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Event Details

A Cry for the Beloved: Poetry of Shah Abdul Latif
Translated by Anju Makhija and Hari Dilgir
Reading Designed by Dr. Omkar Bhatkar

The NCPA Library in collaboration with Metamorphosis Theatre and Films 

Shah Abdul Latif was born in Hala, Sindh, in a notable Sayyid family. His lifetime was witness to many historical events, but he had little interest in politics. His life was dedicated to poetry, which recorded his experiences. He has been aptly called the people’s poet, revered by common folk and the elite alike. He is one of the greatest Sufi poets in history along with Rumi and Mir Dard. Latif’s poetry is largely about love—love of the Supreme, love of humanity, depicting the seeker’s direct relationship with the Supreme instead of any particular religious groups looking for scriptural instructions and injunctions. His major work, Shah Jo Risalo, composed of thirty surs, can be described as one long wail of firaq or separation from God. Known as one of the greatest Sufi works in history, the Shah Jo Risalo is a prayer, a cry for the beloved. Written more than 250 years ago, Latif’s poetry is deeply rooted in the human experience of searching for the self—a self that is one with the nirakaar, the omnipresent, centered within, yet diffuse as attar.

Anju Makhija, joining hands with Sindhi poet Hari Dilgir, provides contemporary readers with a rendering in free verse of the English translation of the poetry of Latif that captures the spirit and essence of his surs. Shah Abdul Latif: Seeking the Beloved, the first English-language translation of the poetry of Latif, won the Sahitya Akademi Prize for Translation in 2011. ‘A Cry for the Beloved: Verses of Shah Abdul Latif’ is a poetic experience designed by Dr. Omkar Bhatkar using movement, music and visual aesthetics along with the text.


Admission on a first-come-first-served basis.

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