08 May, 2021

Pain Of An Unfinished Matter

There is no major complication or conflict that would have shaken the novel to life.

Pain Of An Unfinished Matter

One of the pleasures of reading this translated version of a Hindi classic is that it does not read like a translation. It happens often that the translator is comfortable with one language and not the other. Happily, Poonam Sax­ena is at ease in both Hindi and English and has steered away from a literal translation of Dharamvir Bha­rti’s famous novel. Instead, she has captured its spirit and essence in her own words. It’s a delightful read.

Gunahon ka Devta was written in 1949 when the author was just 23 and fresh out of college. The novel was an instant success and over the years it has gained a cult following, especially among the young, and has gone through over a hundred reprints. Bharti, who died in 1997, was also a celebrated poet and playwright. He did a long stint as editor of Dharamyug, now defunct, the leading Hindi weekly magazine of its time and a companion to Illustrated Weekly in Times of India’s stable.

The novel is set in Allahabad at a time when it was an idyllic provincial town. The...

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