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Mir Taqi Mir is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished poets in the Urdu language. The evening will begin with an introduction to his poetic genius and his legacy by Prashant Keshavmurthy. This will be followed by a discussion interspersed with readings in English and Urdu by Prashant Keshamurthy and Kafeel Jafri. Singer Gayatri Asokan will perform a selection of Mir Taqi Mir’s ghazals infusing music and bringing his words to life.
About the books:
Selected Ghazals and Other Poems (published under the Murty Classical Library of India, by Harvard University Press): A compilation of the finest ghazals of Mir Taqi Mir, the most accomplished of Urdu poets. Selected Ghazals and Other Poems offers a comprehensive collection of Mir’s finest ghazals, extended lyrics composed of couplets, and of his masnavis, narrative works of a romantic or didactic character. The ghazals celebrate earthly and mystical love through subtle wordplay, vivid descriptions of the beloved, and a powerful individual voice. The Urdu text, presented here in the Nastaliq script, accompanies new translations of Mir’s poems, some appearing in English for the first time.
Ghazals: Translations of Classic Urdu Poetry offers a comprehensive collection of Mir’s finest work.
Both books have been translated by a renowned expert on Urdu poetry, Shamsur Rahman Faruqi. Shamsur Rahman Faruqi was awarded the Saraswati Samman for his multi-volume Urdu commentary on Mir’s ghazals, Shi’r-e Shor-Angez.
About the Murty Classical Library of India:
The Murty Classical Library aims to reintroduce some of the greatest literary works of India, written over the past two millennia, to a new generation of readers. Each volume in the series has been translated into English by world-renowned scholars, and reflect the highest standards of contemporary book design with elegant and newly-commissioned typefaces.
In collaboration with:
Prashant Keshavmurthy is Associate Professor of Persian-Iranian Studies in the Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University. He is the author of Persian Authorship and Canonicity in Late Mughal Delhi: Building an Ark (Routledge, 2016) and co-translator of Sohrab Sepehri, The Eight Books: A Complete English Translation (Brill, 2022). He has completed a full translation into English blank verse of Amir Khusraw’s mixed genre poem from 1318, The Nine Skies, and is writing a monograph on craving and craft in the quintet of the great twelfth century poet Niẓāmī of Ganja.
Prashant has also made this English verse translation of Mir’s poem on his cat Mohini.
Kafeel Jafri is a Bangalore-based theatre artist and poet. Trained in theatre acting and techniques by eminent gurus, Kafeel has acted in over 20 theatre productions, one feature film, several short films and ads. He has also translated two plays from English to Hindi.
Gayatri Asokan is a singer who has made her mark in Indian film music, Hindustani classical and Ghazal genres. She started training in Carnatic music at a very young age from Sri Nedumangat Shashidharan, Sri Mangat Nateshan and Sri Vamanan Namboodori. Her debut was a duet with Padmabhushan Sri K. J . Yesudas for the movie Arayannangalude Veedu. She then worked with Maestro Ilayaraja for the movie Kochu Kochu Santoshangal. She has recorded for eminent music directors of South like Vidyasagar, Ramesh Narayan, Johnson, Ouseppachan, Gopisundar, Bijbal, Rahul Raj, to name a few.
She has won many awards including the Kerala Government state award for Best Playback Singer in 2004, the Amrita Film Award and the World Malayalee Council Award. She is a B-High artist for AIR in Hindustani classical and regularly broadcasts from AIR Bangalore.