The works of one of the subcontinent's
best-known fiction writers Ibne Safi, who had a cult following
including the likes of Agatha Christie, will now be available in
Safi's "Jasoosi Duniya" is a dysfunctional
world of titanic villains, mad-genius detectives, and alluring femme
fatales and a series spanning 125 novels published between 1952 and
Four titles -- "Poisoned Arrow", "Smokewater",
"The Laughing Corpse" and "Doctor Dread" -- translated by Urdu
scholar Shamsur Rahman Faruqi and released here by Safi's son, Ahmad
Safi, have been brought out by Blaft Publications and Westland.
Agatha Christie once said of Safi, "I don't
know Urdu, but have knowledge of detective novels in the
sub-continent. There is only one original writer -- Ibne Safi." His
"Jasoosi Duniya" and "Imran" series have brought him fame as a
writer of crime and detective stories.
Translating Safi's works was both easy and
difficult for Faruqi.
"It was easy in the sense that there was no
complexity in Safi's writings. But translating the Urdu humour which
he used so often and the cultural aspects were difficult," Faruqi
"My basic aim was to keep the language
correct," he said.
According to Ahmad Safi, Faruqi has done a
"Translating Ibne Safi was a challenging
job because of the frequent use of Urdu couplets and wry humour.
"I hope this effort will bring all of us
closer to my father. This is a great step and will help in bringing
to the forefront his works and also address a large audience that
was previously alien to my father's writings," he said.
According to Westland CEO Gautam
Padmanabhan, Safi continues to have a strong fan following among
Urdu readers and these translations will make his works available to
a larger audience across the country.
"The choice of publishing Ibne Safi's works
was due to a co-publishing arrangement we have entered into with
Blaft. They earlier published the very successful anthology of Tamil
pulp fiction and based on its success started scouting for pulp
fiction in other languages as well," Padmanabhan said.
"We would first like to see how these four
titles perform in the market. Depending on their success and in
consultation with Blaft, we would certainly look at translating more
titles. Ibne Safi was very prolific and there are more than 120
novels to choose from for the future," he said.