The Unadorned

My literary blog to keep track of my creative mood swings with poems n short stories, book reviews n humorous prose, travelogues n photography, reflections n translations, both in English n Hindi.

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I'm a peace-loving married Indian male on the right side of '50 with college-going children, and presently employed under government. Educationally I've a master's degree in History, and another in Computer Application. Besides, I've a post graduate diploma in Management. My published works are:- (1)"In Harness", ISBN 81-8157-183-5, a poetry collections and (2) "The Remix of Orchid", ISBN 978-81-7525-729-0, a short story collections with a foreword by Mr. Ruskin Bond, (3) "Virasat", ISBN 978-81-7525-982-9, again a short story collection but in Hindi, (4) "Ek Saal Baad," ISBN 978-81-906496-8-1, my second Story Collection in Hindi.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A meeting to Remember


On 28 June, say almost a month ago, I met my friend Shri Arun Kamal, the poet. Nay, Mr Kamal is too respectable for me and I just cannot force this kind of friendly informality on him, but then again I felt exactly that on that day. I had visited him once more a year ago when I went to personally invite him to release my book, "Virasat". He had honoured me by accepting it and all that he did on the release day of my book and thereafter has only encouraged me. That was a landmark day in my writing career: I went to the hall, unsure of the reaction, but came out charged with a positive self-image. Since then I had thought of visiting him again to say him thanks. So, on 28 June as I visited him I went with a small present that I was sure would make him happy. Yes, I went with a miniature sheet of the philatelic stamp of Jaydev, the 12th century devotional poet of Orissa. He was so happy that instantly he returned me a gift of his own. It was a matching gift at that, his book of poem "Naye Ilaka Mein", [Into A New Locale] the one that was translated into my mother tongue Oriya by one Suchitra Panigrahi. Mr Kamal signed it with the following words, " प्रिय कथाकार श्री अनंत नारायण नन्द जी को सादर." It was a happy gift for me and instantly I requested if I could try translating some of his poems onto my blog. He was happy to hear that. I don't know if I've reached anywhere near the sense that the original poem so profoundly carries, for mine is a translation from an already translated poem. To add to that, I've in me the bad habit of expanding a poem in the garb of transcreation. Still....


A Journey by Night

Could you hear that?

There’s something over yonder

That sounded like a khat.?’

A fox, it could be

Or maybe some other of that ilk!

Got run over n finished, and that’s all’—

Observed the TTE from behind his muffler.

Standing beside was me in that dark night

At the entrance, my baggage bogging me down

And the whole coach had lost itself in sleep.

Repeated itself once again, the sound

A little fainter this time

Maybe a cub of fox or maybe a dog itself.

‘Look, could you hear that again?’

‘Ah! A poor bull this time

That set itself free

Uprooting its stake’—

Most of them get run over like that

Ah! The poor animals

In winter and in the rains

Like the humans dying the most

In the months of September

And also in December and I know that for sure—

For I’m the oldest TTE on the route.’

Ah! Tut-tut! It’s gone’—

‘What’s that this time again?’


‘Oh no, is it that?’

‘Yeah, it only sounded like that.’

‘Came out to gather firewood?

And at this ungodly hour!’

The train trundled on…

I was too tired to stand

And sat down on my box

And wondered

‘How far is my station?’


A Poem by Arun Kamal from his book "Naye Ilaka Mein" [नए इलाका में]


Translated by

A. N. Nanda




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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,
I just came across your translation work on my poem "Bou". I do remember, we were discussing over it. It is really great, more approprately be called transcreation. I do not know how to express my compliment for your benevolence. Thanking you again, Sir.
Yours sincerely,
Gouri Sankar Kar

11:22 PM  
Blogger vaitheetheboss said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:51 AM  
Blogger A_N_Nanda said...

Thanks Kar Babu, your appreciation will surely encourage me. Recently I came across a nice poem about a mother expressing her feelings finding her children not so accessible. It's in Hindi and I'm soon going to post its translation in my blog. Visit this blog again at your convenience.

9:43 AM  

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