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Translation is Essential To Expand Our Worldview: Ganesh Visputay

Ganesh Visputay

Interview: Bilori Team

Translation: Saee Pawar



Marathi book cover of Orhan Pamuk's 'My Name is Red'


Can you tell us more about your perspective towards translation and the method you use for translating?

Language is inseparable from the culture of its society. Effects of translation can be seen on many levels. When literature from different languages ​​enters a language, not only the literature from the source language is introduced, but also parallel images, symbols, morphologies, borrowings etc. are obtained by the reader of the target language. During what is known as the translation age, that is at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century, a lot of literature was introduced from several languages, mainly from English, to Marathi. Most of them were adaptations. But because of this, Marathi discovered the genres of poetry like sunit, ghazal, haiku. New forms of literature were gained from essays, travelogues, stories, plays and translations of novels, and many of them later found roots in Marathi. We also have many senior writers from Sane Guruji, Durga Bhagwat to Dilip Chitre, Vinda Karandikar who have consciously worked on translation. Poets like Arun Kolatkar, on the other hand, were introduced to the people of the West through the English translation of their work. I’ll tell you a story. Shah Jahan's son Dara Shukohan translated 52 Upanishads into Persian under the title 'Sirin-e-Akbar' (The Great Mystery). He himself was well versed in Sanskrit. The translation fell into the hands of a French traveller named Onktil Duperron. In 1801, he translated it into French as best as he could. When it was seen by Schopenhauer nine years later, he was overjoyed. Thus began the introduction of Indian literature to the world.

In short, we know very few languages ​​other than our mother tongue, but translations make it possible to discover cultures from different geographical spaces, different time periods and different contemporary cultures. Translations are necessary to expand our worldview as human beings. The purpose of translation is to convey ideas and aesthetic values ​​from one language to another.


Now let me tell you a little bit about what I translate. Of course, I’m not constantly translating. Although I am originally a poet and also write prose, I have always been a reader first. I always try to read selected and good literature from Indian languages ​​and world literature. Of course, I have more curious friends who read more than I do, they suggest books. Even as you read, you see new parts of the book, and as Nikhilesh Chitre says, you can also find hidden alleyways in them. Such readings give us a little bit of insight. First of all, you should like that composition as a reader. Secondly, we need to ask whether the translation we are doing is going to be of some use to our language, or whether there are any principles that will add value to it. Essentially, I only translate my favourite books or compositions. I have not taken any work that is commissioned professionally. So, the decision to translate remains mine. Once the decision has been made, I read the book again and again, looking at the language it is written in, the time period it is based in, and the context of it. I then gather reference books, dictionaries around me accordingly. It is said that if you want to truly understand a book, you must translate it. The reason being that while translating, you need to become one with the author, with the language they write in, with their sensibilities. The first step is to invest intellectually and emotionally in the composition they have written, as well as to create in parallel an approximate composition of the same strength in our language. Considering the cultural context of the language from which they are translating, the translator has to rearrange the cultural references and symbols (after understanding the grammar system of said language) in the context of their language and culture. Translation is therefore a serious work with different layers like cultural, political and social. At the same time, it is extremely important to maintain honesty and readability in translation. Honesty here means taking care not to go beyond the scope of the original composition. Not making one's own additions just for the sake of amusement or for the sake of beauty. The readability test should not be stretched to the extent that the text feels like an independent creation in the target language, rather than a translation. The real test for a translator is to make sure that the reader continues to sense that it is a translation. Sometimes when readers tell me, the novel you have translated is so easy and readable that it feels like it was written in Marathi; I feel very embarrassed. I just utter a 'thank you'.


Now, to give you an example of the process, I will elaborate on my translation of the novel 'My Name Is Red'. I always do at least three drafts of translation. The reason I like the novel 'My Name Is Red' is because I am personally very interested in the history of miniature art, and the history of medieval Europe-Asia. To understand that history with a geographical context, to see how language and culture have oozed into each other is extremely fascinating for me. Furthermore, Pamuk has used a writing style for the novel similar to that of Arabian Nights. Secondly for me, somewhere that ambience had a sense of familiarity. In fact, when I began translating, I read it again, and realized that I have to do a lot of preparation before translating. All this preparation was for no one but myself.

