Poetry: Translations & Originals

For the past few years, I have been quite intrested in poetry, especially Hindustani (Hindi and Urdu) poetry. At Princeton University, I have been part of various translation classes in the Creative Writing department taught by Pulitzer Prize-winners Jhumpa Lahiri and Paul Muldoon. Additionally, I am a participant of the South Asia Translation Workshop and have been sponsored by the Translation department for two Summer Translation intensives. I translate out of both Hindi and Urdu, and here you can find my translations, links to resources, and more. I hope you enjoy, and please feel free to drop me a line via email.

Hindustani poetry is quite unique and intertwined with both the history of the language and the geography. As a language, Hindi and Urdu are mutually intelligible but have different scripts, the former originating from Sankskrit and the latter from Arabic. With the diversity of Indian language, the various conquests of India, and the intermixing of empires, Hindustani grew out of the various North Indian languages but also from Persian, Arabic, and Turkish.

As such, translating poetry in the language has the unique challenge of a non-standard language with loanwords from many languages as well as differences in the oral, written, and transliteration between Devanagri and Nastaliq. I find my passion in this subject from that challenge, that history, and that understanding of culture.

Life and Death

translation of a short repose on the cycle of life and death by Sheikh Ibrahim Zauq

Desolation of Delhi (part)

the ending of the Sauda’s lament on the desolation of delhi by mughal conquerers who razed the city to the ground

Go Live in Such a Place

my translation of the famous ghalib ghazal about freedom and isolation (my translation)

Qita / Severed

Mir Taqi Mir’s lament of Delhi, once the jewel of the world, now sacked, translated to English

Evening

a short unattributed poem about desires, fate, and life - my translation

Tejas Gupta

New York City, USA
Email me

Tejas Gupta is a Princeton University student in the Department of Computer Science.