Remembering Munshi Premchand

Indian Novels Collective celebrated the 138th birthday of one of India’s most iconic writers – Munshi Premchand – on Sunday, July 29, 2018 at Seven Islands Cafe, Jindal Mansion.

The evening opened with the Chairperson of JSW Foundation and Co-Founder of Indian Novels Collective, Sangita Jindal talking about the Collective, importance of preserving our heritage through Indian literature and how is JSW Foundation contributing to the cause with the partnership between Speaking Tiger and  Indian Novels Collective for translating great novels from Indian languages.

To make the occasion memorable, eminent novelist Kiran Nagarkar announced the first lot of books finalised for translation with our publishing partner Speaking Tiger. The books are Ranangan by Vishram Bedekar (Marathi), Pacchpan Khambe Lal Deewarein by Usha Priyamvada (Hindi), Padma Nadir Majhi by Manik Bandyopadhyay (Bangla), Safeena-e-Gham-e-Dil by Qurratulain Hyder (Urdu) and Carvalho by K P Purnachandra Tejaswi (Kannada).

(Karmelin by Damodar Mauzo (Konkani) is in the list of Konkani novels to be translated.)

Gujarati poet and visual artist Prabodh Parikh went onto speak about the Indian Novels Collective and the role each member plays in curating the journey of Indian Novels collective.

After the introduction and the announcements what followed was an engaging discussion on translation, transcreation and the importance of translating Indian Novels between reputed translators and writers Poonam Saxena, Arunava Sinha, Chandan Gowda and Vanmala Vishwanath. The panel was moderated by poet-professor Ashwani Kumar.

The evening came to an end with Bollywood script writer Darab Farooqui’s scintillating reading of an extract from Premchand ke Phate Joote by Harishankar Parsai and the Bollywood actress and theatre artist Priyanka Setia’s intricately woven dramatic reading from Premchand’s most loved novel – Godaan. Priyanka’s closing poetic rendition of  Godaan was a rare delight in experiencing epic, polyrhythmic symphonies!

(Unfortunately, Vivek Oberoi couldn’t join us for the evening as he was delayed by a shoot in Hyderabad.  However, he sent us a message which would be up on the website shortly.)

We are grateful for the writers, journalists and literature lovers, both young and old, for sparing a Sunday evening to remember one of India’s greatest novelists  – Munshi Premchand. A special thank you to eminent writer, translator and literary critic Shanta Gokhale, actor-director Nandita Das, whose film Manto celebrates another iconic storyteller, renowned sports journalist Ayaz Memon, well-known columnist and author Bachi Karkaria, casting director and producer  Honey Trehan, artist and poet Sanjeev Khandekar with artist Vaishali Narkar and many leading personalities from art, literature, media, theatre and the corporate world for being a part of our audience.