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For better or verse

books Updated: Mar 09, 2009 16:09 IST
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Nirmala Srivastava recently released a compilation of shayaris, Gulha-e-Sahrang. The mother-son duo Nirmala and Siddhartha Srivastava tell more about the book.

Nirmala Srivastava:
Please explain the title Gulha-e-Sahrang.
Gulha-e-Sahrang means flowers of three colours — collections of poems of three persons. The book is a compilation of works of my father, my brother, Dinesh and myself in Urdu and Hindi.

How did your interest in shayaris begin?
I was surrounded by a poetic atmosphere at home and so it was but natural for me to be inclined towards shayari.

How long did it take you to compile the book?
My father used to write shayaris in Urdu. I still have the diaries in which he wrote his shayaris. In 1973, I started copying those, because the diary was wearing out. I couldn’t hand it over to another person since the pages would easily come off. I did not speak Urdu, but had some knowledge about the language.

In 1977, I published my father’s writings under the title, Diwane Layak. After that, in 2002 I published Gulha-e-Sahrang, a compilation/translation of works of my father, my brother Dinesh and I in Hindi. This year, after a lot of effort, I was able to publish Gulha-e-Sahrang in Urdu and Hindi.

One interesting reaction you have got.
Oh! I have got over a hundred emails from shayari connoisseurs. Shayar Nida Fazli and Kamal Hassan have praised the high standards of shayari.

Siddhartha Srivastava:
What has been your contribution to the book?
I have published the book. We are planning a CD release with singer Bhupendra Singh and lyrics by Ghulam Ali.

Give us one nazm that is among your favourites.
Layak hakikaton ka na kuch bhed khul saka,Hum jaan bhi gaye toh numaya na kar sake.

Is there really a clientele for this book and who is the target reader?
Yes, there are several shayari connoisseurs in the city.