Beauty queen spills tales of rigour in Hindi translation (With Image)

March 7th, 2009 - 11:29 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) When done well, a translation can open a new world both to the author and the reader, as was seen in the recently released “Is Taaj Ke Heere Chubhte Hai”, a Hindi translation of Ira Trivedi’s popular novel “What Would You do to Save the World: Confessions of a Beauty Queen”.
Translated by Inab Amin and published by Penguin India, the book was released by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

The novel is a racy and realistic account of a Mumbai girl who takes a potshot at glamour. It is Riya’s only chance to turn fantasy into reality - the Miss India Beauty contest could well be a gateway to Bollywood. She is intelligent, good-looking, confident and importantly - tall.

But the catwalk to fame is full of thorns. Riya battles reality when she finds herself in a five-star hotel in the company of 22 gorgeous girls training for the contest.

The mood is charged - and the competition for the crown is ruthless. It is marked by moments of exhilaration and viciousness. The book probes the dark side of beauty pageants and the blood and sweat that goes into the making of the perfect beauty - the “dust behind the diamonds and the tears behind the plastic smiles”.

The translated version reads as peppy as its English counterpart.

The language is colloquial - a mixture of Hindi, Urdu and stray English words to retain the flavour of everyday lingo.

“As the subject of the book was so interesting, I managed to step into the shoes of the character. The language has been intentionally kept simple. The two things I kept in mind while translating the book was that I had to be honest to the character of Riya and feel her,” Amin said. She took five months to translate the book.

“I am working on my second translation. It is a book by a Pakistani author, Qaisra Shahraz, titled ‘The Holy Woman’,” said Amin, a postgraduate from the Aligarh Muslim University.

Dikshit said that translations are necessary for literature to reach a wider cross section of people.

“The original novel in English is human, though I haven’t read the Hindi version. The number of English fictions in the market outnumbers Hindi books. Culture cannot remain divided into two because most Indians now either think in English and speak in Hindi; or vice versa. Both languages come naturally to us - so it’s easier to relate to or appreciate translations,” Dikshit told IANS.

Trivedi, who cannot read Hindi, felt that translations could go a long way in taking Indo-Anglican authors to the Hindi speaking readers.

“I liked the way the book has been translated,” she said after Delhi-based compere and media instructor Ghazala Amin read out excerpts from the book.

Trivedi’s new books “The Great Indian Love Story” and the “Intern”, that will be published in September and December respectively, are mirrors reflecting society and how new money flowing into the country has created a beast.

“I have worked on Wall Street for sometime,” Trivedi said.

The translation is priced at Rs.250.

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