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Ajai Mansingh

“I felt blessed with cosmic bliss. I could see nothing but unity in the world – one source, one unity, pure divine bliss, not man made,” Ajai Mansingh (1931-2011). This poetic imagination may have been inherited by Ajai from Raghupati Sahai – ‘Firaq Gorakhpuri’, who was his mother’s eldest brother. Ajai was passionate about Indian heritage and culture and dedicated 40 years to promoting an awareness of these in the Caribbean. His most extensive work in this area, the book- Home Away From Home: 150 Years of Indian Presence in Jamaica which he co-authored with his wife, Laxmi Mansingh, received the National Trust of Jamaica Award for a heritage publication. On 2 October 1992, the Jamaica Council for Interfaith Fellowship was founded, with signatories from the Jamaican Council of Churches and the Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Bahai, and Rastafarian communities. He served as its secretary for over 15 years. Professor Ajai Mansingh studied Urdu during his school years and had a keen interest in Urdu poets and poetry. The biography of his ‘bade mama’ is based on his personal experiences with him as much as family and written history on this great Urdu Poet.

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