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Another Smriti story in Indian Literature

Topo Singha
Bishnupriya Manipuri short story writer Prof. Smriti Kumar Sinha penetrated the Eighth Schedule roadblock on the road to Indian Literature yet again. ‘God for a Night’, English rendering of his ‘Rati ahanor Bhogoban’, was published in the January/February 2014 279 issue of prestigious Indian Literature, Sahitya Akademi’s Bi-Monthly Journal. The story in question was translated into English by journalist Ramlal Sinha.
Indian Literature, as Sahitya Akademi claims, is India’s oldest and only journal of its kind featuring translations in English of poetry, fiction, drama and criticism from twenty-three Indian languages besides original writing in English. Offering a feast of literature, Sahitya Akademi further claims, Indian Literature is also highly valued as a source of reference in India and abroad and is a must for libraries and for discriminating readers, researchers and students of creative and critical literature.

‘God for a Night’ is one among the five short stories, one each from five different languages, published in this issue of Indian Literature. This Bishnupriya Manipuri story appeared in Indian Literature on the same footing as that of Urdu poet Gulzar, M. T. Vasudevan Nair and the likes of them.
This is not the first instance of Prof. Sinha winning laurels for his creative writing. In fact, he is the first and only (so far) Bishnupriya Manipuri writer to have got a rendering of his creative writings published in Indian Literature. The May/June 2011 263 issue of Indian Literature had published an English rendering of his short story, ‘Mora Ghator Mas’ (‘Fish of a Dead River’). The story was translated into English by Subhajit Bhadra. ‘Mora Ghator Mas’ is the first Bishnupriya Manipuri story to have been published in Indian Literature. An immediate effect of this story is such that writer (Dr.) Prabhakar Nimbargi translated two stories of Prof. Sinha – ‘Mora Ghator Mas’ and ‘Pata anahor Mohabharat’ – into Kannada and published them in the literary section of the Prajavani, a sister concern of Deccan Herald. A collection of short stories of Prof. Sinha translated into Cannada by Dr. Nimbargi is in the pipeline.
Prof. Sinha is not the only Bishnupriya Manipuri writer to have been able to publish his works in any journal of Sahitya Akademi. Two poems of Bishnupriya Manipuri Writers’ Forum president DILS Lakshmindra Sinha, translated into Hindi by writer Kishore Kumar Jain, were also published in the November, 2013 issue of Somokaleen Bharatiya Sahitya, also a bi-monthly journal (Hindi) of Sahitya Akademi. With this, DILS Sinha became the first Bishnupriya Manipuri writer to have got Hindi renderings of Bishnupriya Manipuri poems published in Sahitya Akademi’s Somokaleen Bharatiya Sahitya.

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