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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri




Translation as Literature

Dr. Sanjog Bhan

Waves is an English rendition of award winning Kashmir'. poems written by the eminent Kashmiri poet and J&K Cultural Academy awardee Arjan Dev Majboor. Argentinean poet Luis Jorge Borges said about a certain book once that the original was unfaithful to the translation. Waves, rendered into English by Arvind Gigoo may well fit into the same category of books which accord­ing to Borges could best be read independent of the original. The book also contains some fine sketches by the Kashmiri artist and sculptor Vijay Zutshi.
The book has been lauded by many a literary critic for its path breaking translation. The translator, Arvind Gigoo, has done away with old and hackneyed translation techniques. Instead he has evolved a unique style of his own wherein the poems appear to have a strong tint of modernism and magical realism to them. The poems in English stand alone, divorced from the original.
Language seems to have been liberated from traditional diction and prosody. Translation perhaps may sound misleading: the book has actually been transcreated from the Kashmiri. The word play, the rhythm and tone in the transcreated poems are radi­cally different from that of the original. And indeed, it is a landmark transcreation. a true watershed in the history of Kashmiri literature.
Even the sketches by Vijay Zutshi comment and add to the meaning of the poems. These sketches are Daliesque in expression and form. The long poem To the Swan (Teol in Kashmiri) is a great poem in contemporary Kashmiri poetry and has won the poet many laurels. Some of the themes which the poems reflect are exile, death, loneliness, freedom, nature, time, Kashmir and nostalgia.
The poems have brought out modernism as one of the recurrent themes in the book and one finds the voice torn ambivalently between the old and the new. The poems subtly herald the birth of the new age wherein old values are still alive yet hidden. The English flavour to a native imagination has given the book a unique place in contemporary regional Indian literatures of India. The poetry in Waves lends itself to multiple interpretations and at the same time attracts attention of a bi-cultural audience, viz. the English and the Kashmiri.
The translator has given another voice to a language otherwise known and understood by a miniscule community. The original Kashmiri might lament the loss of the old world and old home, but the English translation seems to speak of mul­tiple identities, addresses and homes spread across the world.

Arjan Dev Majboor



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And the world remained silent

A documentary about ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits by Pakistan-trained terrorists. Kashmiri Pandits have now become refugees in their own country.

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