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Ghalib gave Urdu ghazal a new horizon: Hamid Ansari

J.S. Ifthekhar

Vice-President releases illustrated book of Ghalib’s poetry

— PHOTO: K. RAMESH BABU

PROMOTING URDU: Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari releasing the book Muraqqa-e-Chughtai published by the Urdu Academy in Hyderabad on Saturday.

HYDERABAD: It resembled a medieval ‘mushaira.’ The circle of Urdu aficionados, the renovated precincts of the Jubilee Hall, and recitation of some of the best couplets of yore.

The literati couldn’t hold back. There was a round of applause and bursts of ‘wah-wahs.’ This was perhaps expected when an illustrated book of the greatest of Urdu poets, Mirza Asadullah Ghalib, was being released.

Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, a scholar himself, went poetic recalling how Ghalib imparted a new horizon to Urdu ghazal, while releasing the book Muraqqa-e-Chughtai here on Saturday.

After 80 years

The Deewan-e-Ghalib, which is iconised by Abdul Rahman Chughtai’s paintings, was reprinted by the Andhra Pradesh Urdu Academy after a gap of 80 years.

To render a couplet into a painting was like capturing the imagination, Mr. Ansari said, complimenting Mr. Chughtai on absorbing in his colours the depth of Ghalib’s metaphor.

He said the artist’s mastery lay in capturing on canvas those couplets that were inspired by merely a thought or an idea.

Monumental work

The monumental work began in Hyderabad with the patronage extended to Mr. Chughtai by the Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan.

Governor N.D. Tiwari said Ghalib’s poetry was national treasure like the works of Victorian masters Wordsworth, Keats, Byron and Shelly and Mr. Chugtai’s inspired art added further richness to it.

“Lyrical muse”

“It is a happy marriage of harmony in colour with lyrical muse.” Mr. Tiwari said, and recited a famous couplet of the poet. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy appreciated the quality of the book and praised the Urdu Academy.

Reiterating that his government was doing a lot to promote Urdu, Mr. Reddy said an amount of Rs.220 crore was being spent towards scholarships and fee reimbursement of minority students in the State.

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