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Sukumer Ray's 'Pagla Dashu' takes rebirth

Posted on Nov 02, 11:33AM | IBNS

Bookstore chain Starmark Thursday celebrated the 125th birth anniversary of legendary writer Sukumar Ray with the launch of the book,'The Crazy Tales of Pagla Dashu and Co', containing 25 classic stories featuring the character 'Pagla Dashu', created by the legend.

The stories have been put together in English for the first time by eminent writer and teacher Sukanta Chaudhuri along with the members of the Jadavpur University Translators' Collective.

The translation was carried out by a 17 member group in two workshops held in March-April 2011, conducted by the Center of Advanced Study Programme of the Department of English, Jadavpur University.

The editorial team comprised of Aparna Chaudhuri, Pradipta Sarkar and Abhijit Gupta.

The book also features rare illustrations by the father-son duo of Sukumar Ray and Satyajit Ray.

Sukanto Chaudhuri said, "It must have been a record as 17 translators have been associated with the book."

One feature of Pagla Dashu is striking, that it is somewhat dated work with colloquial dialogues of that period and to create the humour through them posed the biggest challenge," he added.

Certainly the book observes the fact which reads in the prologue that,"Pagla Dashu is too Bangla and to Pagla to be translated."

The book is an out-and-out romp where life is never dull when Dashu, a round-eyed, curly haired school boy is around and shakes up people while everything else go topsy-turvy like the hero.

"I hope the new generation will read as well despite the story being periodic. It will take you on a crazy roller-coaster ride through poetry epidemics, strange robberies, chaotic school play and imaginary lands populated by magical characters," gushed Abhijit Gupta.

The book is published by Hachette India and is priced at Rs 295.