History & Culture

‘Veyi Padagalu’ in English

The cover image of the book  

HYDERABAD: In 1934, when the Andhra Viswakala Parishad (Andhra University) announced a competition for Telugu novels, renowned poet and writer Viswanatha Satyanarayana sent his novel Veyi Padagalu as the entry. Viswanatha dictated the novel in an extempore manner to his younger brother Venkateswarlu and the latter prepared the manuscript on 999 broadsheets in 29 days. Veyi Padagalu shared the coveted prize along with Narayana Rau, a novel penned by Adivi Bapiraju.

Published as a series twice in Andhra Patrika magazine, Veyi Padagalu was translated into Hindi as Sahasra Phan by the former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao in 1968. Subsequently, the novel was translated into Gujarati and Kannada and made into a tele-serial by Doordarshan.

Recently, the novel is also translated into English as Thousand Hoods by a group of literary lovers and was released at an event held at Ravindra Bharati, Hyderabad.

It took two and a half years for a group of five translators including the Editor of the English version C. Subba Rao, retired professor in English literature, for completing the mammoth task.

“Though some of the short stories and pocket novels penned by the late Viswanatha have been translated into English, so far no one has touched Veyi Padagalu, an extraordinary novel that replicates Telugu culture and pride. We feel we are honoured to do the translation,” says Subba Rao.

Aruna Vyas, Atreya Sarma Uppuluri, Vaidehi Sasidhar and S. Narayana Swamy are the other translators, while K. Suprasanacharya and S. Lakshmana Murthy rendered their services as resource persons. “Viswanatha depicted the impact of ‘change’ in society in a span of two centuries. At a time the western culture is posing a challenge to our own culture, translating Veyi Padagalu into English is the need of the hour. The world should appreciate the genius of Telugu people,” says Subba Rao.

The mighty work had been divided into chapters with translator taking up the task of translating the part given to him/her. “I have done the coordination job that includes ensuring uniformity in the entire work to the reader,” says Subba Rao.

Hyderabad-based Viswanatha Sahithi Peetham has taken up the responsibility of publishing the 1,000-page work and making it available in all leading book stores . “We are also planning to make the digital version of the book for readers abroad,” says Velichala Kondala Rao, chairman of the Samithi.

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Printable version | Jan 14, 2021 1:10:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/history-and-culture/five-translators-worked-on-viswanatha-satyanarayanas-acclaimed-work-veyi-padagalu-to-make-it-available-in-english/article7818134.ece

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