LiteratureSindhis Beyond Sindh

Homage to great poet and scholar Prof. Kalyan Advani

Prof. Kalyan Advani was born on Dec.10, 1911 at Hyderabad Sindh

His critical works on the trinity of Sindhi classical poets Shah, Sachal and Sami are a testimony to such scholarship.

Late Prof. Kalyan Advani was a great scholar and poet of Sindhi language. His knowledge of Sindhi, Persian and English languages was superb.  He was also a great research scholar.  His critical works on the trinity of Sindhi classical poets Shah, Sachal and Sami are a testimony to such scholarship. His monumental work is the compilation of poetry of great Sindhi poet Shah Latif with annotation and erudite comprehensive introduction of the poet. His work “Shah-Jo-Risalo” is an extra-ordinary contribution to Sindhi language, which won an award for the author – the coveted Sahitya Akademi Award.  For this work, he was also bestowed gold medals and honors from many other literary associations of India.

Prof. Kalyan Advani was born on 10 December 1911 at Hyderabad, Sindh. His father’s name was Bulchand Ajumal Advani. He studied at D.G. National College Hyderabad (Now Government College University). After receiving a master’s degree from the college in English and Persian literature, he joined the same college as a lecturer. After retirement of the eminent educationist and writer Jethmal Parsram in 1942, he was elevated as Head of the Sindhi Department. After the partition of the subcontinent, he migrated to India in 1948 and joined Jai Hind College Bombay (now Mumbai). There, he retired as a Professor of English and Persian in 1976. In India, he permanently lived at Sindhi Colony, Water Field Road, Bandra (W) Mumbai.

LITERARY CONTRIBUTIONS

Kalyan Advani started his literary activities when he was a college student. He used to contribute articles to the college magazine Phuleli. After joining as a lecturer, he started a magazine Latifi Bari (لطيفي ٻاري), named after the great saint and poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai. He regularly contributed to the well-known literary magazines Sindhu, Latifi Bari, and others. The main focus of his articles was the poetry of Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai and other Sufi poets.

His first award-winning literary contribution came in 1946. This was the translation of Kalidasa’s drama Shakuntala into Sindhi Language. In 1951, his book “Shah” was published. This book covered various aspects of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai’s poetry. This was followed by similar work on Sachal (1953) and Sami (1954). His most praiseworthy and most significant work was “Shah Jo Risalo” which appeared in 1958. In this Risalo, he has given the meaning of difficult words, explanation of every verse, and has told the background story of every dastaan (Chapter).

Kalyan Advani was a poet himself. His poetry collection Raz-o-Niaz was published in 1960. His two English monograms, “Shah Latif” and “Sachal Sarmast” were published in 1970 and 1971, respectively. In 1973, he published a translation of Deewan Muhiuddin from Persian to Sindhi.

In 1970, he was part of the Indian delegation of writers to France, sent by the Government of India. He was a member of Sindhi Advisory Board of the prestigious Sahitya Academy and a member of the Board of Studies of Sindhi departments of Mumbai and Pune University.

He was a member of Sindhi Advisory Board of prestigious Sahitya Akademi, Government of India.

AWARD WINNING WORKS

Prof. Advani’s first Award Winning Publication was Sindhi version of Kalidasa’s masterpiece ‘Shakuntala’. His critical work on ‘Shah Latif’ in 1951, ‘Sami’ in 1953 and ‘Sachal’ in 1954 (Trinity of Sindhi Poets) were acclaimed and preserved in libraries and other literary circles. His major contribution to Sindhi literature was compilation of ‘Shah-Jo-Rasalo’ in 1958, which was also declared as a masterpiece. ‘Raz-o-Niyaz’, compilation of poems in 1960, also became very popular. His publications, namely ‘Shah Latif’ and ‘Sachal Sarmast’ were published in English in 1970 and 1971 respectively by Sahitya Akademi, Ministry of HRD Government of India.

AWARDS

  • Gold Medal for his Publication ‘Shah-Jo-Rasalo’, 1958(At Mumbai by Sindhi Sahitya Mandal).
  • Gold Medal for the same Publication, 1967 (At Bangalore at Sindhi Sammelan).
  • Award for same Publication, 1966 (At New Delhi by Sahitya Akademi, Ministry of HRD Government of India).

In addition to the above, he had also received several other Awards/ Honors at various Sindhi Literary Forums.

NUMBER OF WORKS

Kalyan Advani’s total books are 21 in six languages. Most widely held works are – Shah Latif (Book). Its 9 editions were published between 1970 and 2017 in 4 languages and held by 66 WorldCat member libraries worldwide; Sachal (Book) – 7 editions published between 1971 and 1992 in English and Urdu and held by 55 WorldCat member libraries worldwide; Life and achievements of Sachal Sarmast -1739-1829, Sindhi poet; Sachala Sarmast jo chūnḍ kalām (Book) – 2 editions published between 1963 and 1979 in Sindhi and held by 8 WorldCat member libraries worldwide; Shāha jo Risālo : Shāha jā sabhaʼī sura sawli Sindhī samjhāṇīʼa sān (Book) – 1 edition published in 2007 in Sindhi and held by 6 WorldCat member libraries worldwide; Commentary on Sufi works of ʻShah Abdul Laṭīf – 1689-1752; Akhar paṛh Alaf jo: b̤āran lāʼi Shāh jī risāle mān chūnḍ kalām (Book) – 1 edition published in 2012 in Sindhi and held by 6 WorldCat member libraries worldwide; Sami (Book) – 1 edition published in 1990 in English and held by 5 WorldCat member libraries worldwide; Shāha jo Risālo (Book) -1 edition published in 2006 in Sindhi and held by 5 WorldCat member libraries worldwide; Short commentary with word meaning on the Sufi works Shah ʻAbdul Laṭīf – 1689- 1752; Bhiṭāʼīʼa jā chūnḍ Tashrīḥī Bait (Book) – 1 edition published in 2017 in Sindhi and held by 4 WorldCat member libraries worldwide; Short commentary with word meaning on the Sufi works Shah Abdul Laṭīf; Shāha jo Risālo: maʻná sān (Book) -1 edition published in 2005 in Sindhi and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide; Commentary on Sufi works of ʻShah Abdul Laṭīf; Sacala Saramast jo chūn̐ḍ kalām(Book) -1 edition published in 1970 in Sindhi and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide.

The distinguished poet, critique, and scholar of Sindhi language passed away on March 17, 1994 in Mumbai.

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Source: People Pill, Sindhi Sangat, WorldCat

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