Jahan lab koshish-e-izhaar-e-matlab ko taraste haiN

wahan har saaNs ko ik daastaaN kehna hi paDtaa hai

—Sufi Tabassum (1899-1978)

A loose translation would read..

Where the lips strain for utterance (of truth)

Each breath holds a story (there)

Today’s shair could be seen in a socio-political context as well as an expression of a lover’s lament in as in conventional Urdu poetry.

Mustafa Sufi ‘Tabassum’ is known for his facile style and ease of expression. A great scholar of Persian and Urdu, he adopted the taKhallus ‘Tabassum’. A prolific writer for children, Sufi Tabassum was the head of the department of Persian in the Lahore government college. He was highly regarded by his peers as a poet of exceptional calibre.

Sufi Tabassum had undertaken the translation of Persian masters into Urdu—an ambitious project which the Urdu world was looking forward to and which was sadly, cut short by his death.

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