Vijay Kumar Abrol, (Hindi: विजय कुमार अबरोल ), better known by his pen name Zahid Abrol (जाहिद अबरोल ), is a well-versed Indian Urdu poet. He has done 'the first-ever Urdu translation' of the 12th century Sufi-poet Baba Farid’s shlokas and shabads and that too in verse.
Zahid Abrol was born on 20 December 1950, in a Hindu Khatri family, to Mul Raj Abrol and Bimla Devi, in Chamba, Himachal Pradesh, India. He did MSc in Physics from Panjab University, Chandigarh, Punjab (India). He picked up Urdu after leaving college for the love of Urdu poetry. He started learning Urdu in 1971 and became the author of his two poetry collections in the next 15 years.
'Andha Khuda' was his first collection published in 1978 followed by 'Ek Saf-ha Purnam' in 1986. His recent publication is the poetic translated version – 'Faridnama' – exhibits the original Gurmukhi version, its Roman transcript, Urdu translation in verse in Urdu and Devnagari scripts in a well produced volume and has won accolades from experts. This way he has reproduced tributes paid to Sheikh Baba Farid's poetry in all the three languages.
In his recent work ‘Faridnama’, Zahid Abrol has rendered the poetic translation of Farid bani into Urdu and presented it in both Urdu and Devnagri scripts. This is remarkably a great achievement as in the process, he has not deviated from the tenor and texture of the original composition. At some places, the Punjabi verses of Baba Farid defy attempts at easy comprehension and facile understanding. These require deep knowledge of the syntax of Punjabi language, rural imagery, concept of Sufi order, metaphysical metaphors and pithiness of expression. It is not possible for a devout reader to comprehend the meanings without bringing about a qualitative change in the atmosphere of his mind. On his part, Zahid Abrol has disciplined his mind thoroughly so as to remain within the bounds of close textual reading. He appears to have completely identified himself with the philosophy contained in the original work. It is very rare that a classic is translated in another language by retaining its linguistic pattern dexterously. This can happen only when the mind of the translator is fully attuned to the symphony of the original poetic diction. The words emerged from the inner recesses of his mind and took the form of rhyming verses in his work Faridnama; angels dictate him when he takes pen in his hands. Faridnama is indeed a marvel in translation.
Zahid Abrol is a Bank Manager by profession. He is married to Professor Rita Abrol and they currently reside at Una, Himachal Pradesh. They have one son (Anees Abrol) and two daughters (Neha Abrol and Rabia Abrol). Being a hard-core secularist, he has named his son 'Anees' and daughter 'Rabia'. "I like the poetry of Mir Anees, so I named my son after him. Why not name our children like that, why can’t Kulsum be called Kusum and vice-versa?", he asks. He also feels that if the poems of Dr Iqbal are introduced in Hindi textbooks for children, it would bring the next generations closer. My job does not give me a lot of spare time, so it took me two years to complete the translation of these shlokas and shabads all of which are a part of the Guru Granth Sahib", he said.