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Phoolsunghi

Longlisted | Book Awards 2021 | Translated into English

Phoolsunghi (Phoolsunghi)

Full Title: Phoolsunghi

Author: Pandey Kapil
Publisher: Penguin Random House India
Translator: Gautam Choubey
Original Language: Bhojpuri

Award Category: Translated into English
About the Book: 

Babu Sahib! You must have heard of a phoolsunghi—the flower-pecker—yes? It can never be held captive in a cage. It sucks nectar from a flower and then flies on to the next.’

When Dhelabai, the most popular tawaif of Muzaffarpur, slights Babu Haliwant Sahay, a powerful zamindar from Chappra, he resolves to build a cage that would trap her forever. Thus, the elusive phoolsunghi is trapped within the four walls of the Red Mansion.

Forgetting the past, Dhelabai begins a new life of luxury, comfort, and respect. One day, she hears the soulful voice of Mahendra Misir and loses her heart to him. Mahendra too, feels for her deeply, but the lovers must bear the brunt of circumstances and their own actions which repeatedly pull them apart.

The first ever translation of a Bhojpuri novel into English, Phoolsunghi transports readers to a forgotten world filled with mujras and mehfils, court cases and counterfeit currency, and the crashing waves of the River Saryu.


About the Author: 

Pandey Kapil
Pandey Kapil (1930-2017) was a doyen of Bhojpuri literature, best remembered as the long-serving visionary editor of Bhojpuri Sammelan Patrika and the founder of Akhil Bharatiya Bhojouri Sahitya Sammelan (est.1973). To promote young authors, he established his own publication house, Bhojpuri Sansthan (est.1970), which brought out some of the best writings in Bhojpuri. Phoolsunghi is his finest work, and perhaps, of Bhojpuri literature too.


Excerpt: 

Excerpt emailed separately to celebrate@valleyofwords.org


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