Book review: Faiz: Romance to Revolution

by Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi


Human condition is evolutionary which suggests that there is a revolutionary zeal in all of us that pushes us forward to explore the world and improve the conditions in which we live in. To ignite this revolutionary zeal, ingrained in the human psyche, requires a catalyst provided by great revolutionary thinkers, poets and writers like Voltaire, Rousseau, Goethe, Shakespeare, Allama Iqbal and Carl Marx. In pre-partition South Asia Allama Mohammad Iqbal provided the uplift of the soul to seek liberation not only from the colonial rule but also from the walls of dogma. Once independence was achieved the next task was to liberate the soul from the shackles of dictators, autocrats and elites of the society. It was this movement of nation building that was led by the revolutionary Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

But human condition is universal which means our crisis are similar in nature but might be different in its cultural manifestations. To reach the larger humanity around the world, it was important to provide wings for poetry of Faiz to become a universal inspiration. Dr. Nazir Khaja decided to embark on this journey of translating a selection of verses in English to bring them closer to the world. Dr. Khaja understood that regardless of the efforts and toil a translation cannot convey the true essence of a poetry. He tried to resolve this dilemma by coupling his translation of each poem with the visual depiction of its message. That combination of visual and textual poetry has added depth to this book.

I congratulate Dr. Khaja on completing this important work and introducing an icon of Pakistani culture to the world. Here is link to the book page: