"Epics haven't lost their relevance in modern-day life"
Having translated his friend Pawan K Varma's book 'Yudhishtir And Draupadi' into Hindi, veteran lyricist and poet Gulzar says that epics are still relevant in today's life and should not be relegated to the past.
'Yudhishtir and Draupadi' is a long poem in rhymed sonnets based on the encounter between the Pandavas and the Yaksha of the Poisoned Pool. In it, writer-diplomat Varma has given a new interpretation of one of the most important episodes in the Mahabharata.
"Epics may seem distant from our modern-day lives, but that is not right. After Pawan wrote this episode from the Mahabharat in relevance with people's lives today, I realised it should reach out to more people," said Gulzar, at a poem reading session at the closing of the Penguin Spring fever in the Capital last night.
Gulzar also read from his recently launched book 'Neglected Poems', which reflects his vision of all things big and small in life.
Through vivid imagery, the 75-year-old has painted in verse things like the Mumbai rains, weaver, a summer afternoon in Delhi and a human soul.
One poem also recalls his friendship with music composer RD Burman, while in another he talks about the pain his daughter Meghna went through to give birth.
The book has been translated into English by Varma, who is the Indian ambassador to Bhutan and has written Mirza Ghalib's biography, as well as translated many of his poems.
"Translations are very important these days, since an average person can only know 2-3 three languages. We have so many languages in India and poems are being written in as many of them. Also, a translator should be well-versed in both languages, the original and the one in which he is translating," said Gulzar. PTI