Agha Shahid Ali's India: A Memory of Musk, the Rebel Face of Hope

By:
Dr. Syamala Kallury,
Dr. Anjana Neira Dev
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This paper will look at three dimensions of culture, in addition to religion, in the poetry of Agha Shahid Ali and try to arrive at an understanding of the nature of the poet’s attitudes towards his past and present milieu and his inheritance. The first dimension is that of the relationship of the writer to the past and to Indian culture with reference to rituals and traditions and the location of these in the poet’s familial environment. The next dimension is that of myths, legends and folklore. The focus will be on the use of mythology, made by the poet, which he recasts to reflect contemporary concerns and explore personal dilemmas. Finally, this paper will try and understand the role of religion in the life of the poet and the extent to which religious affiliation and belief impacts on his identity. Does the poet display an attitude of acceptance or does he use moribund practices as a tool of protest and in the spirit of reform.


Keywords: Indian English Poetry
Stream: Literature, Literary Studies
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Agha Shahid Ali's India


Dr. Syamala Kallury

Lecturer, Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences,, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
New Delhi, Delhi, India

I am a teacher of English in an educational institution that trains young men and women to become engineers. In addition to working in an inter-disciplinary department, my life's mission is also to bring the best of Telugu literature to a wider audience of readers and towards this end I have translated both poetry and fiction into English. I am also engaged in inculcating a love for their mother tongue, by encouraging them to read its literature, among my students.

Dr. Anjana Neira Dev

Reader, Dept. of English, 
Gargi College, Delhi University

New Delhi, Delhi, India

I teach in an undergraduate women's college and my areas of interest include literature and language as well as the pedagogy of teaching English especially to those for whom it is a second language. Having done my doctorate from the Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Delhi; my orientation to teaching is an inter-disciplinary one and I have a great interest in interacting with fellow academics from across the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Ref: H06P0528