Tag Archives: Gulzar

The Week in Literature and Translation [Jan 9-15, 2015]



  • Classical singer Soma Ghosh will sing Meena Kumari’s poetry
  • A new quarterly Nepali lit mag will begin publishing, this April
  • I’m looking forward to Pascal Zynck’s translation of Bangladeshi writer Selina Hussain’s Hangor, Nodi, Grenade. This was one of Satyajit Ray’s favourite stories.
  • I came across a fun historical serialised account of the history of Cellular Jail in the Andaman Islands, by historian Francis Xavier Neelam, in the Andaman Sheekha.
  • Arunava Sinha posted a translation of Tunnu’s Computer – a poem by Debarati Mitra
  • Listen to Zia Mohyeddin, Pakistan’s grand man of stage and screen, recite Faiz and Manto
  • A new commentary on Ghalib’s rejected verses:emotion & its expression
  • Prajwal Parajuly’s The Gurkha’s Daughter, published in 2013 will get a Nepali translation this week, published by Nepalaya.


Columns and Articles

  • Via P Sainath’s fantastic rural reporting venture, the PARI network, here’s an account of P.V. Chinnathambi library: “in the middle of the forested wilderness of Kerala’s Idukki district, the library’s 160-books — all classics — are regularly borrowed, read, and returned by poor, Muthavan adivasis.”
  • Charles Chasie’s article documents the history of Nagaland through its rich literary traditions
  • Marcy Newman, American literature teacher, is surprised at the lack of Indian lit in school syllabi
  • Reports from a seminar that touched on ‘protest poetry’ in Kashmir
  • India Spend explains why Indians are losing out on Libraries (by Subadra Ramakrishnan)
  • A year after fierce Marathi poet Namdeo Dhasal died, the storms continue to rage


  • Khalid Fayaz Mir’s review of Mirza Waheed’s The Book of Gold Leaves praises its quality of huzn or melancholy.



  • The Sahitya Akademi has finally announced the 2014 Sanskrit award: Prabhu Nath Dwivedi for “Kanakalochanaha”. Here’s a quick overview of the awards and profiles of the winners, for 2014: Parts I and II.
  • This year’s TOTO awards for creative writing were announced: for English, Kaushik Viswanath from Chennai and Mohit Parikh from Jaipur, and for Kannada, Moulya M. from Mysore.
  • Telugu novelist Dr. Adharapurapu Tejovathy was selected for the Spoorthi Award.
  • Here’s the list of winners for the Konkani Sahitya Akademi awards.
  • In Kashmir, a new annual award “Sharf-e-Nadim” has been instituted for the best Na’atkhawan poet of the state in honour of Abdul AhadNadim
  • Submissions For 2015 Dhahan Prize For Punjabi Literature are now open
  • The Tulu Sahitya Akademi awards were announced, and amongst the winners is centenarian and folklorist Gerthila Devu Poojary
  • Hindi writer Kamal Kishore Goyanka was selected for the Vyas Samman award.
  • Iqbal Sayeedi won the Mathias Family Kavita Puraskar 2014.


  • Tamil writer Perumal Murugan says he won’t write anymore, withdraws his books after protests from right-wing groups and casteist bodies. Outrageous. #NaanPerumalMurugan
  • Ramesh Chandra Shah, this year’s Sahitya Akademi winner for Hindi, on his inspirations
  • Gopal Das “Neeraj”, poet and songwriter, turns 90
  • Yese Dorji Thongshi, Assamese poet, says “literature is only way to strengthen brotherhood among the people”
  • An obituary for feminist, critic, writer and professor JasodharaBagchi
  • This article calls Suryadevara Rammohan Rao “Telugu’s Paulo Coelho”
  • Urdu poet Pirzada Ashique Keranvi died at the age of 80.


