April 29, 2011

Picture by Saira Altaf Pawan


British Punjabi poet Mazhar Tirmazi is a distinct voice in modern Punjabi literature as he explores the theme of separation from the homeland with persistence, and in all its manifestations till it evolves into a constant longing for the lost/unatainable.

Author of four collections of poetry, Tirmazi’s work is a part of the curriculum in Punjabi language courses atChandigarghUniversity; his play on partition titled ‘A Lifetime on Tiptoes – Healing the Wounds of Partition’ has been performed/read in English, Wellish and Punjabi inIndia,PakistanandUK. He is a recipient of the British parliamentary award ‘Punjabis inBritain’ that recognizes poetic acumen, linguistic ability and promotion of Punjabi culture. And most important, Tirmazi is the author of a beautiful and popular song ‘UmraN LangiaN PabaN Bhaar’ (a lifetime on tiptoes).

His published work includes ‘Jag da Sufna’ (dream of awakening), ‘Thandi Bhubal’ (cold ashes), ‘Kaya Kagad’ (1998) and ‘Dooja Hath Sawali’ (2001). His poetry also features inKingsCollegeanthology ‘Mother Tongues’, and in a collection of underground poems titled ‘Waiting Room’.

Tirmazi has worked as a journalist inLondonfor Urdu-English bilingual daily newspaper Awaaz International and Akbar Wattan, and has organized conferences to promote Punjabi language inBritainandAustralia.