GUWAHATI: At a time when Assamese youth are fast losing interest in Assamese literature and language, a Marathi woman – Vidya Sarma – has penned a translation of Assamese writer Rita Choudhury’s ‘Makam’, which has been widely praised in Maharashtra and also has been selected for an award.

Vidya Sarma will be conferred the G A Kulakarni Puraskar by the Goa Hindu Association in November for her translated work. The award is given every alternate year for translated works and for play scripts.india_literature

Sarma, who is married to an Assamese, taught herself not only to speak Assamese but to write it as well. She now wants to spread some of the great literary works by noted Assamese writers in Maharashtra through translation.

“When I first read ‘Makam’ it struck me emotionally. The next thought was to translate it into Marathi and to tell the story to the people in my native place. I took writer Rita Choudhury’s permission and embarked on my mission,” said Sarma.

It took a year for Sarma to complete the translation. It finally was published in February this year and got an overwhelming response from critics and readers as well. Readers called up Rita Choudhury and thanked her for highlighting the plight of the Chinese Assamese at the height of the Sino-India conflict of 1962.

“I got calls from people in Nashik and Pune thanking me for telling the story of a lesser known aspect of post-Independence Indian history. Her work has been appreciated and even selected for an award. The plight of the Chinese Assamese needs to be told to the people outside the state,” said Rita Choudhury.

Sarma consulted on some portions with Choudhury for her translating initiative. Her Marathi translation is also titled ‘Makam’ runs to 400 pages as compared to Choudhury’s 600-page book.

“I want to spread the writings of Assamese writers in Maharashtra and build a bridge between Assam and Maharastra. Prior to this I have translated some works by Bhabendra Nath Saikia, Sneha Devi and Syed Abdul Malik into Marathi some of which were published. I am planning to translate some of Mamoni Raisom Goswami’s short stories into Marathi,” said Sarma.

She loves Assamese literature but feels that the new generation should take serious interest in the propagation of the language. She has been staying in Assam for close to two decades now.

(Source: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-10-23/guwahati/43323982_1_assamese-marathi-translation-bhabendra-nath-saikia)

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