Initially, I found and read a small book on the history of Indian and Persian miniature art. I got my hands on books about Persian art tradition, its painters, influence of Mongol style on Persian painting at that time. I got a chance to read a text about the history of Indian style of miniature art written by Ghulam Mohammad Sheikh, a veteran painter. The biggest and most valuable help was from my Persian friend Ali Reza Moradi, who offered me information and beautiful catalogues of pictures in Persian miniature style. 'Red' mentions many great poets and writers of the time, such as Nizami, Firdausi, Ibn Qayyim-al-Zawiya, along with the names of their books. Ali Reza Moradi was able to help in resolving many references. He gave a thick collection of poems by the great Persian poet Hafiz. Pamuk's books such as ‘Istanbul: Memories and the City’, along with illustrated brochures about Istanbul were of great help to understand the essence of Istanbul beyond all these contexts, which helped me to better gauge 'My Name Is Red' in terms of time, space and geography.

The books that I kept around for light reading during the translation process were Babarnama, Akbar's letters, U. M. Pathan's book 'The Nature of Persian in Marathi Bakhari', Al-Beruni's book on the geographical and cultural history of India and Turkey, information about Timurlanga. While searching for Marathi version of the references in Pamuk's original book, I ended up reading the Quran.


There were other difficulties during translation; the language was referring to a story based in the sixteenth century, so even if the English translation of the word was written as 'Bottle', it could not be translated as 'Batali' in Marathi. There was the innate problem of some words not having counterparts in Marathi. There is also a lack of good dictionaries and thesauruses in Marathi. Some compromises can be made in terms of food, dress, etc., but it is difficult to find synonyms in Marathi for titles of artists in certain branches of painting. We have one word – Chitrakaar (painter; Chitra=painting). We use this same word for multiple English terms like painter, artist, illuminator, guilder, illustrator, miniatureist. But accuracy is also important in translation. Therefore, I decided to make and use new words, which felt like they are already used in Marathi, for the stretch of this book. So, I made a few arrangements; because guilder is the one who paints with varkha (a thin sheet of metal), he is Varkhachitrakaar, Illuminator is Nakshikaar (Nakshi means design), Laghuchitrakaar for miniatureist (Laghu translates to small), Granthabandhanikaar for binder (Grantha means book and Bandhani means binding) and Rekhachitrakaar (Rekha=lines) was used for illustrator. It was not difficult to create new words, the attempt was to translate by combining and using the available words. Sometimes there is an opportunity to show off your skills. One should use it with care. For example, I had fun while translating words from the sentence, 'His intellect was his wealth' as ‘His buddhi was his matta’. (Playing on words ‘buddhi’=intellect and ‘matta’=wealth, as Buddhimatta is a popular Marathi word for intelligence) If there was a difficulty in some place, I would stop for two or three days. I was in a way torturing Vishnu Khare, Ali Reza Moradi, Bharatbhushan Tiwari by calling them at late hours.



How does the process of translating poetry and prose differ? Do you use different methods and procedures when translating from different languages like Hindi / Urdu / English? If so, what makes them different? Why are the differences between these methods important? When translating, what should be done to prevent the translator's feelings / opinions from seeping into the text?

Here, it is more important what kind of literature you are translating rather than the translation process itself. Poetry is more individualistic and subjective than any other genre. A poem is formed through the language based in specific sensitive subjectivity of the poet. It usually tries to rebel against the prevailing sensibility of the language. Therefore, although language is a tool of poetry, it is also an obstacle. That is why, the poet feels that language is always inadequate. If we apply the standard rules to it, often there is a danger of losing meaning of some lines in the poem. So, it is necessary to understand the language of poetry with utmost sensitivity. This is especially important when translating. The smaller the gap between signs in standard language and signs in the poetic language, the easier it is to translate the poem. Of course, the same rule cannot be applied to all poems. Even simple translations of some poems are effective because of the original form of the poem. Dilip Purushottam Chitre has translated Tukaram's, Dnyaneshwar's poetry, while Arun Kolatkar has translated Janabai's poetry into English. As independent poems, they convey the exact meaning. But how will English readers know the rhythm and beauty of Marathi language in these poems? These limits remain. Vinda Karandikar, while translating Shakespeare's King Lear, had thought deeply about the poetry in it. Each translator has their own obstacles for every new translation of modern, contemporary Indian and world poetry, and has to devise their strategies accordingly.

