THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Russian Cultural Centre on Monday organised a one-day exhibition of books translated from Russian into Malayalam by K. Gopalakrishnan, a former employee of the Soviet Information Centre in New Delhi.
Mr. Gopalakrisnan, along with his wife Omana, was working at the Centre in 1966 when the couple were invited to Progress Printers in Moscow. A Malayalam division was being set up and Progress needed people to translate Russian works into Malayalam. They started off by translating into Malayalam Russian works that had been translated into English.
The first of the Russian works translated by the couple rolled off a press that was imported from England. Those were the days when Progress was very particular about bringing out books that were attractive to children. Later, even as the company set up its MIR division to publish books on science and the RADUGA division to bring out works of fiction, the job of translating these works into Malayalam remained with the Omana-Gopalakrishnan team.
Omana passed away in 2003. Gopalakrishnan still receives a pension from the Russian government for his efforts.
In his inaugural address, the honorary consul of Russia to India Ratheesh C. Nair said the Centre would attempt to re-publish Malayalam translations of Russian stories for children and Russian folk tales.