Maaz Bin Bilal

Oct 26, 2022

Temple Lamp

Verses on Banaras by Mirza Asadullah Beg Khan

India Penguin Classics 2022

Today I talked to Maaz Bin Bilal about Temple Lamp: Verses on Banaras by Mirza Asadullah Beg Khan (India Penguin Classics, 2022).

The poem ‘Chirag-e-Dair’ or Temple Lamp is an eloquent and vibrant Persian masnavi by Mirza Ghalib. While we quote liberally from his Urdu poetry, we know little of his writings in Persian, and while we read of his love for the city of Delhi, we discover in temple Lamp, his rapture over the spiritual and sensual city of Banaras.

Chiragh-e-Dair is being translated directly from Persian into English in its entirety for the first time, with a critical Introduction by Maaz Bin Bilal. It is Mirza Ghalib’s pean to Kashi, which he calls Kaaba-e-Hindostan or the Mecca of India.

Iqra Shagufta Cheema is a writer, researcher, and chronic procrastinator. When they do write, they write in the areas of postmodernist postcolonial literatures, transnational feminisms, gender and sexuality studies, and film studies. They can be reached via email at IqraSCheema@gmail.com or Twitter.

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Dr. Iqra Shagufta Cheema writes and teaches about transnational feminisms, Global South #MeToos, postmodernist postcolonial literatures, transnational feminisms, and global cinema.

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