The gap between signs in standard language and signs in fictional literary language is relatively small. However, apart from this one, there are other challenges. Because the grammar of each language is different. Therefore, when translating, one should be conscious of the grammar and symbolism of both languages. If one fails to sequentially arrange the syntax of English language, its compound sentences, sub-sentences and comprehension of morals in the source language, there can be some serious confusion. The meaning itself can be ruined. A language like Turkish has long sentences without punctuation. Pamuk's translator, Maureen Freeley, writes that sometimes sentences would last for one or two whole pages. As there are no punctuation marks, so the translator is responsible for reading and interpreting them accordingly. Depending on the grammar of the target language, it can be interpreted with short sentences and punctuation (if the writing style is not used as a genre).

The same can be said about Hindi language or Urdu with a slight difference. Moreover, the more challenging are the seemingly similar phrases or sayings, but whose usage and currency in the other language may be different. This also, needs to be taken care of meticulously.


When translating a book, the translator instinctively becomes one with it. When you rewrite the composition in your language, it feels like a reconstruction. While this may be true in a sense and the translated composition can be so readable that it seems to be originated in the target language, one important test of honest translation remains that the translator should not add his original inputs to the composition to make it more attractive or for any other reason. We must remain neutral despite being extensively invested in the writing. The reader must find the translated composition in his language readable, but more importantly, the reader must always be aware that they are reading a translated composition. I have always found this precaution necessary for the ethics of translation.


It may be because I am a poet myself, but personally I like translating verse more than prose. I always have books of poetry around me. When I don't have anything to read, I sift through different dictionaries/encyclopaedias. Over the years, it has become my favourite pastime.



How was your own experience with bilingualism / multilingualism? How does it affect the way we look at the world? You have spoken about different literary influences from your childhood (such as poems, shayari, etc.). Can you tell us how these diverse literary traditions influenced your work as a writer and translator?


As mentioned earlier, this childhood heritage was available for any individual coming from a small village or semi-urban area of ​​Maharashtra in that time period. Similarly, many art forms like Bharuda, kirtan, songs from fairs, mother's poems, mushaira in the village helped to cultivate cultural understanding. If you look at the milestones in the thousand-year history of Marathi literature, a reader like me, who was born in the late twentieth century when these things were still going strong in the region, can inevitably feel connected with all those literary genres. Of course, I was growing up watching and experiencing all this with curiosity, excitement and keenness. Although I live in the third decade of the twenty-first century today, I am always aware that I am organically connected to accumulation of traditions and knowledge of the last thousand years. This awareness exists even when writing poetry. It reassures you, and helps you flourish. In a way, the feeling of being rooted is quite satisfying.


In your opinion, what is the role of a translator in today's society?


The translator has a key role to play in any society, not just today. Because, like the story ‘Tower of Babel’, we are geographically and linguistically scattered in different parts of the world. The work that was done in Maharashtra during the translation era is historic for Marathi language. Its form may change with each passing year, but the original purpose will remain the same. Beyond that, the history of the culture of each language accumulates tremendous knowledge. The language reflects human behaviour, norms and the diverse ways of life unique to those cultures. This creates the identity of that particular linguistic culture. In order to be more perceptive as a human being, you need to expand the scope of your curiosity. This curiosity can be easily quenched through translated books originating in the cultures of different geographical areas. Today, 3,000 languages ​​are on the verge of extinction, according to a UNESCO report. 191 languages ​​in India are on the same path. Translation is one of the ways to enrich the understanding of lived-experienced human life as seen through the eyes of these innumerable languages in past and present. For this to happen, activities related to language and translation should be a priority in our social life. Literature has always been on the side of the deprived, the exploited and has always asserted human values. This is how it is, because that is the primary condition of writing. We see that when wars, oppression and inhumane violence takes place all over the world, sensitive and conscious writers-poets in those areas raise their voices against it. In Turkey, a journalist is thrown in jail for drawing a picture and writing a poem; Orhan Pamuk is prosecuted by the government of his own country; The Arab Spring – a youth uprising takes place in the Middle East; When the Palestinians are subjected to unspeakable atrocities, their voices reach different languages around the world and the (Palestinian) people get support and endorsement because of public response, the pressure of the sentiment - 'This cannot go on' rises on the authorities; why does this happen? Things like these are also always happening on a large scale through translations. All of this should be kept in mind by everyone who is involved in honest translation.


