Tag Archives: Sanskrit

The Fortnight in Literature and Translation (Feb 12-26 2015)

This is now going to become a fortnightly column, instead of weekly.


  • Two novellas by Urdu writer Ikramullah’s are out in an English translation by Faruq Hassan and Mohammad Umar Memon. The book, titled Regret, has been published by Penguin Random House India.
  • A selection of Urdu writer Ali Akbar Natiq’s short stories are out in an English translation titled, What Will You Give for This Beauty?The translation, by Musharraf Ali Farooqui, is published by Penguin Random House India.
  • The ninth and penultimate volume of Bibek Debroy’s magisterial translation of the Mahabharata is out.
  • Six volumes of literature from the Adil Shahi era are being published in Kannada translation, by Department of Kannada and Culture in Karnataka.
  • Nepali Madan Puraskar laureate Dinesh Adhikari’s book of poetry has been translated to Hindi
  • A three-volume Birinchi Kumar Barua Rachanawali was released in Guwahati
  • Wonderful news: the Dhaka Translation Centre plans the creation of a collection of translations titled the ‘Library of Bangladesh’
  • New publisher Speaking Tiger has its first three books out (all in English): Omair Ahmed’s novel, The Storyteller’s Tale, Mahesh Bhatt and Suhrita Sengupta’s novel/screenplay, All That Could Have Been, and a collection of essays by Ruskin Bond, A Book of Simple Living.
  • Punjabi poet Amarjit Chandan’s verses have been translated to Greek
  • Debut author Shweta Taneja talks about her upcoming book about ‘tantric detective’ Anantya. Conceptually, this sounds terrible. Hope it’s been executed well.
  • Television journalist Pooja Talwar talked about her upcoming novel “Bebbe Diaries” at the recent World Book Fair in New Delhi


Columns and Articles

  • Tisha Srivastav comments on the lack of variety in Indian publishing in a column for Scroll, titled, “A new dictionary of book classification in bookstores”
  • Mamta Sagar on the troubled genius of iconic Kannada writer Samsa
  • Asit Ranjan Mishra asks, How should we celebrate Indian classical languages? He concludes, “Forcing students to learn Sanskrit is not important for our future generation to appreciate the great heritage of this country, making it easily available in the language he or she wants to read it is.”
  • Anita Nair on three good Malayalam to English translations of Indian fiction last year.
  • Dr IM Singh on the folk stories of the Meiteis of Manipur.
  • Meera Sashital’s article on the Sanskrit poet, Banabhatta
  • Writer Nikhileshwar on Perumal Murugan, intolerance and politics.
  • Regional writers back Marathi writer Nemade on his tirade against Naipaul, Rushdie


  • Sarah Hafeez reviews Mamang Dai’s The Black Hill in the Indian Express.
  • A new review of Uday Prakash’s The Walls of Delhi, as translated by Grunebaum, in the QC
  • Catherine Lacey reviews Deepti Kapoor’s A Bad Character in the NYT
  • Bollywood loves lyricist Irshad Kamil’s recently published book of Urdu poetry.



  • The Vinda Karandikar Jeevan Gaurav Puraskar will be conferred on well-known Marathi writer D M Mirasdar.


  • Kashmiri poet Gani Miskeen of Sopore passed away. He was 60.
  • A profile of Madurai’s A.R. Subbier, who wrote Tamil bakthi literature, by S Annamalai in The Hindu.
  • Via TOI a short interview with Goan writer Damodar Mauzo
  • Renowned Urdu poet Kaleem Aajiz passed away
  • Telugu Novelist Kesava Reddy passed away


  • Another Tamil writer under attack for novel. Meanwhile, Tamil writer Perumal Murugan, who has stopped writing completely since his novel was censored and burned, has filed an affidavit in court in a proceeding challenging the ban on his book. “A writer cannot function under threat or fear,” he said.
  • Kalyani Prasher asks, Is Hindi literature back in fashion? Another article speaks about the adoption of new technology in Hindi publishing.
  • A number of new generation libraries in Mumbai are offering more than just reading room to members
  • Binoo K John asks, How big is Indian publishing, really? and notes that a survey with the answers is forthcoming
  • Here’s an interview with Ashok Chopra on his career as a publisher:
  • TNN on the evolution of online publishing in India.
  • A news report on the future of government publishing in India.
  • The current BJP national government plans a probe into the activities of the IGNCA


The Week in Literature and Translation [November 7-13, 2014]


  • Khem K Aryal’s story, ‘The Displaced’ in the North East Review |  Link
  • B Booroah College in Guwahati will have a new research journal from its Department of Sanskrit | Link
  • An excerpt from Amit Chaudhuri’s introduction to a new volume of poems by AK Mehrotra at Scroll. | Link
  • M Govindan’s Poetry and Renaissance has been reissued | Link
  • Manohar Singh Gill has a new volume of folktales from Lahaul | Link
  • Easterine Kire has a new volume of poetry, My Book of Angels, out | Link
  • Vihang Naik’s anthology of poetry, City Times and other Poems, has been republished. | Link
  • An excerpt from Janice Pariat’s forthcoming novel, Seahorse, in the Hindu Business line | Link
  • Tamil poet Thiruvallavar’s collection of 1400 couplets, the Kural, has been translated to Kannada and Telugu in a project by the Central Institute of Classical Tamil. Forthcoming: translations in Gujarati and Arabic. | Link 


