English Transference of Hindustani: a Pragmatic-Stylistic Study of Gulzar’s Poetry

Pallavi Kiran

Senior Research Fellow, Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines), Dhanbad, Jharkhand.E-mail:

 Volume 10, Number 1, 2018 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v10n1.10

Received September 27, 2017; Revised December 11, 2017; Accepted December 30, 2017; Published February 04, 2018.


Gulzar (Sampooran Singh Kalra) is a contemporary Indian poet versing in Hindustani. Emerged during the 14th century, Hindustani came from the Deccan representing the mix of Hindi and Urdu. It soon became a literary language and poetic communication through the Hindi-Urdu format appealed to every reader. Similarly, Gulzar makes poetry out of Hindustani colloquial speech that strikes the head and heart of the listener. However, is it the same when transferred into English? To find out the aesthetic effect of Gulzar’s poetry, the present study selects two poems randomly with their English translation by J. P. Das and Rina Singh. The original and the translation are compared through a pragmatic and stylistic approach. The approach helps to locate the loss in translation without overanalysing. The study effectively brings out how the translators capture the allusiveness of Hindustani in English and makes the target readers feel the same aesthetics.

Keywords: Gulzar’s poetry, Hindustani language, English translation, Pragmatic analysis, Equivalence or loss.