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Tales of middle class anxiety

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BENGALURU: The English translation of a book in Kannada about the difficult climb of a middle class family up the class ladder was released by Jnanpith award winner Girish Karnad at the Alliance Francaise on Tuesday evening.

“The book is about middle class difficulties and life transitions; middle class anxiety is portrayed in this book” said Karnad at the release of Srinath Perur’s translation of Vivek Shanbhag’s Ghachar Ghochar, a nonsense word as title.

Arshia Sattar, who moderated the discussion at the release, read out two scenes from the book while stating that “This could be one of the books of the year.” She mentioned the difficulty in finding good translators, like Perur, of books in Kannada.

Karnad too felt that it was difficult to find translators who spoke English at home. Karnad said “Even though the book shows the transitions of middle class family from the lower class to the upper class, it does not hide the caste factor.”

The author, Shanbhag, said “Every writer will have his own world which belongs to him; the scenes and the characters in my world helped me find the voice. It is the pain and pleasure you get when you don’t know what the end of your story is, I don’t plan my story.”

“I was very lucky to have got a translator like Perur. Both of us had common vibes which was very helpful” Shanbhag added, appreciating Perur for his work. Their relations goes back four or five years. “I saw Perur’s writings which were impressive and when it came to Ghachar Ghochar I thought Perur would be the best choice.”

On translations from and translators of Kannada, Perur said: “I am not qualified enough to answer that question but, recently, Tamil language has had some good translators.”


Ashwin S
I MA Comm


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