Embassy of India

Press Release No.4/2006

March 22, 2006

After Mir, it is now Ghalib in Poland

   An event to release a Polish translation of the ghazals of the world renowned 19th century Indian poet, Mirza Ghalib, was hosted by the Indian Ambassador to Poland, Anil Wadhwa, at his residence in Warsaw on 21st March. The translation done by Janusz Krzyzowski and Surender Bhutani has been published as a book with the grant provided by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi. Also released at this function was a translation of Surender Bhutani’s own Urdu poetry into Polish which has been published with the financial help from the Indian Association of Poland, and a musical 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 which included writers, journalists, intellectuals and foreign diplomats.

    Janusz Krzyzowski, based in Warsaw, is a medical doctor by profession and he has many books to his credit in that field. For the past ten years, however, he has produced more than a dozen books on the orient whether it is Indian myths or music or translations of Persian and Urdu masters. He has translated Rumi, Hafiz, khayyam from Persian language into Polish. In the last one year he has translated Mir, Ghalib and Surender Bhutani into Polish.

    Surender Bhutani is a professor of International Politics also based in Warsaw. He has a deep interest in Urdu poetry since the age of 15. He has written five books of Urdu poetry and has produced two musical CDs of his songs and poems with the help of Vintage Heritage Music Foundation, New Delhi.

    Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Wadhwa stated that Ghalib regarded as the greatest Urdu ghazal poet, lived in the 19th century. During his life time he did not get recognition. Only with the beginning of the 20th century, he was regarded as an icon. Since then generations of Urdu poetry lovers regard his collection of ghazals as their bible. “No Urdu poet”, he stated, “has remained untouched with his immense grasp of mysticism, his metaphors and his selection of words. Undoubtedly, he is the master of ghazal writing”. Surender Bhutani commented on the occasion that “practically every great composer or famous singer of India did not feel satisfied until or unless he composed or sang the verses of Ghalib, whether it was Kundanlal Saigal or Begum Akhtar or in modern days, Jagjit Singh”.

    In the book by Surender Bhutani, most of the ghazals relate to mysticism and universal aspirations for love. Bhutani has an oriental mind in an occidental place. Longing for his mother land is a constant feature of his verses. 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”.

    Last year in September 2005, these two translators had translated Mir Taqi Mir into Polish and that book, also released at an Indian Embassy function by Ambassador Wadhwa, was well appreciated in Polish literary circles. Like Mir’s ghazals, Ghalib’s ghazals have also been translated in a ghazal’s meter which is a unique attempt in Polish history.


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