How can language be used as a tool of critique or rebellion?


Since language is the primary medium of human communication, it of course is a great tool of rebellion. Dnyaneshwar has left us a huge example of this by translating the Bhagavad Gita into Dnyaneshwari. This was Dnyaneshwar's political act in the context of Marathi language. In a sense, he wrote Dnyaneshwari in Marathi to fight cultural or linguistic hegemony.


Religion is also a tool of exploitation. This is seen in Christianity as well. Many translators of the Bible have been murdered. The history of translation of the Bible is quite bloody. In Europe, when the Church was in power, the papacy was rife with corruption and bigotry. The Bible was only available in Latin. Wycliffe, a pastor, was of the opinion that the Bible should be available to the common people. When in the 14th century, in 1391, John Wycliffe translated the Bible into English, the pope sued him. Persecuted him. Not only that, forty years after his death, Pope Martin ordered that his bones be removed from his grave to be burned and thrown into the Swift River. Bible translators continued to get killed in many places. Later however, translating the Bible into local languages ​​became part of the missionary's mission to spread Christianity.


Lot of the literature that was written during World War II in Europe and elsewhere continues to inspire future generations. Even today we find the poems of Bertolt Brecht, Pablo Neruda, Mehmood Darwesh, Nazim Hikmat, Faiz Ahmed Faiz etc. inspiring. Because these poems inspires us when a situation arises in the present that is parallel to the time of these writings.

In the middle of the twentieth century, translation was cleverly performed as a cultural work in Italy, Germany, Spain and Portugal. The policies guided the perception of the masses towards ideological transformation. I have seen an excellent book about this. The book 'Translation Under Fascism' was written by Christopher Rundle and Kate Sturge after conducting an analytical study of the autobiographies of the publishers of that time, institutional pressures and selection of compositions in a historical context. It offers an insight into how cultural exchanges took place during the period of oppression and repression. This book may be of interest to scholars of translation as well as to historians studying that era.


Recently, there was a big agitation against CAA in India. At that time, the slogan 'Hum kagaz nahi dikhaenge' (we will not show papers) was being chanted in North and West Bengal. Poems of many in the 'Mia Poetry' movement in Assam opened our eyes. Poems of Palestinian poets were translated into Marathi. Names of Arabic poets like Maram Al Masri and Najwan Darwesh were made familiar to us only through translations. So, we have to accept that it is a great tool for rebellion and opposition.



What do you think is the role of literary translation / translator in the decolonization worldview?


Broadly speaking, we can say that historically the global north has exploited the global south. The French colonized Africa and the local languages ​​were destroyed. French language was imposed on the smaller countries. They were also made to be entirely dependent on others in terms of production. If you look at the British colonies, there is a long history of exploitation. There are some thinkers and writers who understand this inhuman behaviour in context of languages. They seem to have tried to put it forth forcefully. Writers like Ngūgī wa Thiong'o not only formed a theoretical basis for this, but also took a stand saying 'I will no longer write in English, you can learn Gikuyu language if you want, or get it translated from it’. When Nemade insists on Marathi, tells us to educate children in a Marathi medium school or a local language school, he is proposing the principle of Decolonization. We have to admit that the world outside of English is quite big. The argument is against forced homogenization through cultural supremacy and blunt force.


