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Krishna Sobti felicitated

Novelist Krishna Sobti was felicitated for her award-winning novel The Heart Has Its Reasons.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2006 12:13 IST

On Saturday, 8th April, Katha -the publishing house that has been instrument in bringingregional language literature to the fore by having it translated into English -felicitated author Krishna Sobti, who recently was honoured with the Hutch Crossword Award for her work Dil-O-Danish (its translated version is called The Heart Has Its Reasons).

The event was kick-started by a discussion on sundry aspects of translation after which Ms Sobti was felicitated.

Noted Hindi litterateur and critic Mr Namwar Singh speaking on Sobti’s work, offered his opinion that Sikka Badal Gaya, a short and powerful story on the Partition was the first story in Hindi that presented the fierce independence of a woman.

 Krishna Sobti

"The same character can also be seen in Zindaginama," he added. Zindaginama is considered Sobti's most ambitious novel. Mr Singh confessed to amazement at how Sobti, a native of Punjab could master the Hindi language to an extent so as to be the envy of native Hindi speakers such as himself. "She writes in the language of an Ustad".

Each of Ms Sobti’s stories appears to be written in a different language. Mitro Marajani is very different from Yaaron ke Yaar, which is again very different from Zindaginama. The marked pluralism in Sobti’s style of writing, of character, and of language is proof of her genius in world-building.

At the event, Ms Sobti thanked her translators. She added that she felt that the writer is the first translator who brings to the fore what is in the inner recesses of one’s being. "The only way to write is to remove your authority over what you write. One has to be guided by the personality of the text that you have written."

 Cover of Ai Ladki! that was translated as Listen Girl

While expounding on her belief of not imposing one’s authority over the characters, Ms Sobti spoke of the character of the unlettered woman in

Mitro Marajani

and the decision she takes to return to her husband at the end of the novel, a decision that many feminists had questioned Sobti about. According to Ms Sobti, if a woman takesa decision that seems right to her, she as an author would not come in the way, saying that she was not privy to the decision.

When asked about authorial depictions of culture in her works, Ms Sobti replied that she has to know very deeply the culture and the milieu to be able to filter it into her writing.

"One has to be guided by the personality of the text that you have written. It is almost akin to a spiritual experience,' she said.

First Published: Apr 13, 2006 16:53 IST