Urdu translator Syed Ahmed Esar dead

Noted Urdu writer and translator Syed Ahmed Esar, 98, known for his translations of classical Persian poetry of Allama Iqbal and Rumi into Urdu, passed away in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

His son Syed Sultan said that he was suffering from age-related ailments and was hospitalised on Tuesday night.

Born in the garrison of Mysore Lancers in Munireddy Palya to a World War I veteran in 1922, Syed Ahmed Esar lived in the narrow Sher Khan Galli off Avenue Road almost all his life. A former Indian Forest Service officer, he worked as the Chief Conservator of Forests, Karnataka, and retired from service in 1980.

Though his interest in classical Persian poetry began at a very young age and he began trying his hand at poetry adopting a pen name “Esar”, which he later added to his name, his first collection of translation was published only in 1997, 17 years after his retirement.

Persian poetry was his constant companion on lonely postings in the forests during his service, Syed Ahmed Esar said to Frontline in April 2020.

His work

He translated the entire seven volume corpus of Allama Iqbal’s Persian poetry into Urdu. He next took up the challenge of translating Rumi’s 13th century magnum opus Masnavi of over 27,000 verses into Urdu. The work took up almost two decades of his life and the six-volume poem was published by the National Council for the Promotion of Urdu Language in 2019.

He has also published a collection of his own poems and an autobiography. He was given the Rajyotsava Award in 2017 and was the recipient of several literary awards.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 12:41:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/urdu-translator-syed-ahmed-esar-dead/article34379552.ece

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