Sonada — A hill college in Darjeeling has started the translation of short stories written by father of Indian Nepali language who died in March 2018. The 3-day translation workshop is christened “Indra Bahadur Rai and Translation: Taking Indra Bahadur Rai Beyond Nepali.”
The workshop is organised by the Translation Centre of Salesian College.
Explaining the reason for this effort by Salesian College Sonada, Principal Dr George Thadathil says, “We, as an educational institution would like to offer Mr Rai’s literary legacy beyond the hills.”
Several students aspiring to be translators from Siliguri (6), Sonada (3), and a total of 21 translators and faculty from Darjeeling, Delhi, Kurseong and Sikkim are participating in the 3-day workshop, from 15 to 17 November 2018.
Divided into 8 groups of 3 each, the students, faculty and translators will translate 8 short stories of I.B. Rai into English, Bengali as well as one story into Mizo language.
Luminaries present at the inaugural session included chief resource person Salesian College alumnus (1972 batch) Dr. A. J. Thomas an Indian poet writing in English and acclaimed translator of poetry, fiction, drama and non-fiction prose from his mother tongue Malayalam, the language of Kerala. He is also editor of Indian Literature, the 200-page bimonthly English journal of Sahitya Akademi, (The National Academy of Letters, India).
Other literary figures included HoD Nepali language of Government College Darjeeling, Ms Sujata Rani Rai and veteran litterateur of the hills former Principal of Shantirani High School and President of Sonada Sahitya Sanstha Mr Uday Gorkha Subba.
Born in the Balasun valley of parents hailing from Eastern Nepal Mr I.B. Rai was one of the most prominent and best known writers in the Nepali language. He is the author of 13 books—apart from the novel Aaja Ramita Chha—spanning the genres of short fiction, memoir, literary criticism and drama.
He is credited with introducing fresh modernist aesthetics of the ‘Tesro Aayam’ (third dimension), as theory and in practice to Nepali literature, and also played a major role in having the Nepali language officially recognized by the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution, in 1992.
Mr Rai is also the recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Jagadamba Shree Puraskar and the Agam Singh Giri Smriti Puraskar.