Saif Mahmood writes on Urdu literature and is globally known for his passionate recitations of classical and modern Urdu poets alike. A critic, translator and rights activist, he is the author of the 2018 bestseller Beloved Delhi : A Mughal City and Her Greatest Poets. An advocate of the Supreme Court of India, he holds a doctorate in Comparative Constitutional Law in South Asia. His book on Urdu poet Majaz is awaited.
The Break of Dawn
Ali Khan Mahmudabad in conversation with Saif Mahmood
Political scientist, academic and author Ali Khan Mahmudabad's translation of Khan Mahboob Tarzi's Aghaaz-e-Sahr or The Break of Dawn, is a tribute to a time when Indians of across class, caste and creed came together to protect their homeland. Translated into English from the original Urdu, this thriller-romance fiction is based around the events of 1857. Ali Khan Mahmudabad's translation of this evocative text provides deep insight into our past and helps us context our present. Khan Mahboob Tarzi (1910- 1960) was a prolific author who wrote over a hundred novels on history, politics, science-fiction, romance and erotica. Mahmudabad teaches history and political science at Ashoka University and writes a fortnightly column for the Urdu national daily Inqilab. In conversation with author, commentator and lawyer Saif Mahmood, he discusses the process of translating this important work which brings alive the true spirit of nationalism and the essence of belonging.