Reading and writing the great maestro of Urdu poetry Mirza Ghalib for literature lovers is a old practice. There have been many books published on the poet apart from hundreds of theses and dissertations.
The poet has been researched across the globe. Ghalib has been translated into multiple languages opening avenues for non-Urdu readers. Indeed his poetry is loaded with Arabic and Persian semantics but for the academicians and writers it has never been an excuse to translate him. In this great oeuvre of literature, Tasleem War’s latest book titled Myriad Shades of Life is indeed another crucial facet to the legacy of Ghalib.
Myriad Shades of Life is the latest book by Tasleem War published in March 2021 by Cambridge Scholars Publishing. The book is comprised of seven chapters, exposing multidimensional aspects of one the greatest poets of Urdu, the most beloved language of poetic world. A collection of articles that have found place in the book, many out of them have already appeared in reputed journals. War places Ghalib among the top of the literary heritage especially on Urdu poetic world.
War’s research on the poet over many years has resulted in the production of this book. War in the book argues on multiple aspects of the great bard of Urdu. He has presented in a clear approach how the poet is to be deconstructed. The author had made some important contributions to the poet’s legacy. The author had a comparative study on poets with world different celebrated poets and writers. The author had a comparative study of Ghalib with Shakespeare, Ghalib and Iqbal, Ghalib and Donne. The author in a researchable manner presents how Ghalib is converging and diverging from them. It was Ghalib who made the world of Urdu poetry into a large picture changing its subject matter and incorporating multiple issues ranging from love to societal, religious and philosophical. The book through its manifestation states that how Ghalib is great poet and one of the greatest poets to be compared with world great literary bards like Shakespeare and Iqbal.
Carrying the argument further, the book presents a dialectal tension in the poetry of Ghalib with many excellent couplets taken from his Persian and Urdu poetic oeuvre. He had discussed the many aspects, thesis and counter-thesis the poet holds in many of the pieces. In a world literary scenario, the book brings out an appraisal of the literary facets of the poet.
Moreover, the book presents and argues Ghalib as a poet of death. It makes some observation on the themes, images, metaphors of death the poet had discussed in his poetry. Furthermore, the author has attempted a chapter on the representation Karbala martyrs in Ghalib’s poetry. War’s book will open new horizons for poetry lovers in general and Ghalib loversin particular. The work establishes the fact, how Ghalib is relevant to present times and how his poetry is being celebrated across the world though passed centuries ago. The author had taken the translation of his select poetry from many well-known translators making it certain the labour and hard work for accomplishing this task.The author in his chapter on the art of dialectal poetic compares Ghalib with Sophocles and Shakespeare in his ironic style, making his point that in Ghalib’s view life is neither a tragedy nor a comedy but a tragic face. The select couplets of Ghalib in the book have been deconstructed by the author in a unique style while diving deep into the poetic spectrum, by creating a wider space in the poetry of poet, and aptly say that, “Life is plural, multidimensional and paradoxical and paradoxical rather than singular, one dimensional and consistent, and Ghalib presents all these features in his poetry because nobody can monopolize truth. He brings out the myriad shades of life in his dialectal poetics by offering us the vision of its horror and glory.”
War, in his book has presented the critical and scholarly approach to many of the main facets of the poet. In his effort to this great endeavor War deserves to be read far and wide and must continue assessing and evaluatingthese great writers across the boundaries of language and culture. Father of English essays had somewhere distinguished between the book of an hour and a book of all times, and Myriad Shades of Life belongs to the later.
I believe, the Ghalib lovers especially and literature lovers generally would find the book very remarkable and appreciate the writer for taking such an enterprise.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.