Tackling Urdu poetry

Last Updated : 12 October 2012, 17:20 IST
Last Updated : 12 October 2012, 17:20 IST

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I am much beholden to Kuldip Salil in my understanding of Urdu poetry. His latest offering ‘Best of Meer Taqi Meer: Selected Ghazals, Nazams and Rubaiyat’ with their lyrical translation in English and in Roman script further adds to the debt of gratitude I owe him. I can do no better than quote his own words in favour of the gratitude we owe each other.

Kuldip Salil specialises in translating Urdu poetry into English, and has received accolades for this. Khushwant Singh has this to say of Salil’s renderings into English. “I can say without hesitation, these renderings of ‘Diwan-e-Ghalib’ by Kuldip Salil read better than I have read by scholars of Urdu, be they Indian, Pakistani or Firangi.” His English translation of Urdu poetry are ‘Diwan-e-Ghalib- A Selection’, a treasury of Urdu poetry, ‘Best of Faiz’, and ‘Best of Faraz’.  Kuldip Salil retired as Reader in English from Hans Raj College, Delhi University.

“Kuldip Salil was born on December 30, 1938 in Sialkot (Pakistan). He took postgraduate degree in English and Economics from Delhi University. He has published four collections of poetry: ‘Bees Sal Ka Safar’ (1979), ‘Havas Ke Shehar Main’ (1987), ‘Jo Keh Na Sake’ (2000) and ‘Awaz Ka Rishta’ (2004), the last three being ghazal collections. He has also published ‘Angrezi Ke Shreshth Kavi Aur Unki Shreshth Kavitayen’, an anthology of best-known English poems in Hindi verse translation. He was honoured with the Delhi Hindi Academy award for poetry in 1987.

Evolution of kissing

Kisses are private and personal born of emotion and passion. Kissing as a romantic sense of expression initiated in India during the epic - days of Yore.

It evolved from close sniffing which people indulged in centuries ago as a way of
probe-learning about each other.

They casually slipped at some stage landed up on the alluring lips and fancied it a lot better. For most of early human history sense of smell was more momentous to ascertain a person’s disposition his well-being, his social status.

Limited commodity

What’s there to do with money spend it when you have it or be bitter about it
when you haven’t got it.

It’s a very limited commodity in which people invest their most extraordinary emotions.
It lets you enjoy life thoroughly and not worry about tomorrow.

It siphons off some bitterness—
The only happiness you can Touch.

(Contributed by Prof R P Chaddah, Chandigarh)

Happy event

A Bihari was working in Mumbai and did not meet his wife for four years. His wife was in Patna. At the end of four years he distributed sweets to his colleagues in office stating that his wife had delivered a son. His colleagues were quite shocked and they asked how this ‘happy event’ happened when he had not seen his wife for four years.

The man said it is common in Bihar that neighbours take care of the wife (good samaritans) when men are away. The colleagues asked him, “What name will you give to the son?” The man explained, “If it is the second neighbour who has taken care, then the name would be ‘Dwivedi’; if it is the third neighbour then it would be ‘Trivedi’; if it is the fourth neighbour than it would be ‘Chaturvedi’; if it is the fifth neighbour that it would be ‘Pandey’.

After listening to this, questions followed: ‘What if it is mixture of neighbours? “Then the boy would be named ‘Mishra’.. and what if the wife is too shy to tell the name of the neighbour? Then it would be ‘Sharma’.......

But what if she refused to divulge the name of the neighbour? Then the name of the child would be “Gupta”..... If she does not remember the name then? “It is Yaad-av’
But who knows whether the child resulted from a rape? Then it will be named ‘Doshi’.... Finally, if the child happened because of wife’s burning desire? Then he will be named ‘Joshi’..... And if the whole country had made efforts for the happy arrival? “Deshpandey!”

(Contributed by Vipin Buckshey, New Delhi)

Published 12 October 2012, 17:20 IST

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