Translated from Urdu by Musharraf Ali Farooqi
The experts from the Turkish Historical Society detailed on a secret mission dug up his grave and took away the skull. After the inspection and measurement of the frontal, parietal and temporal bones; the zygomatic arch, the nose bridge and other bones, it was proved that he was of Turkic race. Since the Armenian, Greek, and Albanian experts were not part of this exercise, the claim of these races on Sinân remains unrefuted. His faith, which could not be determined by the shape of the skull or any other bone, hangs between the contradictory traditions associated with Sinân. The numerous palaces, infirmaries, bathhouses, kervansarais, the civil and military bridges, and the aqueducts constructed by him are rightfully exempt from identifying his race and faith. But a god’s eighty-four large and fifty-one small temples spread over the length and breadth of the sultanate were also a testament to his craft. He was buried according to the Sultan’s faith. He received a simple cenotaph.
~ Afzal Ahmed Syed
Afzal Ahmed Syed’s selected poetry “Rococo and Other Worlds” was published in Musharraf Ali Farooqi’s translation by the Wesleyan University Press Poetry Series in 2010. His collected poetry in translation will be published by Yoda Press in 2013-2014. He has translated works by a number of Eastern European poets, as well as Gabriel García Marquez, Jean Genet, William Saroyan, and Jonathan Treitel. Find out more about Syed here.
Translator’s Bio: Musharraf Ali Farooqi is a critically-acclaimed author, novelist and translator. His recent works include the novels “Between Clay and Dust”, “The Story of a Widow”, an illustrated book “Rabbit Rap: A Fable for the 21st Century”, and the translations of Indo-Islamic epics “The Adventures of Amir Hamza and Hoshruba”. More information about the author is available on his website.
Featured Artwork by Emaan Mahmud.