Prior to this, a lot of translations were already happening, however in different forms. Since ancient times, India has traded with many countries around the world. Some tricks and methods of translation must have been discovered at that time because socio-economic transactions take place only when we can communicate with each other through different languages. Along with this, social and cultural exchanges are taking place. That is why, today we see worshipers of all the religions in the world in India. More than two thousand living languages ​​are spoken here and we see different castes, tribes and religions coming together in this land. Now if we look at translation, translation is an inevitable process that happens when people from two different communities meet each other. In that sense, if thousands of people have come, settled, migrated, stayed or returned to different parts of India for thousands of years, words from various languages outside India may have arrived and mingled here and words from India may have gone out. Another important point is that the definition that we have of what India is today, has been changing every few centuries because geographical maps also change. And languages ​ also change due to interactions.


One only has to consider a small two-hundred-year-old piece of time from an unending line, when it comes to decolonization. Colonialism left an indelible mark of the superiority of English language during the upheaval of this period. Even today, because of that perception, every poet and writer who writes in Indian languages ​​is not able to receive many national honours in India unless they translate their writings into English. This is because the diversity ​​and richness of languages ​​in India itself has become a major factor in the dependence of Indian languages ​​on English. So, what to do if you want to decolonize? It becomes our duty to learn a large number of Indian languages ​​as a matter of priority. Until then, decolonization in the true sense is a distant stage. But in the meantime, we have to continue to bring together multilingual writers and poets from frequent conferences, workshops and seminars, encourage them to translate definitions and terminologies in each other's languages ​​and keep a language alive inside other languages. We use the term Jaanpad Sahitya. That word was used by Rabindranath Tagore. That should happen. We Indians should increase the conversation at least until English is removed as a mediator. For that, we will have to do two-way/four-way translation.



What are the political implications of translating from one Indian regional language to another? What effect did the then social / political situation have on such a translation?


The language that is close to power reaches the common man for various reasons. We can say this today about Hindi in the context of India. Hindi is a rich language and has such a large collection of literature. But it is not healthy to keep translating from Hindi to regional languages ​​only. Sahitya Akademi offers travel scholarships to young writers. If you see most of the Marathi beneficiary writers, they go to Madhya Pradesh or North and come back after chatting with four or two Hindi writers. Why? Because this is the understanding of Hindi. Secondly, there is no attempt to take it seriously. I wonder if in so many years, a young writer has gone to a certain state after receiving a travel fellowship, has studied the local language and then written a good monograph on it. Their only goal is to take a train and travel to Bhopal-Indore-Jabalpur with friends. Even Hindi speakers think that others should do their translation, but it is rare for them to find a writer in another language and translate their writing from that language into Hindi. This is an outlook pertaining to language superiority. The real political agenda should be to consciously create translators and scholars from languages like Assamese, Naga, Santhal, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Dogri. The beauty of Indian languages ​​lies in their diversity. Only if the accumulated knowledge in those languages ​​can be translated to some extent can we understand the greatness of the term ‘Indianness’. While in prison, Sane Guruji tried to bring literature in various Indian languages ​​into Marathi. Mama Devagirikar, Bhagwat translated from Bengali at that time. This was the inspiration behind Antarbharati.

Mutual exchange is essential. That is how we came to know Mia Poetry, the poem that was widely written in the North after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992. Especially in times of unrest, if Indians want to stand united hand in hand, translation can be a big link.


How did you get involved in literary translation? / What inspired you to become a literary translator?

Even in my twenties I was infatuated with reading. I used to find books in public libraries, old book stores and from my teachers. During my college years, most of the money I earned through side jobs was spent on books. Thanks to my older brother I was familiar with Hindi literary magazines like ‘Dharmayug’ and ‘Sarika’. In those days, you could easily find translated Russian literature at reasonable rates. I started reading that as well. Along with all this, I was also, in a way ,learning the language simultaneously. Today the Marathi you and I speak was not the Marathi spoken in my family. This is the case with a lot of people who have migrated from rural to urban areas and people who live in semi-urban areas. The language spoken in my home was a mixture of several languages like Varhadi-Khandeshi-Marathwadi-Urdu which were rooted in the Nizamshahi period. It is said that, a human child gets accustomed to translation right from birth. “In the beginning, was the word” is the first sentence of the Bible. But even before that there is sound, before the sound there are feelings, and before the feelings there is unrest. Without knowing any language, a child is able to communicate things like ‘I’m hungry’ or ‘don’t act silly with me’ in its own way. We also tend to use a more inclusive language when communicating with the larger community beyond our immediate circles. George Steiner, a great scholar of language, literature and culture, who passed away last year, said, "Translation is the centre of all human communication. All forms of conveyance are ultimately a form of translation. Understanding and correlating meaning is translation. By translating or interpreting the meaning, we get a broad spectrum of dialectal integration of written and spoken words, rather than separate languages."


