Darjeeling — A group of 30 people translated 8 short stories written by father of Indian Nepali language who died in March 2018. The 3-day translation workshop christened “Indra Bahadur Rai and Translation: Taking Indra Bahadur Rai Beyond Nepali” was first one of its kind.
The workshop was organised by the Translation Centre of Salesian College Sonada and Siliguri which has several publications to its credit.
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.”
The translators hailed from Siliguri, Sonada, Darjeeling, New Delhi, Kurseong and Sikkim and participated in the 3-day workshop, from 15 to 17 November 2018.
Divided into 8 groups of 3 each, the students, and faculty translated into Bengali and English languages the following stories: Ghasi Sanga (With the Grass Cutter) which portrays the duality of the lives of the writer in contrast to that of a grass cutter.
Other popular stories translated are: Kathputali Ko Mann (Conscience of a Puppet); Bagh (Tiger) which deals with the lurking psychological fear of extra-marital affairs; Maharodan (The Weeping) narrates people’s perception of why a woman is crying; Agan Ko Ghaam Ma Laata (Fool in the Midday Sun) describes a fool who comes by author’s house and his perception of the fool’s disposition; Janti (Wedding Procession) narrates the adventures of groom’s party while accompanying the bride to her new home; and Viswa Timra Charanoma (World at your feet) narrates author’s visit to a super market to buy a shoelace.
Mithak Maatra (Only Myth) which talks about how older generation must make way for the new generation to survive amicably is the ony story translated into three languages – Bengali, English and Mizo.
Convenor of Nepali language translation at Sahitya Academy New Delhi Dr. Jiwan Namdung visited and encouraged the translators on the second and third day.
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.