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Monday, April 25, 2011

Loot aur Anya Kahaniyan

A collection of tales by Nadine Gordmer translated into Hindi and brought to us philistines by Harper Hindi

I was extremely excited about reading a Hindi book after such a long time. Many a times I have tried picking a few translations but have been put off by the daunting prospect of reading translations, which totally lack the original flavour.

My fears were err true.

To my horror I couldn't follow what I was reading. For a Hindi speaking person, it was scary and my deepest fear come true. The last when I tried writing Hindi 8 years ago, my hands were shaking. 4 years ago when I tried translating official Hindi, I failed miserably.

I thought I have forgotten my perfect Hindi- I could easily translate difficult sounding words into Hindi with great aplomb.

It was only after I started teaching Hindi to the kids, my comfort level came back.

After reading Loot- I am totally disillusioned with my abilites. Or perhaps the level of the language has moved up and I have failed to catch up.

After spending the first few chapters in self doubt I relaxed and thought about it.

I recalled that Premchand's and other renowed Hindi writers' stories were a breeze to follow- so lucid that their abridged versions were part of our text books.

I wish this book was translated in a similar manner. Perhaps it would have been easy to follow had the writing been in English. But translated to Hindi, it became too difficult for me to absorb and cope up with the high speak.

Loot has a total of 10 stories- each one unique and depicting modern era, its avarice, the mindset of people, modern nostalgia, going back to the roots, returning to complete unfinished work. The stories have a twist i the end that leaves one thinking. I wish I could read an english version to appreciate the true meaning.

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