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A reader's delight

Day 1 of the Spring Fever 2011, a literary festival organized by Penguin Books India, was a fascinating amalgamation of literature and music. Shivani Yadav reports.

books Updated: Mar 05, 2011 12:40 IST

The first day of the Spring Fever 2011 was a distinctive synthesis of cultures, religions and history. In collaboration with the India Habitat Centre, Penguin Books India launched three books;

In the Bazaar of Love: The Selected Poetry of Amir Khusrau, Zafarnama




The literary festival began with book readings by Avijit Dutt and Navtej Sarna amongst others. It was followed by a performance by the celebrated Hindustani classical vocalist Shubha Mudgal who captivated everyone by her rendition of Hindvi kalam of Amir Khusrau including Bahut din beete, Daiyaa ri mohe bijoya ri and Chal tere pi ne bula li.

Despite his immense contribution to the world of literature, very few translations of Khusrau's books are available. The 13th century poet is one of the most loved poets of all time and his works include short poems, qawwalis and mixed prose-and-verse and more.

In the Bazaar if Love is a comprehensive selection of his poetry transcending genres and language starting with Abr mibarad u man mishavam az yar juda… which is the heart wrenching anecdote of a lover separated from his heart's love.

"The wonderful thing about classic poetry is that it lends itself to different kinds of interpretations. The words carry in them a universal truth and beauty that lends itself to various forms of expression," said Shubha Mudgal.

Originally in Persian, Zafarnama literally means "Epistle of Victory". "It is a letter by Guru Gobind Singh to Aurangzeb telling him about the need for morality in governance, the true nature of God and the true values that leaders should espouse," elaborated Navtej Sarna, the translator of the book.

About his book, Kamasutra, AND Haksar explained, "This book has appeared in the modern world through English translations and it has acquired the reputation of being synonymous with sex. But only one of the seven sections in the book is about sex. The rest is about human relations, courtship, marriage etc."

The gathering included music and literature enthusiasts as well as young students. The open-air library that was put up featured a complete range of Penguin titles.

The festival goes on till March 13th at the India Habitat Centre