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regular-article-logo Monday, 20 May 2024

Sarat Chandra stories now speak in Nepali

Suraj Sharma, 52, a former journalist of Darjeeling, has entered a rare league of writers

Vivek Chhetri Darjeeling Published 14.02.22, 02:34 AM
Translator Suraj Sharma.

Translator Suraj Sharma. Telegraph photo.

Famed Bengali writer Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, whose work had so far reached the Nepali population largely through the silver screen through blockbuster films like Devdas and Parineeta has finally arrived in print.

Suraj Sharma, 52, a former journalist of Darjeeling, has entered a rare league of Nepali writers who have translated Bengali literature into Nepali.

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His translation, Sarat Chandra Ka Kathaharu (stories of SaratChandra), released last Sunday.

“I grew up reading Sarat Chandra’s stories, and still do. I had always felt that our people should be provided an opportunity to read his works that are largely based on social issues,” said Sharma, who hails from a Nepali family but went to a Bengali-medium school.

Sharma’s translations include short stories like Sati, Anuradha, Mandir, among others.

In the past, Sharma published a collection of Nepali poems but he now intends to focus on translating more of Bengali literature into Nepali. “My next work, which again is a translation of classic Bengali short stories in Nepali, is almost ready. I will translate some Nepali literature into Bengali as well,” said Sharma.

Literary exchanges between Nepali and Bengali have been rare. The few Bengali translations into Nepali have been mostly of Rabindranath Tagore’s works by writers like K.S. Moktan, Ghanshyam Nepal, Bhaichand Pradhan, Lalijan Rawal and Usha Rai.

The cover of his book of Sarat Chandra stories translated into Nepali.

The cover of his book of Sarat Chandra stories translated into Nepali.

“Indra Sundas has translated the history of Bengali literature written by Sukumar Sen,” said a poet in Darjeeling. “Nepali novels by Indra Bahadur Rai and Chuden Kabimo have recently been translated into Bengali.”

He said that translation of Nepali works into English has also been few and far between.

“Indreni had been the first literary journal to be published both in English and Nepali by famed poet Laxmi Prasad Devkota in 1957. Nepali short stories were first translated into English by Karunakar Vaidhay in 1971,” the poet added.

The first Nepali novel to be translated into English was Parijat’s Shirishko Phool by Sandra Zodenstein and Tanka Adhikari in 1972. It was called Blue Mimosa.

“The effort by Suraj Sharma is laudable as this will lead to more exchange of literary works,” said the poet from Darjeeling.

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