  • Will Amazon Prime come to India later this year?
  • What is the reason behind low ebook sales in India? Is it the lack of price differentials with print books?Publishers explain.
  • The Kannada Book Authority plans to revive the ‘reading culture’ by constituting book clubs in schools
  • The Centre constituted a High Level Committee to survey and collect data related to the present status of Urdu
  • Notes on the designing of the Murty Classical Library (rose and gold)
  • Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy donated 280 Konkani books worth Rs 26,500 to Mangalore University
  • Is digital publishing destroying the Hindi pulp novel?
  • The District Administration in Belagavi, Maharashtra, wants to ban this play.
  • A new Telugu e-book store, already has 300 e-books for free
  • Tired of waiting for govt funds, this Marathi literature academy  will raise money independently.
  • In Shahdara, Gautam Book Centre, a bookshop devoted to Dalit literature, soldiers on
  • Surendra Mohan Pathak’s Hindi novel Colaba Conspiracy was India’s most popular book last year.
  • Ahmedabad’s MJ library plans to publish ten popular Gujarati novels as ebooks.
  • Snigdha Poonam lists five Hindi books to look out for, this year


  • The 2nd edition of a two-day children’s literary carnival begins Friday at the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum
  • The Hyderabad Literary Festival (HLF)  2015 will be held from January 23 to 26,
  • The third World Telugu Writers’ Convention will be held in Vijaywada on February 21- 22
  • The eighth All-India Urdu Book Fair in Kolkata, Jan 9
  • At Stella Maris, a seminar on Telugu women writers evaluates their contributions
  • A report from the 3rd edition of Kavita Fest, in Barkur, Karnataka
  • Remember when Kashmir’s litfest, Harud, was cancelled? It’s back.

The Week In Literature and Translation [23rd-29th October, 2014]


  • Malayalam writer Sethu’s collection of short stories, A Guest for Arundhathi and Other Stories has been translated to English by K Kunhikrishnan and published by Palimpsest Publishing House. [Amazon]
  • Penguin has published The Taste of Words, An Introduction to Urdu Poetry, which has been edited and translated by Mir Ali Raza and introduced by Gulzar. [Penguin]
  • Amit Chaudhuri’s new book, Odysseus Abroad has been published. [Penguin]
  • Urdu writer Shahnawaz Zaidi’s poetry volume, The Meaning of Art, has been translated into English [Daily Times]
  • An excerpt from Zafar Anjum’s new book, Iqbal. [Kitaab]
  • Narendranath Mitra’s short story, Ras [The Caravan]
  • An excerpt from Avtar Singh’s English novel, Necropolis [The Medium]
  • Penguin has released the cover of Shamsur Rahman Faruqi’s new book, The Sun That Rose from the Earth [Penguin’s Twitter]


Columns and Articles

  • Somak Ghoshal in Livemint says its been a good year for erotic writing from India, and reviews some of the latest books. [Livemint]
  • Elen Turner’s article, “Indian Feminist Publishing and the Sexual Subaltern” in Rupkatha journal is available online.
  • Amir Suhail Wani writes on poetry and purpose in Urdu, with reference to poets Altaf Husssain Haali Allama Iqbal and Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki [Greater Kashmir]
  • Aakar Patel has a theory about why two Indian books- Neel Mukherjee’s The Lives of Others, and Naipaul’s A Bend in the River, were not given the Booker. [Livemint]


  • Alice Albinia reviews writer Mirza Waheed’s debut novel, The Book of Gold Leaves in the Financial Times [FT]
  • A review of The Taste of Words, An Introduction to Urdu Poetry edited by Mir Ali Raza, in Outlook. [Outlook]
  • Bijal Vaccharani reviews Anushka Ravisankar and Priya Sundram’s ‘Captain Coconut & The Case of the Missing Bananas’ [The Alternative]
  • Joanna Lobo reviews Sunil Gangopadhyay’s collection of short stories, Primal Woman, translated from the Bengali by Aruna Chakravarty [DNA]
  • Mathangi Subramaniam reviews Sri Lankan writer Rohini Mohan’s The Seasons of Trouble [Aerogram]



