Kaifi Azmi, whose real name was Syed Athar Hussain Rizvi was born on 14 January in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh.
A poet, a patriot, a revolutionary, his poetry is a voice to the less privileged, the oppressed, the voiceless.
Koi toh sold chukaye , koi toh zimma le
Uss inquilab ka aaj tak udhaar sa hai
Selected, introduced, edited by Sudeep Sen, the book contains translations by Husain Mir Ali, Baidar Bakht, Sumantra Ghoshal, Pritish Nandy and Sudeep Sen.
Some translations are academic and precise, others translate the story of the original poems.
The book contains insightful headnotes by four of the five translators. His biography, bibliography, archival photo album have also been made a part of this book, revealing moments from the poet’s life.
His poetry and their Hindi and English translation on the other hand, reveal the great poet himself.
Gods keep coming one after another;
Frustrated wisdom said in the end: there is no God.
Azmi’s poems have moved generations and inspired them. The book is a brave attempt to bring the magic of poetry to the younger generations. And for that, I am thankful.
His poetry is enrichment of the soul and nourishment for the mind. It inspires and questions, shows darkness and hope. His legacy, even after a hundred years of his birth, lives on.
However, his pen –
which bears a hundred names
and has a hundred tasks –
continues fighting as before;
continues moving as before –
sometimes in one hand,
sometimes in another.
– Doosra Toofaan by Kaifi Azmi
My Rating – 5/5
Publisher – Bloomsbury
Pages – 224