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” In such meetings and partings, ultimately lives are lost. There is no end to Love and Beauty never relents” …….. From the First Divan of Mir Taqi Mir(1752)
With The Mirror of Beauty, Shamsur Rahman Faruqi made his place in the hearts of readers who enjoy the magnificence and brilliance of historical fiction from the Mughal era. Wazir Khanum and the poets of Dilli enthralled everyone and Faruqi became a celebrated writer of the English reading world. Wazir Khanum’s tale was not lost in translation and the same stands true for “Savaar aur Doosre Afsane”, which was originally released in 2001 in Urdu, and in 2014 as an English translation “The Sun That Rose From The Earth”. The Afsane ( fictional stories) are beautiful and one only wonders how magical they would be in Urdu.
Faruqi manages to bring the beauty of poets like Ghalib, Budh Singh Qalandar, Mir Taqi Mir and Kishan Chand to life. Poets and their verses stand out in this brilliant collection of prose. Faruqi is a master of Urdu prose and does justice to the translations as well. The descriptions are detailed and leave little to imagination. From the streets of Dilli and the Kingdom of Oudh to the pleasure houses of Nakhjavan, the reader is transported to times when tehzeeb and niakat were the parameters to judge character. The research is impeccable and the stories entertain and educate.
Judge this book by its cover! At first look, the regal bearings of the handsome Mughal attract you to the book. One wonders who this person was and what Dastaan (tale) defines him. The richness and magnificence of the era bygone is also reflected in the beautiful, intricately woven prose, with its refined language and poetry oozing with sweetness and sublime joy. The book is 610 pages long. Ignore the ‘Rule of Fifty’ and be patient. What awaits as pages turn, is a treasure trove of writing that will surely make you fall in love with literature and history of the era that was synonymous with class and finese.
” I am the sun that rose from the earth. But the sky of poetry is bright because of me.” From the Ninth Divan of Shaikh Ghulam Hamadani Mushafi.
The Sun That Rose From The Earth
Shamsur Rahman Faruqi
Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Books