An evening to remember

It has been quite some time since I last attended a function of sorts at the Pakistan Academy Of Letters, so when I received this sms of invitation from Khurram Khiraam Siddiqui, the PAL editor of English I had to go there for one doesn’t always come across a person of the stature of Zulfikar Ghose, the US based poet, novelist and essayist, whom the gathering was arranged for.

I was fortunate to arrive earlier at the Editor’s office, meet the honorable Ghose sahib and exchange some pleasantries with him. Thats where I got my hands literally on a copy of the biannual anthology of the Pakistani writers, ‘The Pakistani Literature’ where translations from a variety of Pakistani languages as well as original English works of the prominent Pakistani literati are published. I flipped through pages and was pleasantly surprised to see the publication of four of my translated poems from Pushto. I conveyd my gratitude to Mr. Khiraam who enhanced my delight by showing me a heavier anthology which included pieces of translations as well as a selection of the original Pakistani English literature from 1947 to 2010, that again included a translation of mine. I requested for the contributor’s copies which the Editor generously handed me with compliments.

The function itself was a wonderful experience. Ghose sahib recited poems from his latest collection called ’50 Poems’ published by the Oxford University Press. In between the recitals of his inspiring poetry Ghose sahib delighted us with interesting anecdotes pertaining mostly to his experiences in life. There was a question-answer session in the end which again was full of information as we came to know how writers born in the third world are assigned labels in the West and how it limits the scope of a writer.

The modertator Khurram Khiraam Siddiqui (left) with Zulfikar Ghose (right)

It was an evening to remember and one would like to be a part of such enlightening gatherings more often.

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It surely encourages ..

Its always encouraging to see one’s name in print against something and that too in a leading youth magazine like Us.

This time around, it helped me boast a bit, in front of an eternally unimpressed family members who surprisingly encouraged me too to continue with the ‘non-sense’ I write on and off, as they said. 😦

Publication

I’m extremely entrhralled to see a published translated poem against my name in the latest edition of The Pakistan Acadamy Of Letters’ english literary journal Pakistani Literature”.

This special issue of the journal is based on the literary contributions of Pakistani women writers. One of my translations of the poems of a female pushto poet ‘Hasina Gul’ is graciously being put on the journal by the kind editors. I’ve also been sent a payment check of recognition with an amount, the secret the better. Neverthless I’m over the moon! and why shouldn’t I, for this is my first ever publication of sorts. Hope, they’ll be as encouraging as they’ve proved to be.
Here’s the translated poem;

“?”

Gaze fixed,
Upon my face,
He talks to me in a manner,
So candid,
Enthusiastic about my thoughts,
And my art,
He reserves a special praise,
For all my beautiful poems,
But,
A contrast resides in the debonair’s life,
Hard to negate,
So, sometimes when, without a reason,
I dial a call to that person,
The handsome,
Who is it talking,
He asks, in a tone,
So strange!
After exchanging,
Such pleasantries.