Saturday, October 04, 2008

In Pratilipi

I'm pleased as always to see the new issue of the bimonthly Indian literary magazine Pratilipi just out. Pratilipi keeps coming out every two months, while I remain stuck in the same place all year long, writing new drafts of old things. Also, the washing machine broke down yesterday, and I had to soak, scrub and rinse two buckets of clothes.

But I digress. Among the many interesting pieces in the new issue are:

"Knowing For Sure Without Knowing For Certain" by the superb documentary filmmaker Paromita Vohra (part of a new section devoted to Indian documentaries introduced by the poet Sridala Swami, whose remark "All anthologies are at once histories and auguries" in this recent review of Jeet Thayil's anthology in Tehelka is one of the most satisfying observations on literature I've read in a while)

Some excerpts from Sarnath Banerjee’s graphic novel The Barn Owl’s Wondrous Capers in a Hindi translation by Giriraj Kiradoo

A set of translations by Vinay Dharwadker of four great Hindi poets: Kedarnath Singh, Kunwar Narain, Shrikant Verma, and Dhoomil (Dharwadker has also published a book of very fine translations of Kabir called The Weaver's Songs)

An interview with the Tamil Eelam poet Kasi Anandan by Meena Kandasamy, and some poems of Kasi Anandan in English and Hindi translations

"Not Without Remembrance", an essay by Vyomkesh Shukla on the great shehnai player Ustad Bismillah Khan

Two poems by Keki Daruwalla, one of which is "Gandhi" (you might also want to read Daruwala's old essay "On Writing in English: an Indian poet’s perspective")

and Rabindranath Tagore’s short story "Ekratri" in an English translation by Arunava Sinha (whose translation of Shankar's Chowringhee was recently awarded the Crossword Book Award 2007 for Indian fiction in translation).

Lastly, I'd like to present my own essay "Poetry as Medicine in Ashvaghosha's Handsome Nanda", which I shall post here in a few days.


Anirudh said...

The only one I've read from this set is Vohra's essay. And that is rather good, isn't it?

Neha said...

Would you know if The Weaver's Songs has both the orginal dohas and the translations, or just the translations?

Chandrahas said...

Neha - It has just the translations, but also a lot of helpful notes and a glossary. Dharwadker also provides the refrain of each poem in Kabir's original dialect.

Uncertain said...

Your essay was very well composed. I agree with you that the separation of form from content is not as neat as one imagines (or would like).

But does the existence or absence of the aforementioned duality have any implication for Buddha's philosophy?? Perhaps not?

Some people have argued that the desire "to free oneself from desire" is also a desire (or a meta-desire if you will). So Buddha too does not really transcend desire. I bring this up because your last line is but another 'form' of the same argument.

My own suspicion however is that we should be a little cautious before we apply the syntax of occidental logic to Indian philosophy specially since Indian philosophy has a strong non-dual component and Buddhism was but one current in the continuous stream of Indian philosophical thought.

But I could be mistaken...

Anonymous said...

You have a washing machine?! And to think that i once helped you buy detergent with such sympathy for the chore of soak, scrub etc. Welcome to glimpses of hostel life.

A Bit Of Company In the Evenings