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Interview with Marion Molteno and Zafar Anjum

Interview with Marion Molteno and Zafar Anjum
3
Nov

GHALIB AND IQBAL

On the third day of the Hyderabad Literary Festival, Marion Molteno and Zafar Anjum enlightened the audience on translation of Ghalib and Iqbal’s poetry. Translations are the talk of the day. Both the speakers have been working closely on the renowned poets Mirza Ghalib and Allama Iqbal to show that they were more than just poets.

Marion Molteno edited Ralph Russo’s work, ‘The Oxford India Ghalib: Life, Letters and Ghazals’. Ralph Russo wanted this book to be transcribed into four scripts. This was an attempt to help people who cannot read or understand Urdu. The approach used to translate and transcribe was historical and philosophical so as to explain the social context and cultural background. Ghalib said, “Give them another heart or else give me another tongue”. The verses are relatable till date, Marion Molteno leaves us with these mesmerizing lines….

Hum wahan hain, jahan se humko bhi kuch hamaari khabar nahi aati

On the other hand, Zafar Anjum used a fictional novelist method of writing about Allama Iqbal to  engage readers. His work ‘The Life of a Poet, Philosopher and Politician’ was due to the quest Iqbal inspired in Zafar Anjum. The audience left with the knowledge that Iqbal was as much into philosophy and politics as he was into poetry. Iqbal became the symbol of Islamic heritage and believed in self-development. And to clear the air, Anjum reminded us that Iqbal insisted on a muslim majority state within India and never spoke of transfer of population before the partition. The aim is to keep the legends alive by passing it through generations with easier media.

-Salma Yousuf

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