Columns and Articles

  • Jaithirth Rao says Pulitzer Prize winning poet Vijay Seshadri is “an American master in the tradition of Whitman, Melville and Eliot.” (That’s a wide range, surely) | Link
  • Pratibha Nandakumar says its time we bridged the gap between classical and modern Kannada | Link
  • Rauf Parekh in Dawn writes of the importance of establishing an authoritative corpus of the works of Iqbal and Ghalib. | Link
  • SN Agragrami has a detailed account of the recently concluded Odisha Lit Fest, in which the importance of regional literature was discussed at length | Link
  • Arunava Sinha writes in Scroll on the need for more translations of Indian literature | Link
  • Reporting on the Chandigarh Lit Fest, Nanki Singh writes about the great disconnects in Punjabi literature | Link
  • Shobha Viswanath of children’s book publisher Karadi Tales says Indian literature for children has received its due | Link
  • Another interview with Kannada lexicographer G Venkatasubbiah on his work. | Link


  • Bhaswati Chakravorty in the Telegraph has an early review of Amiya Sen’s selections of Tagore on religion (Oxford India) Link
  • Tanveer Habib reviews Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark’s account of a hostage crisis in Kashmir, ‘The Meadow‘ | Link
  • Zafar Anjum’s biography of Urdu poet, Iqbal, reviewed by Raza Naeem in the Dawn | Link
  • Bijal Vaccharajani for Daily O reviews Himanjali Sankar’s Talking of Muskaan, – YA lit from Duckbill. I’m glad to see Indian YA lit tackle LGBT themes and issues | Link
  • Aishwarya Subramaniam reviews Meena Kandasamy’s The Gypsy Goddess | Link



  • The Konkani Vishwa Awards 2014 were announced: the literature prize went to Edwin J F D’Souza, Mangalore, for his work ‘Kallem Bhangaar and the poetry prize to Sanjiv Verenkar, for his poetry collection ‘Aswasth Surya’. | Link
  • Uttar Pradesh State Government’s literary award, the Bharat Bharati Samman, goes to Doodhnath Singh | Link
  • Prabha Verma won the Asan Smaraka Kavitha Puraskaram 2014 for his contribution to Malayalam poetry. | Link
  • The Avantsa Somasundar literary awards (Telugu) were announced: literature – B.R.V. Prasada Murthy, criticism – Rentala Srivenkateswara Rao, poetry – Endluri Sudhakar, short stories – Sripathi and Vivina Murthy | Link
  • TheMehfil EGangojamun gave awards to three young poets –
    Habib Saifi (Urdu), Vishal Bagh (Hindi) and Tarinder Kaur (Punjabi) | Link
  • The Hindi Sahitya Parishad created 16 new awards for the promotion of Hindi literature. | Link
  • Malayalam author Isaac Eipen won the T.V. Kochu Bava award instituted by the Yuvakala Sahithy for his collection of short stories Pranayathinte Nanarthangal  | Link
  • Hindi poet Kedarnath Singh won the Jnanpith Award for contributions to Hindi literature. | Link
  • Tara Books’ Gobble You Up  by Gita Wolf and Suntia won the 2014 Aesop Accolade. | Link


  • In the Hindu, a profile of Kannada lexicographer G. Venkatasubbiah | Link
  • The Kerala State Government will be refurbishing the home of freedom fighter and poet T. Subramanian Thirumumbu. It will now house the Centre for Studies on Farming Culture. | Link
  • Malayalam writer and critic B Hridaykumari, winner of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award, passed away at the age of 84. | Link
  • Amitav Ghosh, interviewed in Khaleej Times, on the role of writers in politics | Link
  • Showkat Shafi’s obituary for Amin Kamil, the Kashmiri poet who recently passed away. | Link
  • Ananth Padmanabhan on his volume of erotic short stories, Play with Me | Link


  • 7 November 2014 | Seminar on vachana poet Allama Prabhu | Udupi | Link
  • 7-16 November 2014 | Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Festival | Hyderabad | Link
  • 10-11 November 2014 | Kahaani Fest – Children’s Literature | Jaipur, Rajasthan | Link
  • 21 November | Delhi publisher and former bookshop Yoda Press celebrates 10 years | Link
  • 22 November 2014 | ‘Ghadar Movement and Punjabi literature’ – Seminar by the Sahitya Akademi and Punjab Sahit Sabha | Kolkata| Link
  • 26 November 2014 | Seminar on Sanskrit Literature in the 21st Century  – MSU University | Vadodara, Gujarat | Link
  • 12-16 December | World Tulu Festival | Mangalore, Karnataka | Link
  • 6-7 February | Seminar on French Studies in India | MS University, Vadodara | Link


  • In a move to promote Hindi globally, the Government of India announced plans to establish Hindi centres (Kendriya Hindi Sansthans) across the world | Link
  • Assam got a new Central Library+ Archive | Link
  • Plans for a Punjabi Academy in Uttarakhand are afoot |  Link
  • The rise of the Kannada wiktionary – second largest amongst Indian lanaguges | Link
  • The Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy released the Unicode version of the Tulu script | Link
  • News from the lit fests (it is lit fest season here in India)
  • Kannada writer Vaidehi has asked the MangaloreU to consider establishing a chair in honour of Kannada poet Kayyara Kinhanna Rai | Link
  • The Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi has established a new chair for Kannada studies | Link

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.