  • The longlist for the 2014 DSC Prize is out. Elen at the South Asia Book Blog expressed some disappointment with the selection.
  • Writer Prafulla Das won the 2014 Sarala Award for writing in Odia. [Orissa Diary]
  • The All India Konkani Writers’ Organization (AIKWO) has announced awards for the most promising books in Konkani, in the Roman and Kannada scripts – Willy Goes for Kotrin and Pio Fernandes for Tujea Moga Khati [TOI]
  • KR Meera won the 38th Vayalar Rama Varma Memorial Literary Award for 2014. [ToI on the ceremony, Madhyamam on the award]


  • The Kannada Book Authority, which has been dormant for four years, awoke and ordered 1,781 for 2010. A small attempt at attacking their backlog.[Bangalore Mirror]
  • The Odia Sahitya Akademi celebrated writer and dramatist Pranabandhu Kar’s centenary last week. [TNIE]
  • Scholars ask for a celebration to remember Assamese writer Padmanath Gohain Baruah [Assam Tribune]
  • The Kannada Sahitya Akademi is unable to agree on a location for their next annual sammelan. [TNIE] Could it be Gulbarga? [The Hindu]
  • An event to remember Bengali writer Jibananda Das was held in Barisal, in Bangladesh. [Daily Star]
  • An event to remember UR Ananthamurthy, Kannad writer, will be held in Mysore [The Hindu]
  • In Guwahati, a day long seminar to remember writer Dr Biren Bhattacharya [Assam Tribune]
  • Odia writer Manoj Das returned the money he received from the scam-hit Seashore Group, for advisory work on their magazine. [Indian Express]
  • In a gesture of decency, pulp writer Chetan Bhagat has expressed the intention of ceasing to write books. [DNA]
  • Vote for the 25 books that influenced world literature on WLT – on the list, Ambai’s In a Forest, a Deer; Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things. [WLT]
  • Assamese writer Aruni Kashyap is interviewed by Khaleej Times, talks about living in the middle of armed occupation and insurgency in Assam: “We lived in this normalised sense of fear.” [Khaleej Times]
  • In TimeOut Mumbai, an interview with Bengali writer and translator, Arunava Sinha [TimeOut]
  • Ziya us Salaam on meeting Punjabi writer Ajeet Cour [The Hindu]
  • Abhijit Nikam has a library on wheels, in Pune. [Pune Mirror]
  • The Government of India’s e-Bhasha platform, which will develop Indic language content, will be rolled out in 2 months [Medianama]
  • Harper Collins has upped royalties for online books sales [HarperCollins]


  • Penguin Annual Lecture | November 12 | Mumbai | Poster [Dan Brown is such a bizarre choice]
  • Tata Lit Live | Mumbai | October 30-Nov 2nd | Event website
  • Q Fest | Mumbai | November 9 | Web page
  • Sharjah International Book Fair | Sharjah, UAE | November 5-15, 2014 | Gulf Today (lots of Indian writers will be there)
  • ‘Global Tulu Festival | December 12th, 2014 | Bangalore | The Hindu


The Week in Literature and Translation [18-25th September 2014]

New Books, Publications and Translations

Ghaus Siwani has published a set of Urdu translations of Persian poetry, Do Atisha (‘The Cocktail’). He leaves out Ghalib and Iqbal, but brings in a number of lesser-known poets, including Hafiz Shirazi, Urfi Shirazi, Sa’eb Tabrezi and Abdul Qadir Bedil.

The Kannada literature journal, Aniketana, is back. It used to be published by the Kannada Sahitya Akademi till about six years back, when it was discontinued. A new issue, with the theme, ‘Rural Consciousness in Kannada literature’ is out. The editors have also promised to bring out compilations to cover the six years when the journal was not in publication.

The Hindustani Academy, based in Allahabad, has begun to re-publish rare pre-Independence books in Hindi and Urdu. They’ve begun with a tract on Raja Bhog, by ‘Sameer’ (Ramagya Dwivedi), and will follow it up with ‘Awadh Kosh’ (1934) and ‘Prayag Pradeep’ (1937). The latter, by Shaligram Srivastava is a history of Awadh, and the former, a socio-geographical study of the region.

Mid-Day has published a fascinating account of ‘Dor Mhoineachi Rotti’ (Our Daily Bread), a Konkani journal for Jesuits that has been published since it was founded in 1915.

