(An English translation of the famous Urdu poet Sir Mohammed Iqbal’s well known
poem ‘Himalaya’)
Translated by Dr. Syed Sarwar Hussain

O Himalaya! thou fortress of sovereign Hindoostan!
Heavens above doth bow down, to kiss thy brow’s span.
Not a single sign of ageing doth, thy massive frame betray;
Thou stayeth young amidst, the swiveling night and day.
God’s glorious light caught Moses’ eyes, alone on Mount Sinai;
But thy manifestation absolute, draws each discerning eye.
To the lure of wand’ring gaze thou art, no more than a mountain chain;
Whereas to us, our mighty guard, the wall of Hindoostan.

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Confronting A Bore

You do not listen,
All you hear!
When tongues blurt out,
Languages unclear!
When talkers are a bore,
Absolute and sheer!
When words weave tangles,
You cannot clear!
When speakers thoughts,
Smudge yours and smear!
When voices deafen you,
As they hit your ear!
Shambles, shambles, all they speak,
Shards and blizzards, all they blare!

A Lost Child In A Dull Class Room

The tedious humdrum of the tutor’s voice,
Is no classroom victim’s personal choice.
It stings his defenceless, unwilling ears,
And he listens naught what he sourly hears.
Like thorny growth of wild plum-trees,
Words their tangled thickets weave.
And the baffled hapless boy in class,
Is unwarily caught in the piling mass.
And deafened by the teacher’s garbled blare,
He plods homeward like an image in despair.

Despairing voices


‘Despairing Voices’ is a collection of short stories translated from Urdu. Vastly dissimilar in background, style, expression, treatment of subject, and their vision, these stories express, in different ways, some of the common concerns of Urdu writers in India and Pakistan. These stories, each in its own way, with its unique style, have a tale to tell, of man in the post-modern world, of the personal predicament that wrecks him, and of his existence splintered by the clash of fundamental and glaring contradictions that control his destiny. The anthology is a sensitive selection of contemporary Urdu short stories by prominent Indo-Pak writers. Though not definitive of course, this translation, nevertheless, aims to make the book an interesting reading, and brings it closer to an original work with a sort of creativity tuned in with the spirit of the original work. The stories portray the post-Independence world of India and Pakistan – the two countries separated at the birth of Indian independence – wrecked by clash of identities and ideologies, drastically altering destinies of peoples who suffered the division. A brief history of the birth and growth of English short stories, and the blossoming of the genre in Urdu literature produced in India and Pakistan are given in the Introduction. There are also brief autobiographical sketches of the original writers after the Introduction.

Selected Urdu Short Stories Translated into English; Edited and Translated by Syed Sarwar Hussain; published in 2011 by Satyam Publishing House, New Delhi, India; ISBN: 978-93-801908-6-0

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Ideology and Poetry of Stephen Spender


This book discusses the most primary and obvious facts of Spender’s (a British poet of the 1930s, who has received much critical attention over the past few decades) poetry – his predilection of the Marxist ideology and all that goes along with it. The book probes into the essentials of Spender’s art and breaks new grounds upon Spender criticism. It also asserts with an original insight that Spender was fascinated more by men, events, scenes, and landscapes than by mere ideology. The book further shows as to how Spender amalgamates through his poetry the socio-political ideas and issues, his almost Wordsworthian sense of natural sight and scenery and its artistic portrayal, and his lyric gift, rare among the poets of the ‘Thirties generation, to create a splendid masterpiece of poetic art. The critical study on Spender and the literary milieu during the turbulent ‘Thirties unfolds leaf by leaf what concerns poetry as a genre, and its craft, moral perspective, and place in history with special reference to Stephen Spender.

published in 1998 by Bahri Publications, New Delhi, India, under SELL: SERIES IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE-45; ISSN: 0254-0193; 45.