Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Foray Into Translation: Love, In Four Fragments

I know, I know.

I know I haven't written in a long while, and if this blog were a physical space, this post is just dusting the cobwebs, trying to infuse life into its musty corners.

I really don't know how or why writing slipped from me (or did I let it slip?) For months now, it was as if thoughts shrivelled up at the tip of my fingers, in terror of shape-shifting into words. Maybe I just lost inspiration. Maybe I was too lazy to sit down and coax words out of their shells, when once upon a time they used to tumble out of me like a row of toppling dominos.

I was bereft. 

So when my schoolmate and friend Sulyab posted his Malayalam poem, Pranaythinte Naalu Varnangal, it was with a vengeance that I took it upon myself to translate it, possessed by a faint hope that I could rediscover my love, find purpose again. I'm not sure if I did, but I did have a lot of fun in the process.

With my limited exposure to Malayalam language/literature (something I'm not proud of) and this being my first attempt at translation, I'm well aware it could do with a lot of work. Nevertheless, I'm proud of my baby steps!

If you appreciate Malayalam, find this wonderful, ridiculously self-aware meditation on love here.

And then, find my translation here. (Nothing's stopping you from reading it as a standalone, non-Malayalis! *hint hint*)

Do let me know what you thought of it, especially bilingual Malayalis around here: how did I fare as a translator, and what could've been done better?


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