Sathya Saran has a new biography out (in Hindi) on the life of composer SD Burman, titled ‘Sun Mere Bandhu Re’ (Listen, my brother).

Poet and lyricist Gulzar has published a biography of Urdu poet Ghalib.

Amitav Ghosh has published, on his blog, his introduction to Vedica Kant’s book on India and WWI – ‘If I Die Here, Who Will Remember Me?’

Bengali translator Arunava Sinha often posts short English translations of Bengali fiction and poetry on his blog. If you’re not on the mailing list ,sign up at once!

Columns, Reviews and Criticism

Zac O’Yeah writes in Livemint on the rise in true crime accounts in India.

Jabeen Akhtar writes in the LARB on South Asian literature, and pandering to Western audiences. It met this comment:

Mahmood Awan on reading English translations of work by Punjabi poet Amarjit Chandan.

Dr Malini Goswami of Gauhati University spoke at an event on the continuing relevance of Ramayani literature, in Assam.

Poet and blogger Sridala Swami has a new column at The Daily O, titled ‘The Sideways Door’, which will focus on poetry. Let’s hope it means more Indian, and translated poetry, too.

Rohit Chopra at Scroll says more Indians are writing in English, and in a narrower range of sentiment and voice.

In Outlook, Smita Tewari Jassal reviews Navtej Sarna’s travelogue, ‘Indians at Herod’s Gate’ (in English).

Vikhar Ahmad Sayeed has a lovely obituary for UR Ananthamurthy, the Kannada writer who passed away recently, in Frontline.

Kuldeep Kumar reviews Rakshanda Jalil’s biography of Urdu writer Rashid Jahan.

Sunanda K Datta-Ray reviews David Omissi’s collection of WWI letters from Indian soldiers, many of which were translated from Urdu.

News: Awards, Events, Publishing, People

The Akkiraju Ramaiah Pantulua Award, for literature in Telugu, has been given to Chadlavada Lakshmi Narasimha Rao. The event also saw the release of a book of Telugu poetry by Dr.Akkiraju Sundara Ramakrishna.

The biggest prize for Punjabi literature, the Dhahan Award, has gone to Canada-based writer, Avtar Singh Billing for his  novel Khali Khoohaan di Katha (The Tale of Empty Wells).

Malayalam novelist C V Balakrishnan will receive the Padmaprabha literary award for his contributions to literature.

Hindi novelist Govind Mishra will receive the ‘Saraswati Samman’ award for his novel, ‘Dhool Paudhon Par’ (Dust on the Branches).

The World Sanskrit Conference will be hosted in Uttarakhand tomorrow (26th September 2014). 400 Indian Sanskrit scholars will be attending.

Arunima Mazumdar reports in Livemint on a new series of lectures in Delhi on Urdu writing, hosted by Rakshanda Jalil.

The University of Western Sydney has announced a program that will bring together First Nations (?)/Aboriginal writing from Australia and bhasha/Dalit literature from India.

In Bangalore, on September 28, there will be a performance of music and reading in honour of poet Amir Khusrau.

Nayyar Jahan Siddiqui, who wrote a seminal study of Urdu poetry Ahmad Faraz, will receive a posthumous honorary doctorate from Nagpur University.

SAARC plans to set up a massive digital library for literature from SAARC countries.

In Hyderabad, a troupe has been performing protest poetry in Hindi, by poet Sudama Panday Dhoomil.

Outlook’s gossip blog, Bibliofile, reports that Ravi Singh of Aleph Book Company will team up with FEEL Books to bring out a new imprint that may be called Flying Tiger (or Speaking Tiger). There aren’t any details on what this imprint will publish.

Marathi poet Shankar Vaidya passed away following an illness.

Playwright Girish Karnad is in court, following allegations of plagiarism by author Gopala Vajpayee. Apparently Karnad used a song written by Vajpayee in one of his plays, and failed to attribute or credit it.

The third edition of the Bangalore Lit Fest will begin next week. The sessions on Kannada literature look rather interesting.