I spent the first two-three decades of my life in Aurangabad. I’ve always felt that this was a very conducive time for me. For many centuries, this city has remained a great example of multiculturalism. There are certain advantages to standing on such crossroads of religions and castes and classes. In the older part of the village where we lived, all my friends spoke different languages. Their mother tongues were Urdu, Hindi, Gujarati, Sindhi and Punjabi. On mornings in the month of Ramadan, we would listen to songs of the fakirs in our sleep. Every year people from the north would come to the neighbouring Vaishnava temple and perform Ramlila-Krishnalila plays. Their colourful blue-pink faces were fascinating, and their language was also captivating. Mushairas were held in public places. You could hear great Urdu poets in it. In an environment like this, I was getting acquainted with Hindi-Urdu literature. Ever since I was a child, I’ve always tried to translate my favourite prose and poems in these languages​. At the same time, while in college, I was doing sketches and decorating work for Sunday supplements of newspapers. I worked late at night for three days a week and got a decent pay. Often when someone received a Jnyanpith or any other big award or an important event took place, a short text about that author needed to be published in a hurry that week. At that time, I translated stories and poems in Hindi to get by. I wrote short reports on the authors from time to time. Later, it became a regular job for some time. This is how my translations started getting published. It has been more than thirty-five years now.



What are your favourite books translated into Marathi and why?

If I try to remember a name without too much stress, I really like Shikhare's translation of Don Quixote of Cervantes. Firstly, I had read that book for the first time in its translated form and on the other hand, the original satire has been brought out so well in Shikhar's language that any prose writer should adopt it as an independent genre in Marathi. Gauri Deshpande's sixteen-volume 'One Thousand Nights and One Night' of Arabian Nights is also my favourite translation. Before that I had read Chiplunkar's translation ‘Savory and Miraculous Stories in Arabic' and it was a bad adaptation. Since Chiplunkar was devout, he wanted to omit the name and context of 'Yavani'. Moreover, quite bold sexual descriptions and words in the original were nowhere to be found in his adaptations. But Gauri Deshpande has translated these descriptions quite well without any hesitation. The language in it is based on the original composition. The important thing is that she accomplished such a huge task at the age of twenty-three, which is certainly admirable. The third book is Vinda Karandikar's translation of Shakespeare's 'King Lear'. Shakespeare’s plays have a lot to do with the blank verse. Vinda brought a four-part free verse parallel to the verse in the iambic pentameter prose in Marathi. A detailed introduction is given about the blank verse, the iambic meter and the language of Shakespeare. While translating according to the original lines, he has followed the constraints of the verse he himself created and has taken care that the poetry in it remains unaffected. The dialogue between Lear and the Clown in the entry for the third part is a perfect example of translation. Recognizing the importance of the sounds in Lear's soliloquy in that dialogue, Karandikar has used similarly shocking sounds in his translation.

Apart from this, I like all the translations done by Jayaprakash Sawant. I also like Nishikant Thakar's translations of Vinod Kumar Shukla's novels 'Bhintit Ek Khindki Rahayachi' (A window used to live in the wall) and 'Nokracha Sadra' (Servant’s Shirt). I also like the translation of Vinod Kumar Shukla's poems 'Jastiche Nahi' (No extra) by Prafulla Shiledar. Bha. L. Bhole's translation of Jose Saramago's 'Blindness' is also excellent. Translations of Conrad Richter's books by GN are also readable. Arvind Gokhale had compiled a collection by translating the stories of Indian storytellers, called ‘Kathakaar’ (storyteller). I loved that translation. Shri Ba Joshi had translated Urdu stories of some writers including Manto into Marathi. There are so many good translations out there.



What are your favourite (foreign language) translated books?


