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Tagore translated

Lyricist-filmmaker Gulzar, who translated Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry for Nauka Doobi’s Hindi dub Kashmakash, is now translating the Nobel laureate’s literary works for a hardcover poetry and short-story children’s book in Hindi or English within this year.

books Updated: May 08, 2011 15:01 IST
Rachana Dubey

Lyricist-filmmaker Gulzar, who translated Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry for Nauka Doobi’s Hindi dub Kashmakash, is now translating the Nobel laureate’s literary works for a hardcover poetry and short-story children’s book in Hindi or English within this year. “I’m doing this with my heart and soul because I don’t think children have any access to Rabindranath Tagore’s work,” says Gulzar, adding, “Some of them don’t even know who he is, though everyone sings Jana Gana Mana, and Aamar Shonar Bangla in India and Bangladesh respectively. I’m confident that these stories and poems will open up a different world for kids.”

The Oscar and National Award-winning poet was expected to reproduce selected short stories written by Tagore in a 15-hour-long programme that would be run in small capsules on Doordarshan (DD). But the plan fell through. “I re-produced two novels and 10 short stories by Munshi Premchand that could run for 15 hours. I wanted to do Tagore before that, but I was coaxed into doing Premchand,” he recalls. “I followed up with DD for Tagore for four to five years. Then I gave up because they made me go round in circles, and asked me to do Guru Granth Sahib. I refused.”

Gulzar has now approached the central government to include his translations of Tagore’s works, which have been published in a periodical called Chak Mak, in school curriculums. “We can’t get our kids off computers and gadgets,” he says. “But for as long as they have textbooks, they should read Tagore’s works to know the enormous amount of enriching literature he’s left behind.”