March 22, 2006.

A Polish translation of the ghazals of the world-renowned 19th-century Indian poet, Mirza Ghalib, was released in Warsaw on 21 March, at an event hosted by the Indian Ambassador to Poland, Anil Wadhwa.

Mr. Wadhwa said that Ghalib, regarded as the greatest Urdu ghazal poet, and who lived in the 19th century, did not get recognition during his lifetime. It was only at the beginning of the 20th century, that he came to be regarded as an icon. Since then generations of Urdu poetry lovers regard his collection of ghazals as their bible.

The translation by Janusz Krzyzowski and Surender Bhutani was published with a grant provided by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.

Also released at this function was a translation of Surender Bhutani’s own Urdu poetry into Polish, published with financial help from the Indian Association of Poland, and a music CD of Bhutani’s songs and poetry, brought out by the Foundation of Vintage Heritage Music, New Delhi. The event was attended by about 100 invitees, including writers, journalists, intellectuals and foreign diplomats.

Janusz Krzyzowski, is a medical doctor by profession and has written many books in this field. For the past ten years, however, he has produced more than a dozen books on the orient – Indian myths, music or translations of Persian and Urdu masters. He has translated Rumi, Hafiz, and Khayyam from Persian into Polish and in the last year alone he has translated Mir, Ghalib and Surender Bhutani into Polish.

Surender Bhutani is a professor of International Politics with a deep interest in Urdu poetry since the age of 15. He has written five books of Urdu poetry and has produced two music CDs of his songs and poems with the help of Vintage Heritage Music Foundation, New Delhi. He believes that “Poetry is something more deep, more philosophical and more worthy of serious attention than modern day world politics. Poets are the unacknowledged representatives of the universe”.

In September 2005, the two men had translated Mir Taqi Mir into Polish and this book was also released at an Indian Embassy function by Ambassador Wadhwa.


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