By Chowdary Jampala
Sri Dasu Krishnamoorty is an 84 year young man who retired after working in senior editorial positions at national newspapers like The Indian Express and The Times of India. A few years ago, Sri Krishnamoorty and his daughter Tamraparni Dasu – a Senior Research Scientist at AT&T Labs, started a bimonthly web magazine, Literary Voices of India (http://www.literaryvoicesofindia.org), which presents translations of contemporary Indian fiction.
Earlier this year, I received from Sri Krishnamoorty, a copy of an anthology of Telugu short stories titled, 1947 Santoshabad Passenger and Other Stories, published by Rupa & Co that he and Ms. Dasu have translated into English. They note in the introduction that they see the Telugu short stories as couriers of culture and community message. It is their intent to bring the richness of Telugu short story to a global audience.
The 24 stories in this anthology span the 100 year odd history of Telugu short story. The writers here range from Bandaru Acchamamba who is credited with writing the earliest of the Telugu short stories to the current day writers like Mohammad Khadeer Babu. Included in this collection are Chalam’s SEshamma, Raavi Saastri’s maamiDi ceTTu, Koku’s saahasam, Volga’s tODu, Bandi Naaraayana Swami’s saavukooDu and, of course, the title story by Madhuraantakam Narendra. Incidentally, Swami’s story was translated by late Vakati Panduranga Rao (if I remember right, this translation appeared originally in the English ‘Katha’ series as a nomination for the best Telugu short story of that year). These stories open multiple windows to the diverse aspects of the life in Telugu land over the past century.
As has been discussed in this and other forums, there is a need to get Telugu short stories translated into other languages, particularly into English to offer the world at large a chance to read them. Unfortunately, most attempts at this seem not to go beyond Indian readership. Often, many of these attempts are marred by archaic idiom and expression or literal translations that make them stilted and not appealing to the uninitiated. One of the issues that all translators have to face and decide for themselves is who they are doing this for. That would help them choose the right language and style that will help them reach that readership. Readers that grew up in India have different needs than those that are not previously acquainted with the Indian way of life or the Indian idiom. This volume, to an extent, overcomes the limitations apparent in the previous attempts at translating Telugu stories into English.
1947 Santoshabad Passenger and Other Stories
Translations of Telugu Short Stories
Published in March 2010 by Rupa & Co
To obtain the book, visit http://www.literaryvoicesofindia.org/literaryvoicesofindia.net/The_Book.html