He had translated the Bhagawad Gita and Kautilya’s Arthshastra into Urdu, but first mastering enough Sanskrit to read the works in the original. For me, oneof the most memorable moments of our friendship came one bitterly cold afternoon. The sun was streaming through the bay window in his son’s living room, its light reflecting on the snow piled shoulder-high outside, as he read his translation of Shakespeare’s “Anthony and Cleopatra”, with me following the text in English. The scene described the intrigues and jealousies inside Cleopatra’s palace, and he could recite most of it just from his phenomenal memory. The Urdu vocabulary is not only more colourful and versatile, but its idioms are far more effective for describing the banter of slave girls in a harem.
Link via Urdu Ke Naam.