Wednesday, January 11, 2017

I have my caveats against Indian Literature, the Sahitya Akademi’s bi-monthly magazine. But this issue is such a gem, such a beauteous collection that I am ready to forgive them for everything. If you ever wanted to read a comprehensive collection of Assamese poetry in translation, this is the issue – No 295 (September-October 2016), a special issue on 21st Century Assamese Poetry featuring 30 poets, both established and young and it’s a fantastic list (though I could not but help notice some glaring omissions. There’s no Nabakanta Barua, no Ajit Barua, no Kabin Phukan, and most importantly, no Sananta Tanty, an omission I would take personally!)

But let’s not whine when there are such riches to celebrate. I am so happy to see so many young people translating Assamese poetry; it was a find.

There are 15 translators (yours truly included) and understandably one name towers over the rest – Pradip Acharya. He is our Dronacharya, teaching us the skills with tireless dedication. The other translators are Deep Baruah; Krishna Dulal Barua; DN Bezborua; Ramanandan Borah; Anand Bormudoi; Anil Boro; Bibekananda Choudhury; Kallol Choudhury; Rubee Das; Amitabh Ranjan Kanu; Tapati Baruah Kashyp; Jyotirmoy Talukdar; and Nirendra Nath Thakuria.

And the poets, starting with Nilamani Phookan? What a list! This is the royalty of Assamese poetry – Ajit Bharali; Ajit Gogoi; Anubhav Tulasi; Anupama Basumatary; Bibha Rani Talukdar; Bijoy Sankar Barman; Biman Kumar Daley; Bipuljyoti Saikia; Debaprasad Talukdar; Ganga Mohan Mili; Jiban Narah; Julie Boruah; Jyotshna Kalita; Kabita Karmakar; Kamal Kumar Tanti; Kushal Dutta; Lutfa Hanum Salima Begum; Manoj Barpujari; Mridul Haloi; Nibedita Phukan; Nilim Kumar; Nilima Thakuria Haque; Pratim Barua; Premnarayan Nath; Rajeev Barua; Rajib Borah; Ranjit Gogoi; Sameer Tanti and Saurav Saikia.

A momentous occasion!

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