International Translation Day: Translated Works From Indian Languages That You Must Read

International translation day

India is a land of many languages, each language is unique and spoken is spoken in various parts of the country. We in India, have a vast variety of literature associated with our regional languages. The topics are diverse and the books give us glimpses into the regions from which they originate. On International Translation Day, here are a few translated books that you must read.

Poonachi by Perumal Murugan

Originally written in Tamil, the book has been translated by N.Kalyan Raman. ‘Poonachi’ is a funny and warm tale of a black orphan goat who lives a life tethered a rope. The story follows her from forest to habitation, independence to motherhood and traces the trajectory of Poonachi’s fight for survival. ‘Poonachi’ highlights the profound truths of our unequal world.

Jasmine Days by Benyamin

Originally written in Malayalam, the book has been translated by Shahnaz Habib. This is the story of a young Radio Jockey Sameera Parvin who immigrates to an unnamed city in the Middle East from Pakistan where she tells the story of the Arab Spring of 2011. Her seemingly shiny world starts to fall apart with the revolution and people’s agitation due to which she is forced to choose between life and death.

The Complete Short Stories by Munshi Premchand

Munshi Premchand is widely regarded as the greatest Hindi writer of the twentieth century. He wrote some 300 short stories. This massive 4 volume collection consists of some of his short stories, translated by M. Asaduddin. This volume features several stories not hitherto available either in Hindi or Urdu.

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The Unseeing Idol of Light by K.R. Meera

This book was originally written in Malayalam a decade ago. The book has been translated by Ministhy S. It is a dark tale that brilliantly explores love, loss, blindness, perception and suffering. Meera projects a haunting world where nothing is certain, no love is the same. The story follows Prakash, whose pregnant wife disappears mysteriously leaving him in a state of agony. Now a blind man, Prakash wants to settle with Rajani, but denies the love she craves since his heart is still unable to dispel the love for Deepti.

There’s Gunpowder in the Air by Manoranjan Byapari

This book has originally written in Bangla, it has been translated by Arunava Sinha. The book is set in the early 70s when the Naxalbari Movement is gathering strength in Bengal. At a time when protesting men are being arrested and some are shot openly by the government, five Naxals are meticulously planning a jailbreak to continue the revolution in full swing.

Cobalt Blue by Sachin Kundalkar

Cobalt Blue is the first novel by Marathi writer and an award-winning film director Sachin Kundalkar. It has been translated by Jerry Pinto. The book revolves around a Marathi family and a paying guest who comes to live with them. He pays his rent on time and is always ready to help. Both brother and sister fall in love with him, which shatters the traditional family.


Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag

Ghachar Ghochar is the first work by Vivek Shanbhag to be translated into English. originally written in Kannada, it has been translated by Srinath Perur. This book is about a family who becomes rich after the uncle starts a successful spice company. They move from a small ant-infested shack to a spacious bungalow on the other side of Bangalore. As they begin to adjust to their new lifestyle, the entire family dynamic changes- everything is ghachar ghochar, or a hotchpotch. This book shows that the consequences of untimely and unexpected success can be humorous, playful, and suspenseful.

The Fakir by Sunil Gangopadhyay

This work originally written in Bengali has been translated by Monabi Mitra. The Fakir is a fictional adaptation that tells of the legends of the Bengali mystic Lalan Fakir, who united people of all communities with his songs that teach love and humanity. He is considered an outcast by both the Hindu and Muslim communities. It is a simple tale of a man who attempts to create a better society despite not having any formal education.

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