Ghalib’s goes Polish
Surender Bhutani

URDU poetry is making inroads into Poland, with the ghazals of renowned 19th century poet Mirza Ghalib being translated into Polish.

Anil Wadhwa, India’s ambassador to Poland, released a collection of Ghalib’s poems, translated by Polish intellectual Janusz Krzyzowski and Surender Zahid, an Indian poet based here.

More than 100 Polish writers, poets, critics, journalists and intellectuals apart from diplomats attended the ceremony held at the ambassador’s residence. "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," said Wadhwa. "Poetry and politics have an umbilical link and it is high time that we should encourage people like Janusz and Surender to translate the pearls of Urdu poetry for the Polish readers," he said.

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) financed the publication of Ghalib’s ghazals into Polish. Ghalib’s collection of ghazals has continued to inspire generations of Urdu poetry lovers. His immense grasp of mysticism, his metaphors and his selection of words have influenced many Urdu poets.

Practically every great composer or singer, from K.L. Saigal and Begum Akhtar to Jagjit Singh, has composed or sung Ghalib’s verses.

Wadhwa also released a translation of Zahid’s ghazals in Polish along with a musical CD of his poems and songs. "Surender’s ghazals are a true reflection of an orient mind in an occident place. They are extremely sensitive and pensive," the ambassador said. Last year, Janusz and Surender translated works of 18th century Urdu poet Mir Taqi Mir into Polish, which also gained popularity in Polish literary circles. — IANS