The branch exists only to bear the fruit
The knowledge of which resides in the root
Would a gardener plant and tend the vine
Without the promise of the grape and wine?
Before this truth let all your reason pause
What you thought was eﬀect, is but the cause.
Born in Vakhsh (Tajikistan) in 1207, Jalaluddin Rumi was a great spiritual master and poet. His influence transcends national borders and ethnic divisions. His poems have been widely translated into many languages and transposed into various formats. His poetry has not only inﬂuenced the Persian literature but also the Turkish, Azerbaijani, as well as the literature of the languages encompassing Chagatai, Urdu and Pashto. He is the author of the six-volume epic work, the Mathnawi, which has been referred to as the ‘Koran in Persian’.
On the other hand, Farrukh Dhondy is an Indian-born British writer, playwright and screenwriter. He has authored a number of books including East End at Your Feet and Poona Company along with screenplays for Split Wide Open and The Rising: Ballad of Mangal Pandey.
The book is divided into two parts, with the first part consisting of the translations of Rumi’s works (which forms a major chunk of the book) and the other one consisting of a “PS Section” at the end, comprising Rumi, Sufism and the Modern World, A Personal Note and Q&A with Farrukh Dhondy, in which Farrukh Dhondy talks extensively about Rumi and his life, the relevance of Sufism and Rumi in the contemporary world, Islam, and his motivation to come up with this ‘new translation’, all of which are conducive to a comprehensive reading experience.
The bough is cleansed as the storm sweeps,
The candle brightens as its wax weeps.
It is still an engaging read encompassing the themes of spirituality, love, brotherhood and fraternity.
He gives worldly advice with panache, sometimes through anecdotes, without being preachy.
This collection gives the reader an insight into the brilliance of Rumi, in spite of never having read him in the original (source) language.
The poems are soul-touching and, more importantly, expressive in nature.
Material is the earth and material the stars
O Rumi, seek the spirit – the water not the vase!
It’s a beautiful peach-colored, small-sized hardcover book with an amazing paper quality and print; designs at the corners of each page add to the charm.
While it’s true that the true meaning seems to be lost in the translation, this book, nonetheless, leaves the readers enthralled and amazed. It is particularly perfect for those who want to know more about Rumi and/or Sufism.
There’s plenty for the reader to gain from this book, both in terms of artistic value and knowledge. It is safe to say that Rumi’s verses will accompany and guide the reader for a long time after they have put the book back on their shelf.
Ameya Rating: 4/5
Credits: SuKriti (सुकृति)