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September 12, 2023

My Rating - 5 out of 5 stars

Publisher - FingerPrint
Genre - Poetry
Publishing year - 2023
Language - English
ISBN - 978-93-5440-901-1
Pages - 463

Humsafar: The World of Urdu Poetry by Hitesh Gupta Aadil

Book Review - 

Recently, I had the pleasure of delving into Humsafar: The World of Urdu Poetry, the debut book by the accomplished Dubai-based author, blogger, and translator Hitesh Gupta Aadil. His extensive background in poetry reflects the depth and breadth of his erudite endeavor. 

Hitesh Gupta, who goes by "Aadil" (his Takhallus) for his literary pursuits, has curated an anthology that transcends linguistic boundaries and provides an insightful journey into the captivating world of Urdu poetry. This book comprises over 150 classic ghazals, nazms, and rubbais, thoughtfully rephrased into English for a broader readership.

The author's selection pays homage to the poetic giants of Urdu literature, including luminaries such as Ghalib, Firaq, Faiz, Meer, Zauq, Gulzar, Akhtar, etc., while also shedding light on the works of lesser-known contemporary poets who have made their mark in their field later. 

One of the notable aspects of this book is Aadil's adept exploration of the evolution of the Urdu language and its enduring popularity not only in India but across borders as well. He meticulously dissects the themes that thread through Urdu poetry, dispelling myths and offering readers a profound understanding of the art form. Additionally, he provides valuable insights into the technical nuances of composing this art form, a feature particularly appealing to serious enthusiasts.

As I delved into the book, I discovered a thoughtful blend of familiar and lesser-known poets, each accompanied by a glimpse into their lives. The author's emphasis on romanticism as a central theme throughout the anthology offers readers a cohesive and immersive experience. What sets this collection apart is the deliberate avoidance of overly complex Persian vocabulary, making the poems accessible to a broader audience while preserving their emotive essence.

Hitesh Gupta's meticulous research and dedication to his craft shine through every page of Humsafar. His commitment to bridging the gap between Urdu and English-speaking readers is evident, making this anthology an invaluable resource for those seeking to unravel the beauty and profundity of Urdu poetry.

I take great delight in immersing myself in these poems, especially when accompanied by the fascinating historical context of the poets. Rest assured, I plan to revisit these verses again in the future. Whether you are a seasoned aficionado or a newcomer to Urdu poetry, this book is a must-have addition to your literary repertoire. I highly recommend it.

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