Translating Yusuf’s Fragrance  | Kashmir Observer

Translating Yusuf’s Fragrance  | Kashmir Observer
Translating Yusuf’s Fragrance  | Kashmir Observer

By Badr-u-nissa Bhat
THE Postmodern author Italo Calvino as soon as mentioned to a reporter of New York Times,
“Without translation, I might be restricted to the borders of my very own nation. The translator is my most vital ally. He introduces me to the world.”
“Yusuf’s Fragrance” is a translation of Kashmir’s preeminent nineteenth century poet Mahmud Gami’s poetry. He is basically thought of the pioneer of Kashmiri Sufi poetry. Mahmood Gami was born in 1765 in a village referred to as Advedar in (now often called Mahmoodabad), Shahabad.  His eleven mathnavis, and lots of of lyrical poems, signify a mystical type of Kashmiri poetry which just about all poets after him adopted by way of the metaphors, similes, allegories, melodies and rhythm, in addition to the basic leitmotifs of Islamic mysticism. He was well-versed with Islamic thought, Persian poetry and faith, and, as such, Mahmood Gami experimented in a wide range of methods to imbue Kashmiri poetry with a wide range of expressions, wide selection of themes, and mental depth , particularly in his vatsun (a type of poetry unique to Kashmiri which could be understood as a love lyric although mystical in nature) and nazms (longish free verse poems); to the extent that he additionally launched Persian genres of naat, gazal, masnavi and nazm in Kashmiri. Kashmiri poetry earlier than him is scant and contains primarily of lyrics handed down orally from one technology to a different. Though the magical and didactic poetry of Lal Ded and Shiekh ul Alam laid the inspiration of Kashmiri poetry. Mahmud Gami is the primary actually prolific poet attempting his hand in a number of genres.
“Yusuf’s Fragrance: Poems of Mahmud Gami”Introduced and Translated by: Mufti Mudasir Farooqi.Publisher: Penguin Random HouseImprint: Black Classics12 months: 2022
The e-book features a sixty-three web page introduction to the lifetime of the poet, Persian affect on his type of poetry, and numerous genres of poetry that Gami makes use of extensively and the way he borrows themes and topics from the nice Persian masters like Jami, Nizami, Attar and Rumi and the way stunningly he makes them his personal by portraying them in his Kashmiri type. Various poems have been taken from the Kulliyat e Mahmud Gami (vatsuns and nazms) and likewise six of his narrative poems (mathnavis) have been translated. Around 2750 couplets have been translated. The e-book is the primary ever English translation of Gami’s poetry from his huge oeuvre. And it has been revealed by Penguin Publishing House beneath its most prestigious imprint: the Penguin Black Classics.
The Translator right here, Dr. Mufti Mudasir, who being a polyglot and a professor of English Literature, is effectively versed with the wealthy cultural and literary historical past of Kashmir and understands the nuances of each languages; Kashmiri in addition to English; is accustomed to the tones and shades of poetry is ready to do justice to the unique Kashmiri by producing it in English and it may be completely relished even by a  reader who has no data of the unique textual content and to some extent we will say that the work stands by itself.
The translator paperwork; Mahmood Gami was born within the instances of upheaval in Kashmir and witnessed the brutality of three reigns of Kashmir historical past: the Afghan Rule, the Sikh Rule, and the preliminary ten years of the Dogra Rule, however borrowing from the impressionable previous of mystical custom and Gami himself being engrossed within the macrocosm of his personal soul and likewise the dominant follow of the poet’s time whereby the poets wrote totally on love and metaphysical themes, there’s not even a single reference to the political vicissitudes of his time.
As of as we speak Gami is taken into account to be a romantic poet however the translator takes pains in explaining how for Gami, much like many different Kashmiri and Middle Eastern Sufi poets, the metaphor of worldly love (Ishq e Majazi) is only a automobile to realize a communion and actual love (Ishq e Haqiqi). The translator writes:
“As this introduction has tried to exhibit, an acute consciousness of transcendental dimension of existence pervades Gami’s verses even the place he treats romantic and earthly love. He shouldn’t be distinctive in possessing this profound non secular consciousness as all pre-modern Kashmiri poetry bears this mark.
….even such a poetic theme as erotic love was invariably anchored in a spiritual or at the very least non secular paradigm and will by no means have been conceived in secular phrases”
To quote an instance from the e-book, the translator has superbly captured the essence and craving of Sheikh San’an within the narrative poem (Mathnavi) ‘Shiekh San’an’ (which Gami borrowed from Faridudeen Attar’s iconic e-book Mantiq ut Tair (Conference of the Birds)) when he sings a tune within the rapture for the Hindu woman:
“The world is a mirage, what number of have wasted away!
Heal my ache, be happy with me, my love could be very deep
Don’t placed on airs, all lives will finish on a shriek of mourning
O Hindu woman, my bewitching love, give ear to my wails”
There is a really well-known vatsun of Gami which legendary Sufi singers have sung for over years, Chani bar tal raweym ha raetsi and each Kashmiri is in love with this stunning lyric and the translator is ready to infuse the identical trance inducing expertise and the belief of the cruelty of human transience with the interpretation which the unique creates.”
“Countless nights handed
As I sat by your door, calling.
Didn’t my name attain you?
Of crimson cups and yellow petals
I’m jasmine of Paradise.
Long is the wait until Judgment Day
Didn’t my name attain you?”
The e-book additionally consists of a few of Gami’s most well-known nazms together with Pompir Namah (the Moth’s Tale) which captures the trepidations and anguish of a lover with probably the most well-known trope there’s in Sufi poetry of a moth and a candle. The translator additionally consists of within the e-book the nazm: Tamsil- e-Adam (Parable of Adam) by which Gami exhibits that human life is akin to an air bubble on water which once more touches the theme of impermanence of people. The use of the motif of air bubble can be present in some nice Sufi poetry, for instance within the poem “Paani da Bulbula” by Bu Qalandar. This considerably exhibits the maturity and ripeness of Gami as a poet and in addition to a Sufi.
Along with the narrative poem “Shiekh San’an”, the e-book options six of Gami’s main Mathnavis together with “Yusuf Zuleykha” which is borrowed from Quran and plenty of Sufi poets have exploited the theme earlier as effectively like Jami and so forth. The literary benefit of Gami’s this mathnavi made German orientalist Karl Burkhard translate it into German in 1875. Gami made the story important by way of poetic calls for, like figurative expression, human ardour, conflicts, and Zuleykha’s position in society and household.
Dr. Mufti Mudasir’s luminous translation brings the Kashmiri poet Mahmud Gami’s timeless poetry to a brand new viewers, giving it a brand new life in English by conveying the identical vibrancy of the unique textual content whereas additionally sounding contemporary. The introduction of the e-book additionally exhibits how phenomenal Gami was in utilizing the identical tropes, themes, metaphors which have been utilized by Nizami, Attar,Rumi and so forth and making them richer and crisper in Kashmiri. This assortment offers the reader an perception into the brilliance of Gami, no matter whether or not she has ever learn him within the unique (supply) language. It is a fascinating learn, encompassing the themes of spirituality, love, loss of life and so forth. The poems are poignant and extra importantly, eloquent in nature. There’s a lot for the reader to realize from this e-book by way of creative worth and data. Although it’s typically thought that translation can not convey the richness of the unique, this e-book, nonetheless, leaves the readers enthralled and amazed. It is especially excellent for individuals who wish to get drunk with the wine of Sufi poetry. It’s a gorgeous paperback, the quilt being an image of a portray of roses which provides to its attraction.


The reviewer is an artist and is pursuing Ph.D. in English Literature from University of Kashmir

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