Monday, April 16, 2007

Lingers for long ...

The Daily Pioneer

Not flowers of henna is a collection of 15 short stories. These stories are a translation of Kamleshwar, the noted Hindi litterateur. Usually whenever a novel is translated into any other language it loses its essence but the beauty of these stories is that in spite of being translated into English they have not lost their impact. The book also includes the much acclaimed Not flowers of henna (kitne Pakistan) one of the authors finest novels.Take for example the story The Wait, nowhere does one feel that it was not originally written in English. This because the translator, Jai Ratan has equal command over three languages - Hindi, Urdu and English. Though it is true not all stories are able to retain their original impact or the message they are able to convey to the reader.

The stories are moving bringing about the pathos of the people like in the case of The River of Flesh. It's about how Jugnu, the main character goes on with her life.

That despite the fact that everybody is aware of the fact that she is unwell, she has to get on with her job because without that she would not get any money for her treatment. When she falls ill the second time she is forced to borrow from her so called customers and the only option left for her is to pay them back by servicing them. It is another matter that they take advantage of her situation and the debt seems to be endless.

On the whole the author has dealt with each story with such sensitivity that at the end of it you realise that life is not about the big events. It is made up of little and small experiences man goes through in his everyday life.
- Shalini Sakena
The Author
The Translator
Jai Ratan
Publishers: Katha
Cover Design: Geeta Dharmarajan
Category: Katha Hindi Library
Statistics: 5.5" x 8" 204 Pages [PB]
Price: Rs 250 [India and the subcontinent only]

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