I have been greatly influenced by many of the books that I read during my tenure, especially the large number of translations, mainly from Russian. Later I did a diploma course in French, but it was used only to learn the details of the French translation. I have read all the European and Latin American literature through translation. I like ‘Snow’, ‘Black Book’, ‘Istanbul’, translated by Orhan Pamuk's translator Maureen Freeley. She translates difficult syntax and long sentences into fluent English. Another translator was Giovanni Pontiero. He translated Saramago's books into English. He was ill while doing the novel ‘Blindness’. There was a possibility that if he took medicine, he would survive, but he would lose his sight. Without medication, his vision would have stayed for some time but there was no guarantee of survival. He accepted the second option. Completed the translation of ‘Blindness’ and later died. To me, this is exceptional.


What do you prefer as a writer - poetry or prose? And why?

I do not say this because I am a poet, but I myself prefer poetry to prose. I mean, I put it a little higher than the prose. I constantly want books of poetry around me. Poems convey life to you.


You are a writer and a translator as well as a painter. What is the difference between language and painting when you express yourself? Why are these differences important?

There is a thread in all fine arts. Just as there are seven colours in a picture, these are shades, so there are seven tones in music, these are shrutis. There is a sentence by Vinod Kumar Shukla. It summarizes the author's work. "I think in visuals, and then try to put it into words," he says. In order to understand life as a whole, one has to be able to expand one's curiosity as much as possible. One should be able to understand different genres. One of our school teachers teaching us painting used to say, "You have to be able to draw the line with such command so that when you hold the plough or twist the screw at a certain angle in the future this habit would guide you." Arun Khopkar had told the story of King Vajra and Markandey Rishi in a speech. I repeat it here. Vajra wanted to make an idol of his worship deity and for that he went to Markandeya to get the sculpture for it, then the sage said to him, 'But first you have to understand the shapes, then you must learn painting.' After learning painting, he said, 'That's fine, but you need to know the sounds, learn music,'; after that sage asked him to learn dance to understand the rhythm. In doing so, he learned many arts and eventually did not have to put much effort into learning sculpture. Therefore, the writer must learn to see with a thousand eyes, from different angles. Only that helps us to understand life as a whole – even if only a little bit -.

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Glossary:


Nizamshahi - Nizam Shāhī dynasty, succession of rulers of the kingdom of Ahmadnagar in the Deccan of India from 1490 to 1633. The founder was Malik Aḥmad, who in 1490 fixed his capital on a new site called Ahmadnagar after himself. The kingdom lay in the northwestern Deccan, between the states of Gujarat and Bijapur. It secured the great fortress of Daulatabad in 1499 and added Berar in 1574.

Mushaira - Mushaira is a poetic symposium. It is an event where poets gather to perform their works. A mushaira is part of the Culture of North India, Pakistan and the Deccan, particularly among the Hyderabadi Muslims, and it is regarded as a forum for free self-expression.

Sunit - Sunit is a form of poetry Marathi language borrowed from English sonnets. Sunit is a poetic form made up of 14 lines which are broken up as 4+4+4+2.


Ghazal - Ghazal, also spelled ghazel or gasal, Turkish gazel, in Islamic literatures, genre of lyric poem, generally short and graceful in form and typically dealing with themes of love. As a genre the ghazal developed in Arabia in the late 7th century from the nasib, which itself was the often amorous prelude to the qaṣīdah (ode).

Haiku- Haiku, unrhymed poetic form consisting of 17 syllables arranged in three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively. The haiku first emerged in Japanese literature during the 17th century, as a terse reaction to elaborate poetic traditions, though it did not become known by the name haiku until the 19th century.

Upanishads - The Upanishads are late Vedic Sanskrit texts of religious teachings which form the foundations of Hinduism. They are the most recent part of the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, the Vedas, that deal with meditation, philosophy, and ontological knowledge; other parts of the Vedas deal with mantras, benedictions, rituals, ceremonies, and sacrifices.

Jaanpada Sahitya - Jaanapada is a word made by two words Jana - People or tribe Pada - a kind of short verse joined together as a sandhi- a grammatical term. The folk culture and colloquial tongue of Kannadiga and probably Telugu people were known by this name from the time the languages came into existence.