“Zindagi kay daman mae jis qadar bhi khushiyan hain, sab hi hath aatein hain, sab hi mil bhi jatein hain, waqt per nahin miltien, waqt par nahin atein, yaani unko mehnat ka ajer mil tau jata hai, lekin is tarah jaisey, qarz ki koi raqam qist qist hojaye,” wrote Amjad Islam Amjad, in his poem Self-Made Logon Ka Almia, in which he explains the turbulent journey of a self-made person. This might have been written as a self-portrait by Amjad but it no longer serves him right, as the poet has received back to back accolades and that too, not too late in his lifetime.
The latest achievement is the Italian translation of his poetry in a book, titled, Cento Poesie D’amore (Mohabbat Ki Sau Nazmain). Cento Poesoe D’amore was published by Punjab University on his 70th birthday (August 4). The poems have been translated by a well-known orientalist, the late Vito Salierno, who previously translated the works of Allama Iqbal and Jallaludin Rumi.
“Previously my poems have been translated in various languages as assorted poems but not as a book,” Amjad told The Express Tribune.
“I had met Vito in Italy a couple of years back and shared a few translations of my poetry in English and he was really anxious to translate them. But what is sad is that today when the translation has been published, he is no longer with us,” said Amjad.
He has previously been awarded the Pride of Performance award and Sitara-e-Imtiaz for his brilliant contributions to literature and television writing. Apart from famous books, such as Zara Phir Sae Kehna and Nabeena Shahar Mae Aaina, he was also the screenwriter of the famous drama serial, Waris.
“It’s a great privilege for me. All I can say to upcoming poets is that you can only cross borders by having command over your own language and body of knowledge. Respect and recognition just follow,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2014.
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