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Mirza Kalich Beg

Mirza Kalich Beg (1855-1929)

The last note-worthy poet of the 19th century was Mirza Kalich Beg (1855—1929), who was mainly a prose-writer and will be dealt with under that heading. But he also composed some good poetry in Persian metres, fraught with some emotion and couched in a simple rhymical style. He ably translated Rubaiyat-e-Omar Khayam (1905), as well as another collection of rubaiyat of many other Persian poets in a volume called Motiyun-ji-Dabli (Casket of Pearls), 1914. His other translations were Chandan Har (Sandalwood Garland) and Ajib Jawahar (Wonderful Gem), 1915— felicitous renderings of famous English poems; and Thomas Moore's narrative poem of Kashmir, Lalla Rookh (1926). The following is a representative original ghazal of his, taken from Dewan-e-Kalich a collection of his poems recently published :—

            Duniya men dil jo matlab, pooro thiyo ta chha thiyo ?

            Akhar milyo na je Rab, biyo sabh milyo ta chha thiyo ?

1.         Thien ilm men je alim, kar pin amal khe shamil,

            Alim je thiyo na amil, dafter likhyo ta chha thiyo ?

2.         Ahe Kalich arman, kayo shaka tokhee shaitan,

            Man je na thiye Mussulman, kalmo parhiyo ta chha thiyo ?

Translation :

If the heart's desire is fulfilled in this world, what then ?

If God is not attained hereafter, and all else is attained, what then ?

1.         If you are a sage in knowledge, then combine it with action.
           If a sage becomes not a practical man, even if he writes volumes,what then ?

2.         Kalich is sorry that doubt has burned you into a devil,

            If your heart becomes not a Musulman, and you read the Kalma, what then ?

Like the 19th century with regard to English poetry, so the 19th century with regard to Sindhi poetry might well be called "a nest of singing birds". Following the example of Gul, many good Sindhi poets published their collected works written in Persian forms.

like the ghazal, rubace, masnavi, qasida, etc., in volumes called Dewan Fazil, Dewan Qasim, Dewan Sangi, Dewan Khaki etc., too numerous to be dealt with individually in this monograph. The following folk-tales and romantic poems, etc., were also written about the end of the century:—

               Mahir Munir ain Badur Munir by Udharam Thanwerdas.

               Kamsen Kamroop by Lalo Bhagat.

              *Sasvi Punhoo by Nabi Bux.

               Sasvi Punhoo by Moryo Fakir.

               Moomal Rano by Lale Hafeez.

              Heer Ranjhe by Hyder Shah.

              Umar-Marvi by Abdul Rahim Abbasi.

              Laila-Majnoon by Fazil Shah.

              Usuf-Zulaikha by an anonymous author.

              Sikander Nama (an epic) by an anonymous author.

              Marsias and Kasidas (elegies and panegyrics) by Sabit Ali Shah.

The old movement of mystical poetry continued up to the beginning of the 20th century, until the First World War of 1914—18 brought new trends in its wake. The old age of Faith had yielded place to the age of Reason, and the old spiritual values were substituted by materialistic values under the impact of science and its numerous inventions. Even in the realm of poetry, the old romanticism was substituted by a realistic attitude on life and its problems, and the rigid Persian forms of versification gave place to various free-verse patterns.