Saturday October 29, 2005

Polish Orientalist earns a big name

Janusz Krzyzowski, though a reputed professional psychiatrist, has earned a big name as the leading Indologist in his native land with his five monumental works on India. His earlier works on Indian Myth and Mythology, Indian Music were well accepted in Polish literary circles, but his recent translation of Urdu poet Mir Taqi Mir's ghazals, along with his co-writer Surender "Zahid", has forced the critics to regard him as the top most Indologist in Poland. Krzyzowski has translated ghazal into a ghazal form which till this day no one had ever attempted. His mastery of the Polish language is superb. "It is indeed a daunting task which he has accomplished sincerely," said Stanislaw Tokarski, an Indologist at the Polish Academy of Sciences. "Krzyzowski is simply a pioneer in this field. One can get the real taste of great Urdu poetry in his work. He is really the humanist alter ego of the Orient," said Anna Bem, an Indophile. "If translation is, indeed, treason. Then I willingly confess to my crime," saidd Krzyzowski jokingly to thiswriter. "The musicality of Urdu poetry is such, once you taste it then there is no escape from it. Mir is really a giant among the world poets and it was sheer delight to translate him with my co-translator Surender who himself is a good poet with a sufi bent of mind," he added. "One cannot sit back on the laurels of the past. Now Surender And I are working on Ghalib and other modern Urdu poets which will include Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Firaq Gorakhpuri," he said about his future plans. In the past Krzyzowski had translated great Persian masters, like Rumi, Hafiz and Khayyam into Polish and now the next few years are marked for Urdu poetry


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