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Seducing the Rain God Book Review

RK Rishikesh Sinha


Few days ago, I read a book ‘Seducing the Rain God’ by Smriti Kumar Sinha. I read each and every word in the book. I find the book is not merely a book consisting of fourteen stories originally written in Bishnupriya Manipuri, it is more of a product that is embedded with many information of the community to the pan-Indian readers as well as to the home audience. So, the book appears as a big bridge connecting many small bridges.

Ramlal Sinha, the translator of the book, has successfully done a very painstaking job translating the stories written in Bishnupriya Manipuri. He has effectively transferred the original Bishnupriya Manipuri framework to English without diluting the beauty of the stories. However, if given an opportunity I would like to read the original ‘Bishnupriya Manipuri’ story ‘Choudhury Golapchan’. Since the story touches the core of the Bishnupriya Manipuri psyche.

Here are the few lines from the book: 

"Monigo, your mind is still full of the Viratsabha, the Mahabharata, Arjun, Raja Lokei and the like. Have a sound sleep. You have to wake up early tomorrow morning. Aargh! They’re busy with the Mahabharata of Hastinapur while imminent and burning issues like starvation death, community cancer, bleak match-making prospects of the girls of Raja Lokei, have been pushed to the backburner.”

Here we can see, the character in the story struggles with two realms.

There is another reason liking the book. There are two stories that relates to my lineage ‘Rajkumar’. And the book begins with Golapsena Rajkumar in the story ‘Flowers without fragrance’. The story pricks a very common talk especially in my home. 

Here it is: Golapsena Rajkumar. Rajkumar, a prince! He himself was ignorant of where exactly his forefathers had been kings and how big their kingdom was.

The book comes as a standard book for future translators to keep maximum Bishnupriya Manipuri words while translating it into English. He has kept many words as it is: Iche, Eiga, Fita, Muktiar, Khura, Kathi, Giri, Chakchafal, Chengi, Khuttei, Pirha, Pana-Tankha, Ima, Angaluri, Inafi, Fizang, Gidei, Talaphuti, Ine etc.

One would observe that the information given about the Bishnupriya Manipuri language inside the front cover of the book finds expression in all the stories carried in the book.

In addition to it, through a story in the book ‘In search of an immortalizing herb’, the author bring forth the danger of overstretch of science in each and every societal sphere and in one’s personal lives. Take for a moment if in our lives there is no place for beliefs, stories, and myths, and we construct science as everything. Definitely, we will be doomed. The character of the story, Shankhalema, rightly says: Atoms and molecules don’t constitute a community. It is a nice book.

Buy it. It is available in Amazon India.

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