Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ibn-E-Insha: Urdu Ki Aakhri Kitaab

Am seriously considering buying this book by one Ibn-E-Insha. Found it randomly while searching for PTV dramas and what not. Seriously funny. (I hoped to buy this in the original Urdu but who am I kidding? I must study and improve myself first.)

The only time I heard any reference to Insha prior to today was Jagjit Singh's rendition of 'Kal Chaudvin Ki Raat Thi.' Obviously he's not top calibre poet material but he's a bloody funny writer.


"A Lesson in Geography

In the beginning, there were very few countries, and people lived in comparative peace and quiet. In the 15th century, Columbus discovered America. There are two theories concerning this. Some people are of the opinion that it was not his fault. He merely wanted to discover India, namely us. It was just a mistake that he discovered America instead. Weight lent to this theory by the fact that we have still not been discovered.

A second body of opinion says that, on the contrary, Columbus discovered America on purpose. Whatever the case may be, if it was a mistake, it was a grave one, Columbus is dead, but we are still suffering its consequences."

(From Urdu – The Final Book by Ibn-e-Insha, Translated by David Matthews,

Harper Collins, 1997)

Fuller excerpt can be found at Muse India. I can only imagine how much better it would have been in the original. Some day soon...

Addendum: Rare light poem by Insha, rendered as ghazal by Nahid Akhtar here.


BrownS said...

Hah wow this book looks hilarious :) I love deadpan humor.

I also thought it was rare that Urdu jokes retain their funnyness when translated. Good stuff.

longblackveil said...

Salaam and thanks for stopping by. :)

BrownS said...


That photo is pretty awesome too!
Any idea if that's his real name? Am trying to see if he's written more stuff. Ibn-e-Insha sounds weird - son of (he) who wishes?

It reminds of this musician dude named Insha Allah Khan Insha. That name had me chuckling for a good two days.