For Surjit Hans, a Punjabi literate and retired professor of History, reading Shakespearean works in English was not very easy, so he translated his plays into Punjabi.
The love for his mother tongue drove Hans to take up the tedious task, which perhaps no Punjabi writer had ever thought of. “It gives me extreme pleasure to translate Shakespearean works in Punjabi. It is something the future generations will cherish,” he said, sitting in his library containing collection of rare history books.
It took 79-year-old Hans more than 16 years to translate 31 plays of Shakespeare into Punjabi which are already in print, while six are still in the pipeline. Hans says he wants to complete translation of all Shakespeare plays in his lifetime.
Asked about his inspiration to translate the numerous Shakespeare works into Punjabi, Hans said: “I studied English, taught English but never loved English.”