Theme for November 26: Thankful Freebie
Since the theme was Thanksgiving Freebie, I decided to do a list of Regional South Asian authors/poets [Urdu and English] I adore. There are many in this list whose works have been translated in English but I’ll try to add a few lines about authors the general audience may not be familiar with.
Currently, I’m on a quest of collecting older editions of some of these, especially the illustrated poetry books which have now become collectors items. [Though I love everyone in this list, I’d like to add that this list is in no order of priority.]
Enjoy the read!
SADAT HASSAN MANTO
A short story writer of astonishing talent, Manto’s writings are raw, blunt and uncensored. His words have the tendency to shock your nerves, and yet the prose is elegant and rampant with dark, often macabre humor. He makes you think, question and often, revolt. What he does not do, however, is leave you with a peaceful reading experience. Though wildly translated in English, I prefer his works in Urdu.
Describing Ghalib is like writing an ode to the sub. A poet of unparalleled caliber, Ghalib’s poetic meters and metaphors carved for themselves a space within Urdu poetic legends that remains unfulfilled to this day.
SHAZAF FATIMA HAIDER
An old classic I recently rediscovered in translation. I read the book Aangan [English: Women’s Courtyard] during my teenage years and came across this excellent translation last year.
FAIZ AHMED FAIZ
Though Faiz sahab is often considered a revolutionary poet, it is romantic works I’m enamored by. Again, like Ghalib and Iqbal, Faiz’s works have been translated in English so if you haven’t read him before, do give his works a try.
Note: The book in the picture is Nuskha ha-e Wafa
MUSHTAQ AHMED YOUSUFI
A famous satirist whose works I encountered much later in life. I haven’t read all of it yet but I I have thoroughly enjoyed his stories.
Have you read any of these writers? Let’s chat in the comments!