Ashes in the Fire


Ashes in the Fire’ is a collection of stories translated from Urdu by Dr. Syed Sarwar Hussain. The original work ‘Aag key under Raakh’, was written by Abdus Samad, the Sahitya Akademi (Indian Academy of Letters) Award winning Indian writer. The stories have been written from multiple perspectives, interlinking the debilitating impact of social, cultural, and historical forces pervading the lives of people, and taking the edge off their material and moral existence. The undercurrent of feminism is accentuated in most of the stories in the collection, but the writer treats them with detachment and irony in some stories and with emotional intensity in others.

The translation is significantly interesting in its literary merit as well as its appeal to general readers. It effectively contributes in bringing Urdu literature to the arena of global literature, trans-creating the work without the loss of salience, while maintaining its intent, style, tone and context. His fluent and idiomatic language never misses to capture the flavor of the original work, and is indisputably a solid addition to South Asian literature collections.

English translation of the stories of Abdus Samad, the Indian Literary Academy Award Winner Urdu novelist; translated and edited by Syed Sarwar Hussain; published in 2012, by Satyam Publishing House, New Delhi, India; ISBN: 978-93-81632-26-0;

Excerpts from the book

“He was drawing a very attractive word picture of the mesmerizing place . . . verdant gardens, blessed with unfading luxuriance; flowers that had never seen or experienced autumn; trees that refuse to loose colour, wither, laden with sweet, delicious fruit all the year round; an eternal season of ‘mellow fruitfulness’ where even unripe fruits shed their sour temper; meandering streams running to unseen places, whose water was so fresh and sweet that it tasted like sherbet, worked like an elixir; unexpectedly temperate climate, neither too warm nor too cold; fresh breeze blowing gently, sweet with incense, perfuming the heart and the mind, rejuvenating body and soul . . .”

from ‘The Mesmerizing Raconteur’ (a story in the anthology ‘Ashes in the Fire’, edited and translated by Dr. Syed Sarwar Hussain; published by Satyam Publishing House, New Delhi, 2012).