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Hyderabad – Past And Present

The Untold Charminar –Reviewed By Asif Noorani

Way back in 1954 when I greeted a grand old lady, who had migrated to Karachi from what used to be Hyderabad Deccan, with the customary Assalam Alaikum, I was admonished for my ‘bad manners’. She reminded me that I was not her age, which was why I was supposed to say Aadab and bend my neck slightly.

That was the Hyderabadi tehzeeb (a combination of good manners and courtesies). A recently published collection of writings Hyderabad: An Untold Charminar, imaginatively compiled and intelligently edited by Syeda Imam, has much more to say on the subject. The old-worldly charm in Hyderabad co-exists with the great strides that the city has taken in becoming a high profile IT city, which is why it has been nicknamed Cyberabad. […]

September 20th, 2008|books, India, India-Pakistan History|3 Comments

Makhdoom a people’s poet – a poem

Found this poem and its translation by Makhdoom Mohiuddin  here

Our city is strange –
it whispers in the
nights when you
walk on roads
calls you to show
its wounds as if
the secrets of
its heart

its windows shut
alleys quiet
walls tired
doors locked
only the corpses stayed
in rented houses for years.

-tr. Ravi Kopra


apnaa shah’r

ye shah’r apnaa, ajab shah’r hai
ke raatoN ko
saRak pe chaliye tau sargoshiyaaN sii kartaa hai
bulaa ke zakhm dikhaataa hai
raaz-e-dil kii tarah

dariiche band
galii chup
niDhaal diivaareN
kivaaR muh’r-balab
gharoN meN mayyateN thahrii hu’ii haiN barsoN se
kiraaye par —— ! […]

September 7th, 2008|Poetry, South Asian Literature, Urdu, Urdu Literature|11 Comments

….na junoon raha na pari rahi – when neither you exist nor I exist

Junaid has sent this classic ghazal by one of the earlier, eclectic poets of Urdu language, Siraj Aurangabadi. The best part of his email is the translation by his relative – a Toronto based poet – Anis Zuberi. The translation is amazing as it delves into the deeper meanings of this great ghazal.

Anis Zuberi writes:

It is hard to translate classical poets. This ghazal of Siraj is like a flower, full of beauty and fragrance that one should smell and enjoy and not dissect. …Siraj Aurangabadi was one of the earlier poets of Urdu who came after Wali Dukkani. According to his biography for years, he was in a state of trance and used to remain naked. Khabar e-tahayyur-e-ishq is one of the his most famous Ghazals.

Khabar-e-tahayyur-e-ishq sunn, na junoon raha na pari rahi
Na toh tu raha na toh mein raha, jo rahi so be-khabari rahi

Learn oh absorbing love that neither the obsession (for the beloved) is left nor and the object (pari) of love survived. The only thing that is left is a state of self-unconsciousness: where neither you exist nor I exist. […]

February 11th, 2008|Poetry, Translations, Urdu, Urdu Literature|25 Comments