Looking forward to 2017 with Reading Indian Translations Challenge #ReadTranslations

Looking forward to 2017 with Reading Indian Translations Challenge #ReadTranslations

2016 finally goes to sleep and I do not want to really wake him up or go back to talk to him.  But still,  2016 was better than 2015 for me.  I had entered the year 2016 bedridden from surgery.  The focus of the past year has been primarily to recover from it and get back to a normal life,  which I did.  The only good thing about being bedridden was I could read the whole day and no one would bother me.  It was the best thing for me as I moved into 2016 reading the most beautiful ‘The Book Thief’ by Marcus Zusak.  I took just two days to finish that massive book.  And I read a whole lot in January as there was nothing much to do otherwise.

I had set up a target of reading atleast 2 books a month and with 44+ books,  I surpassed the target very easily.  This year also,  my target would remain the same.  I plan to read atleast 2 books a month.  I hate to pressurize myself to read.  With the many reading challenges around,  I was unable to find one I was comfortable in.  So,  I am planning to do the #TSBCReadsIndia challenge.  The plan is to read a book from each state of India written in a regional language and translated.  I am sure this hashtag has some very good recommendations.

With 22 official languages in our country, English, which is a legacy of the British Rule,  is a common uniting factor.  So,  I will be looking to read English or Hindi translations of the regional authors.   Our regional literature is rich.  But, I do not see it being promoted at a level that it should be.    There is no awareness at all at the school levels.  It was not there when I was studying nor do I see anything in my children’s school books.

I do not know if I will complete this challenge in one year.  But,  I promise to seek regional authors and read their translations.  Let me know if you plan to join me.  We can exchange notes and some books too.  Let me know your recommendations and I will update in my list below.  I have mentioned the translations I have read below.

States of India

Andhra Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh







Himachal Pradesh

Jammu & Kashmir



Kerala  –

  1. The Legends of Khasak (Khasakinte Itihasam) by O Vijayan, translated by the author
  2. Bhima (Randamoozham) by M T Vasudevan Nair, translated by Prem Panicker

Madhya Pradesh










Tamil Nadu –

  1. Pyre by Perumal Murugan,  translated by Aniruddhan Vasudevan
  2. One Part Woman (Madhurobaagan) by Perumal Murugan,  translated by Aniruddhan Vasudevan




Uttar Pradesh

West Bengal


Union Territories and Capitals

Andaman and Nicobar Islands


The Government of NCT of Delhi (Delhi)

Dadra and Nagar Haveli

Daman and Diu



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20 thoughts on “Looking forward to 2017 with Reading Indian Translations Challenge #ReadTranslations

  1. Good idea. I suggest ‘Ohari’, written by K L Mohanavarma and Oru Sankeerthanam pole, written by Perumbadavam Sreedharan to the list, if not read already, in Malayalam books category.

    Have a great Sunday !

  2. I have read a few Assamese and Bengali books that were translated and found them extremely good. You are sure to have a great time moving through your challenge. Sadly, I haven’t read any malayalam books that were translated, even when I am a malayali. I am looking forward to read, ‘Hangwoman’ By K.R. Meera sometime soon.

    1. Thanks Maliny. Do recommend to me the translated books you have read. I can pick them up. I have heard Hangwoman is good. Malayalam does have a rich literature. That is the reason, I want to read more of them. I have been recommended Kamala Das books as well. I don’t want to limit to Malayalam authors only. I did not know you are a Malayali. Good to meet another Malayali here in blogosphere.

  3. Definitely interesting. But translations are not my cup of ‘kaapi’, I guess 🙂
    I wanted to finish 50 books this year and I completed only 42. 🙁

    1. Thanks Shalini. It did also take me a long time to discover translations. Hopefully, in future you may be interested.

  4. Love the idea. Though, I don’t have it in me to read translations when I can barely get through fiction or normal books.
    But, I guess, I could always try 🙂
    Good luck, Lata!

    1. Thanks Sid. There are many hidden gems in translations. Try them out. Read Perumal Murugan’s book One Part Woman in English. Its excellent.

  5. It’s hard to translate writings as words don’t just express thoughts; they express culture and ways of thinking that may be foreign for those outside the culture. The translator has to not literally translate but do it in a way that the entire thought is expressed. So I can admire anyone who can read in various languages – a skill I’ve not worked to attain.

    1. Thanks Alana. A lot gets lost in translation. But, still they have a different, local dimension to it. Even translations of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Stieg Larsson and Keigo H are bestsellers in English.

      All Indians are multilingual. Most of us have a native/mother tongue. Then we are taught English and Hindi in School. To add to that we also learn a local state language.

  6. In my fiction-reading days I would often enjoy reading English and Hindi translations of some of the works from Tamil, Punjabi, Bangla, Sanskrit etc. A few years ago I really enjoyed reading Chandra Rajan’s translations of Kalidasa in English, though I am sure Sanskrit would have been even more beautiful. These days I once in a while read some poetry translations of Tamil greats like Bharatihari, Andal. Someday I would definitely want to read O Vijayan and a few other Tamil and Marathi authors. All the best for your reading challenge for 2017.

    1. Thanks Beloo. I will sought some recommendations from you. I am not much in Poetry as it needs another level of understanding. Thanks for visiting after a long time.

    1. Thanks Sanch. I agree sometimes the content gets lost in translation. But, the stories are different and very local. Many have survived for years. Will keep them updated on the blog.

  7. Love your taking up the challenge to read regional books, Lata! I remember your post about The Book Thief and immediately went and got it 🙂 I wish you a 2017 that’s healthy and happy! All the best to you in your reading challenges!

    1. Thank you Vidya. Hope you also loved the Book Thief as much as I did. Wish you too a healthy and Happy New Year.

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