Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Speaking of Literature...

I had the honour of speaking about one of Urdu's popular poets in the 20th Century weekend before last, Sahir Ludhianvi. Sahir is the author of Talkhiyaan, a lot of Bollywood's most memorable lyrics, including, for example the poetry used in the movie Kabhi Kabhie. He also wrote one of the most famous and interesting comments on the Taj Mahal; a poem that ends with the quatrain:

Yeh chaman zar yeh jamna ka kinara yeh mahal
Yeh munaqqash dar-o-deevar yeh mehrab yeh taaq
Aik shahanshah nay daulat ka sahara lay ker
Hum ghareebon kee mohabbat ka uraya hai mazaaq

[I'll find a translation I did of this and post it here]

A web page devoted to the event is at:


You can read the Press Release and a transcript of my speech (transliteration, actually; the speech was in Urdu, the transliteration is in the Roman/English script) on the "Urdu ke Naam" blog:


and my speech, as written, at:


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