24 Jan 2011

Tandel Street, Dongri

Second Life. By Abu Ishaaq Riyazi

Baatini zindagi ko kazaa milgayi
Jitne mujrim the, sab ko zazza mil gayi
Ab sanaa main likhoo, saad ho kar likhoo
Mere maula ki mujhko razaa milgayee

Rough translation:
The old life has been killed
All the culprits present they have all been condemned
Now I write with devotion, with happiness
I have been given permission by my Lord

Iqtedar is a calligrapher who works in a claustrophobic loft without windows alongside two young DTP operators. Over the years, his clients have reduced to a trickle while that of his colleagues have grown. While he waits for the increasingly rare customers, he writes rubais (according to him), like this one he wrote today. He's got enough to fill a thick book, the Rubaiyat of Abu Ishaaq Riyazi (Iqtedar's pen name. Ishaaq is his youngest son's name) that will never be published because he's writes it with a pen he carved out of bamboo, for his family and close friends to read. It makes sure that his hands write smoothly when a customer comes calling.

He called this poem, Second Life, in English. It's about how after the coming of the computer and as he has aged, he has a new life devoted to writing poetry in praise of god and hadiths. Luckily, he has his old workplace to sit and write.


Curry Spice said...

this is lovely. maybe i can go visit him.

The Globetrotter said...

just lovely

Prutha said...

lovely...old school calligraphy is awesome!!

mumbai Paused said...

Thank you.

Curry. Tandel street is next to the Delhi Darbar Restaurant. His shop is next to the book shop owned by IRF.

Ashfaque Ismail said...

beautiful...full of grit...very hard to continue with a profession with less takers...

Sayed Azmat Ali said...

hi gopal
this is azmat here on behalf of Mr. Ishaque sahab (Calligrapher) Can u please mail me his all the photograph which u click during visit to his office at dongri. my id is azmatcomp@gmail.com

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