of modern Urdu poets, which also includes ghazals of Firaq Gorakhpuri, Qateel Shifai, Ibn-e-Insha, Pravin Shakir, Bashir Badr and Nida Fazli.

Anil Wadhwa, India's ambassador to Poland, released the book earlier this week at his residence in the presence of more than 100 Polish writers, poets, critics, journalists and intellectuals as well as diplomats.

"In less than two years, the two translators have produced four books of Urdu poetry. It is a great achievement on their part to promote the musicality of one of the sweetest languages of northern India," Wadhwa told IANS.

"If Bollywood maintains the standard as a great entertainment industry, the due credit must be given to the Urdu poets who penned sweet songs with universal appeal for the past eight decades," Wadhwa added.

Said the ambassador: "Poets like Firaq and Faiz are no less than any Nobel Prize winners. Their universal appeal will remain fresh for a long time to come. The present anthology is just like a bouquet where the two translators have selected roses from different gardens.

"To translate ghazal into a ghazal form is very challenging and it speaks of the genius of the translators."

"It is almost a miracle that two translators have joined hands together and have enriched Polish readers with the beauty of Urdu poetry. We expect many more compositions from these outstanding personalities," said Stanislaw Tokarski, professor of Indian Studies at the Polish Academy of Sciences.

"From this book, now Polish singers can also sing ghazals. If they succeed, it will be a novelty in Poland," said Janusz Krzyzowski.

The anthology mostly comprises ghazals made famous by singers like Begum Akthar, Talat Mehmoud, Mehdi Hasan, Ghulam Ali, Chitra Singh, Jagjit Singh and many others in the past.

"There is a beautiful confluence of music and literature in most of these ghazals and we have tried our best to preserve that fragrance which is there in the original," added poet Surender 'Zahid'.

He has produced five books in Urdu poetry and his compositions are regularly published in literary magazines both in India and Pakistan for the past four decades. His poems have been translated in English, Polish, Romanian and Arabic.

The book is partly financed by the Indian Association in Poland, which has promised to help in the translations of Urdu poetry in the future as well.

--- IANS


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