January, 2006.

Urdu Fascinates
a Polish Indologist


Janusz Krzyzowski is many things to many people, but in reality he has an orientalist soul in his Polish body.
Krzyzowski, though a reputed professional psychiatrist, has earned a big name as the leading Indologist in his native land with his five monumental works on India. Though he wrote about important issues of psychiatry, medicine and other aspects of body and mind, yet for the past one decade he is mainly focused on oriental poetry and literature.
The change in him came with his deep understanding of the orient and his numerous journeys to India.

He has captured the spirit of the orient through his literary works, be it on philosophy, poetry or music. "I belive that literature can increase our capacity for mastering change", says he.
Though his earlier works on Indian myth and mythology and Indian music were well received in Polish literary circles, but it is his recent translation of the Urdu poet Mir Taqi Mir`s ghazals, along with his co-writer Surender 'Zahid', that has forced the critics to regard him as an

Janusz Krzyzowski

impeccable Indologist in Poland. "It is indeed a daunting task which he has accomplished successfully", said Stanislaw Tokarski, anotherIndologist at the Polish Academyof Sciences. "Krzyzowski is simply a pioneer in this field. One can get the real taste of great Urdu poetry in his work", said Anna Bem, yet another Indophile.

"Mr is really a giant among the world poets and it was sheer delight to translate him with my co-translator Surender who himself is a good poet with a Sufi bent of mind. In a sense we have paid a wonderful homage to the lyricism of Mir`s poetry. We have also tried to imbibe each and

every nuance of his poetry in our translation. For us there is no margin for error; only perfection is acceptable", says Krzyzowski.

He further said that one couldn`t just sit on one`s laurels of the past. "Now I and Surender are working on Ghalib and other modern Urdu poets, including Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Firaq Gorakhpuri".

In the past Krzyzowski had translated great Persian masters like Rumi, Hafiz and Khayyam into Polish and now the next few years are marked for Urdu poetry. "I have also developed a liking for Buddhism and my book on Ashoka is almost ready; it will be the first biography of Ashoka in Polish language", he added.

The author is an Urdu poet & Professor based in Poland


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