Chennai, Perambur Kumar: You can't fool the people all the time. Old wine in a…
Supriya Sharma: Books in translation overcome language barriers to open windows into other worlds and
cultures. On World Translation Day, we bring you a very short (and by no means definitive) list of recent books by Indian authors in translation that are brilliant and deserve to be read.One Part Woman, the subject of much needless controversy, is based around an actual ancient custom that once existed in Tiruchengode, Tamil Nadu.
Kali and Ponna have been happily married for over a decade. Their only source of woe is their childlessness. Giving in to family and societal pressure, they opt for a rather unconventional though socially accepted solution. On the night of a chariot festival held in the temple of the deity Ardhanareeshwara, sexual intercourse between any consenting man and woman is permissible and the child born of the union considered a gift from the god. While their respective families are desperate enough to send Ponna to the festival, the decision could destroy their marriage.
The narrative, set in the 1940s, is marvellous in its exploration of human relations and in the recreation of the ethos of that period.In these 14 short stories, written over four decades, Sahitya Akademi award-winning writer Damodar Mauzo depicts the everyday life in Goan towns and villages. A farmer couple must decide whether to sell their beloved animals or die of hunger, a wife wishes her uptight husband would display physical affection more openly, the titular Teresa’s unemployed husband turns wife-beater, and so on. Mauzo depicts the trials and tribulations of his characters with remarkable empathy. The stories explore universal anxieties and emotions while offering a distinct flavour of life in the state.The last surviving hangman in Kolkata is 88 with no sons willing to take up the near-extinct family profession. When a rapist gets a death sentence, the task of execution falls to his 22-year-old daughter Chetna Grddha Mullick who suddenly finds herself to be centre of all media attention.