As a reader, when I start reading a book, the first thing I look for is a connect and then the flow of events which helps me to visualize the plot in my own mind. Some books are there, which you just read, and some are there, which you simply love. Because you can relate to them so well and every twist and turn is so gripping that you cannot leave it in between.
I recently read the English translation of Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay’s ‘Gyanar Baksho’ by Anurava Sinha under the name ‘The Aunt Who Wouldn’t Die’, published by BEE Books, Kolkata. When you have already read the original version, you tend to be a bit skeptical on how the translated version is going to be. But, I am glad that I picked this one up. As mentioned earlier, I could connect with it more than anything.
The translation has been beautifully done- simple yet sophisticated language. I almost never felt that there was a lack of narration or sections have been hurried upon. The language seems to have beautifully blended with the story and the best part is that it helped me visualize, just like the original one. The dialogues are easy to interpret. The language is so simple yet fluent that I have started reading the story to my daughter and she is able to understand it as it is. I am sure she will love the book when it gets over. Kudos to Mr. Sinha for translating this masterpiece so that many more people are able to read and enjoy the story. Even people, who might not have seen the movie will be able to understand the drama, the flow, and the climax.
I particularly like the title of the book. It intrigues the reader in different ways. One might have a perception about it, but by the end of the book, the reader might get a whole new surprise. The book has all the elements of a short story and it holds the reader’s attention until the end.
Overall, it is a must-read for book lovers who love classic Bengali pieces and also short stories, which will leave you in awe. I give a 4 rating to this book and recommend it for reading. The original one is a wonderful book, and the translated version is worth every bit. It is great to read famous Bengali short stories in the translated form, and applauses to Arunava Sinha, who have attempted this. Hoping to read many more classics and it is a great way to take Bengali literary works to the masses overcoming the language barrier.
For those who might not know about the book, here is a teaser:
The Aunt Who Wouldn’t Die is a narration from the protagonist, who comes as a young bride into a family of landlords, but the only thing left is their pride and a big mouth. Gradually, she gets adjusted into the family. Her encounters with the most elderly member of the family, Pishima, isn’t too good. But, when Pishima starts interacting with her after her death as a ghost and gives her the prized possession that is a box of jewelry, their equation changes. Next follows a series of ups and downs in the story, where the shy and timid bride emerges as a saviour of the family, where men are almost nincompoops.
**This is an early review and thanks to BEE Books for sending me the copy for review. The book will soon be available on Amazon, Flipkart, and other online portals. So, please do order your copy and enjoy this lovely short story.