Tamil Nadu

A Tamil classic translated into Sourashtra

Photograph for Silapathikaram story.

Photograph for Silapathikaram story.  

Translator Gnaneswaran has used Tamil script for phonetic rendering of Silapathikaram

As a student of Tamil literature in Thiyagaraja College in Madurai in the 1970s, S.D. Gnaneswaran came under the spell of Silapathikaram and its characters. An urge grew in him to translate the Tamil epic into his mother tongue Saurashtra language.

“It has been four decades in the making. Now I have completed translating Puhar Kandam into Sourashtra,” 72-year old S.D. Gnaneswaran who is also the editor of the web magazine sourashtratime.com. In translating Silapathikaram, Mr. Gnaneswaran has used Tamil script to convey the sound of Sourashtra words even though Sourashtra had a script of its own.

“Today not many Sourashtra speakers are familiar with the script, though they speak the language. They think they have nothing to gain by learning the script. It will be easy for them to read Silapathikaram phonetically. I have used the prose form instead of verse,” said Mr. Gnaneswaran who ran the magazine as a monthly till 1984. “Financial constraints did not allow me to continue the publication,” he said. Now he is running it as a fortnightly web magazine.

Labour of love

It had taken three years for Mr. Gnaneswaran to complete the task as he had to go through every available Sourashtra literary work to find suitable words that would convey effectively the content of the Tamil classic. He has printed 1,000 copies.

“What we speak today is a colloquial language with the presence of local words. As we have a lot of literary works available in Sourashtra, I borrowed appropriate words and succeeded in making the translation nearly perfect,” he said.

Noted Sanskrit scholar and winner of Sahitya Akademi award T.R. Damodaran has penned the preface for the book and C. Senthil, the son of Silamboil Chellappan, an authority on the literary work, have written a foreword.

“The release will be held at Thanjavur on May 27 as it is close to Poompuhar where the action takes place in the Puhar Kandam. I will release Madurai Kandam in Madurai and it will be followed by Vanchi Kandam,” he said.

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Printable version | Mar 27, 2020 10:51:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/a-tamil-classic-translated-into-sourashtra/article23919603.ece

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