Set in colonial Bihar, it narrates the tale of an unfulfilled love between Mahendra Mishra and courtesan Dhelabai.(Amazon)
Set in colonial Bihar, it narrates the tale of an unfulfilled love between Mahendra Mishra and courtesan Dhelabai.(Amazon)

‘Phoolsunghi’: Famous Bhojpuri novel now in English

The much-loved Bhojpuri historical novel “Phoolsunghi”, written by veteran Bhojpuri writer Pandey Kapil, has now been translated into English.
By Press Trust of India | Posted by Jahnavi Gupta | New Delhi
UPDATED ON OCT 23, 2020 03:36 PM IST

The much-loved Bhojpuri historical novel “Phoolsunghi”, written by veteran Bhojpuri writer Pandey Kapil, has now been translated into English.

The book, touted to be the first ever Bhojpuri novel translated in English, will be published under Penguin Random House India’s ‘Hamilton’ imprint next month. It is translated by academic-writer Gautam Choubey.

Set in colonial Bihar, it narrates the tale of an unfulfilled love between Mahendra Mishra, one of the most popular yet enigmatic Bhojpuri poets, and courtesan Dhelabai. The two protagonists are brought together by unexpected circumstances, but they also suffer due to them.

“I am absolutely thrilled that Penguin Random House India is going to publish the English translation of ‘Phoolsunghi’. Translating this phenomenal novel brought together a community of authors, language scholars and Bhojpuri enthusiasts. I am glad the rest of the world would now be able to discover an aspect of Bhojpuri culture they had never imagined and hopefully appreciate its richness,” said Choubey.

According to the publisher, filled with mujras, mehfils, legal battles and intrigues, the 1977 novel makes for a gripping read and will bring alive the cultural ethos of a forgotten world.

“Ever since Phoolsunghi landed upon my desk, it has been an exciting journey of discovering the abundant literature of a language we do not know enough about. Anyone who picks up this book will be charmed by the beauty of its lost world,” said Ananya Bhatia, associate commissioning editor, Penguin Random House India.

Even actor Manoj Bajpayee, two-time recipient of the National Film Award and an advocate for Bhjopuri, welcomed the English translation of Pandey Kapil’s iconic novel and said “Phoolsunghi’s greatest triumph lies in bringing the pulsating soul of an artist to life.” “I hope that this translation draws mainstream’s attention towards the long neglected language, literature and culture of the Bhojpuri speaking people of the world,” he added.

It is currently available for pre-order on e-commerce websites.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.)

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