Mushaira and Book-Launching of Ghalib's Poetical Work in English in Washington
By Dr Zafar Iqbal
“The beauty of Ghalib’s poetry is that your appreciation of his poetry grows more as you listen to it”, said Mr N. K. Mishra, Minister, Cultural Affairs, Embassy of India. He was addressing a gathering assembled at the 7th Annual Independence Day Mushaira-Kavi Sammelan and release of a recently published book, The Treasure: A Modern Rendition of Ghalib’s Love Poetry by Surinder Deol. He said that his study of Ghalib was limited, but he remembers Ghalib’s one sheyr distinctly: Ghalib ne yeh kah kar toR di tasbih / Gin kar kyon naam loon us ka jo bey-hisab deta hai. He thanked the organizers for arranging an event which brought poets and audience of both Urdu and Hindi languages under one roof.
The function was organized by the Aligarh Alumni Association (AAA), Washington, DC and the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), Washington-Metro at the Auditorium of Fairfax County Library in Herndon, Virginia on August 30, 2014.
“This book is a welcome addition to the slim corpus of Ghalib in English translation, not only because it has a sure method, but also because it does not sacrifice the essential Ghalib”, said Professor Satyapal Anand, who presided over the book-launching ceremony. Dr Anand appreciated the hard work and dedication of Mr Deol.
“Surinder Deol’s rendition of Ghalib’s poetry into English is a reflection of his in-depth understanding and sincere love for Ghalib’s multifaceted poetic compositions”, said Dr A. Abdullah while commenting on the book.
Author Surinder Deol described how and why he got interested in bringing Ghalib’s work to English readers. He explained why Ghalib became so popular though there had been so many other great poets in the Subcontinent. One of the reasons was that you can find expression of innovative thoughts full of metaphors and similes, and also a wide range of topics and subjects in his poetry, Deol explained. He wanted Ghalib’s work to be recognized universally.
Greeting the author, poets, dignitaries, and audience, Coordinator of the program and president of GOPIO-Washington, Metro, Dr Zafar Iqbal said that the goal of this program was to provide a forum where people could get together transcending political, religious, regional, and geographical boundaries. He mentioned that in the recent years, a number of authors and poets were recognized through this program including Professor Satyapal Anand, Dr A. Abdullah, Dr K. Mohan, Mr Raj Kumar Raaz, Mr Anadi Naik, Mrs Rashmi Sanan, and Mrs Daler Deol Aashna. “Success of events led to the organization of first bi-lingual (Urdu-Hindi) poetry recitation program at the Embassy of India in 2012 with our help”, he added. He thanked Shri. N. K. Mishra, Minister for Cultural Affairs, Embassy of India for supporting these programs.
Welcoming the audience on behalf of AAA, association’s president, Dr Fazal Khan mentioned that the Association has been engaged in organizing literary and cultural events, as well as collaborating with other community associations for the last 40 years. This year, the association has planned special events to celebrate 40 years of its service to the community.
Dr A. Abdullah, the most adored conductor of poetry recitation sessions, mentioned in his introductory remark that the increasing number of participants and audience in these programs is a testimony to the desire of people to share common heritage.
The mushaira session was presided over by Abdurrahman Siddiqui and participating poets included A. Abdullah, Aziz Qureshi, Baqar Zaidi, Daler Deol Aashna, Gulshan Madhur, Kiran Nath, Mohammad Hussain Imam, Rakesh Khandelwal, Razi Raziuddin, Satyapal Anand, Vandana Singh, and Vishakha Thaker.