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VoW 2019 / Sessions / November 17 / OTHER WORLDS IN OTHER WORDS

VoW 2019 | November 17 – 2:20 pm to 3:10 pm | |


Alok Bhalla [Day and Daastan] & Prabha Sridevan [Echoes of the Veena] in conversation with Jaiwanti Dimri



The Art of Translation.

On the third day of Valley of Words, International Literature and Arts Festival – Dehradun, a session was conducted on “Other worlds in Other words” to highlight the imperativeness of translation in literary world. Mr. Alok Bhalla and Miss Prabha  Sridevan were the panelists for the session as they were in conversation with Miss Jaiwanti Dimri.

Mr. Alok Bhalla expressed his views about the translation culture of India by stating that “the art of translation is as creative as  the art of writing.” He also expressed his approval about the essence of translation by emphasising upon the book, “Day and Dastaan.” He stated that the book is written  in the context of a Muslim household and highlights upon the elements of translation. The book mentions, ” Oh! Butterfly, convey my Salaam to Allah Miranda. ” Mr. Alok Bhalla in the conversation with Jaiwanti Dimri conveyed to the audience the reason behind the usage of the word ‘salaam’ rather than using ‘hello’.

Miss Prabha Sridevan also expresses her ideas by describing the sense of translation in the book, “Echoes of the Veena”. She elaborated upon the major themes of ‘music and betrayals’ present in the storyline. She stated that how translation has to take the social context of the original piece into the consideration.  Miss Jaiwanti Dimri also raised some interesting questions that enhanced the engagement between the invited panelists. She asked them about the ‘untranslatability’ of some pieces in literature. Both the panelists had different takes about the degree of translatability.

One of the audience members, who was also an administrator also shared his experience of translation with Mr. Alok Bhalla. He stated that he was only able to get comfortable with Tamil-English translation after ten years of constant practice. Miss Prabha Sridevan also shared her experience in translation as she said, ” I am not comfortable with translating English language to Tamil language but it’s quite easy vice versa.”

The audience enjoyed the session as it literally, played with the words of native or indigenous value. The audience was able to relate with the words like dharma, salaam etc but they were not able to give it a exact English word. At the end of the session, Miss Prabha Sridevan also posed a question to the audience that whether they can find an equivalent hindi word for the English word ‘privacy’.  The session ended on the note of “translation” to be considered as art within the parameters of literary world.

Sabahat Ali Wani, St.Stephens

Session Images