Archive for March, 2008

Indian scripts & School of Arts

March 31, 2008

Prominence to Indian scripts in typography

Languages are an integral part of one’s entire life and time has come when the industries are waking up to the call of the age, that is, to learn the languages of the masses.
India should promote basic aesthetic and scientific value of diverse scripts in order to become a leader in the global typography and calligraphy multi-media markets, experts have said.

Understanding fundamentals of the scripts was important and students of designing should be taught their structures and properties before using them in order to get best of its characteristics, experts said at a two-day conference on `Typography and Calligraphy’ which began in Mumbai on Friday, 28th March.

It has been found that students who come to design schools are not very familiar with Indian languages and scripts and it could prove to be a disadvantage for them, said Professor Santosh Kshirsagar of J J School of Arts.

A designer should know English and at least one Indian language as he is responsible in influencing the masses through various media and therefore, policy makers should give importance to learning of Indian scripts thoroughly at least in the design institutes, he said.


Jamia launches India’s first Centre for Kazakh language and studies

March 31, 2008

New Delhi, Mar.29 (ANI): Cultural relations between India and Kazakhstan were given a fresh boost on Saturday with Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University and the Embassy of Kazakhstan jointly opening the first Centre for Kazakh Language and Studies in the country.
The university’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dr. Mushirul Hassan, inaugurated the centre, which will fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Persian Studies and is housed in the Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Hassan described Kazakhstan as one of the important republics of Central Asia, and underlined the need for universities and other institutions of academic pursuit to take the lead in understanding the finer aspects of life in Central Asia with the objective of improving bilateral and multilateral ties.
Extending full support for the centre, Dr. Hassan said the focus should first be on promoting the language, and followed by emphasis on the socio-economic and sociological aspects of Kazakh society and its long-standing and historical links with countries like India.

Read more …

English, the favoured one!

March 31, 2008

In response to the Presidential initiative, already, a local institute has come forward to join hands with an Indian partner.

A partnership has already been signed between Sri Lankan owned International Education Management Singapore and E Square English Academy of India.

The Indian partner will provide modern English teaching methods and proven course content from India, while the Sri Lankan partner will provide the local expertise in adapting course material for local usage. The institute will also manage educational enterprises and will involve in the opening of language centres around the country in partnership with the local centre operators. Students graduating from the English language programmes, would also be well positioned to seek better employment opportunities.

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Classic in translation – Mahabharat

March 30, 2008

The roots of translation go back to Mughal era when Indian epics were translated in Farsi and other non-Indian languages. The trend continued during the British rule as well, and the passion to translate epics fascinate the translators even today.

Here is one more commendable effort, though it is neither in Hindi nor in Gujarati, but let me make a special note here, that Malayalam is one more Indian language which is truly ruling its heartland as a language in all the spheres of the people belonging to the land. This translated version might not be for you, but the effort of the translator is more than worth a mention on this blog. 🙂

MAHABHARATA — C. Rajagopalachari in English: Malayalam translation by A.K. Balakrishna Nair; Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, K.M. Marg, Mumbai-400001. Rs. 150/- (yes, just hundred and fifty bucks!!!).

AS CAN be expected from the pen of C.Rajagopalachari (C.R.), this is a publication which one cannot stop reading till completing it. The magnum opus of Sage Vyasa, which comprises more than one lakh verses, has been admirably and interestingly summarised without omitting any important episode by C.R. in his work.

The translator has done full justice in lucid and fine Malayalam. There are gripping descriptions such as Yudhishthira approaching Bhishma, Drona and Kripa to pay obeisance giving a dramatic twist to the situation, after the armies have lined up to fight and the conches have been blown, signalling the start of the war.

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India shining: US headhunts Hindi teachers

March 24, 2008

MUMBAI: Little would Jagdish Prasad Sharma have dreamed that his proficiency in Hindi would one day take him from the quiet holy town of Mathura to the bright lights of the US.

Earlier this month, Sharma was one among the 100-odd Hindi teachers who travelled to Noida to be interviewed by a delegation from Connecticut and Carolina, in India to headhunt young, full-time Hindi teachers for their schools.

Read more…

Lost in translation: MEA wants a helping hand

March 24, 2008

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of External Affairs appears to have a serious problem in getting authentic English translation of documents in foreign languages that it receives from other countries or their missions.

Close on the heels of taking seven months to get an English translation of an Argentine court order rejecting India’s request for extradition of Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, it has informed the SC that it is yet to get an English translation of a Kuwait government request for extradition of an Indian national. In the case of Quattrocchi, the Argentine court order was in Spanish, while in Kuwait government’s case it was in Arabic.

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March 18, 2008

Once Guru Nanak Dev, along with his two disciples Bala and Maradana, reached Multan. He had already become famous there. The devotees started flooding in to welcome him.

Pir Bahauddin of Multan could not stand it that a foreigner was welcomed so heartily in his own place. He immediately called up his disciple and sent him to Guru Nanak Dev with a glass full of milk up to the brim.

Seeing the glass full of milk, Maradana asked, “Guruji, what is the meaning of this glass?”

Guru Nanak said, “By sending me this glass full of milk, Pir Bahauddin has sent me a message that there is no place for any other fakir in this land as far as he is there. Two swords can not be accommodated in one scabbard.”

Maradana replied, “He seems to be quite proud. He should be made to lick the dust.”

Guru Nanak did not say anything. He stood up quietly and plucked a jasmine from the garden. He put it in the glass full of milk and said, “Maradana, please go and return this glass to Pir sahab.”

Maradana did not understand this either. But, as an obedient disciple, he went to Pir sahab with the glass. Seeing the jasmine on the glass full of milk, he was not only surprised, but more than that he was amazed at the sensibility of Guru Nanak Dev. He became so eager to see Guru Nanak that he rushed bare feet from his hut.

If your heart is full of feelings of altruism, fearlessness and selflessness, mother nature is bound to get in tuned with yourself. When Rehana Taiyab used to sing bhajans in solitude, even the wild animals of the forest used to sit beside her forgetting their nature. And Bahauddin was after all a Pir. On the way back, Maradana asked him, “Pir sahab, please tell me also, what is the matter about? Why did you fumble seeing the flower?”

Bahauddin said, “By sending a little flower, your master has advised that the way this little flower is weightless and keeps floating here and there in the glass full of milk, letting the milk also remain inside and not letting it go out, I will also stay in Multan for a few days and then go away. Maradana, your master has conveyed this silent message to me which I could not accomplish even after years of tapasya.”

Pir Bahauddin reached Guru Nanak Dev bare feet and took him to his hut. Guru Nanak said with a smile on his face, “Two swords can not be accommodated in one scabbard, but of course two fakirs can be definitely accommodated in one hut.”

– Excerpt of a discourse originally in Hindi

Pânini: The avant-garde grammarian

March 17, 2008

Patanjali, a later grammarian, describes Pânini as ‘analpa-matihh’, that is ‘infinitely intelligent’.

It is intriguing to know that Pânini never mentioned the name of the language for which he wrote the grammar. Tradition ascribes Panini’s grammar ancillary to the Vedas but hardly 300 rules out of his nearly 4000 rules of grammar describe Vedic intricacies. This notion might thus be dispelled.

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Excerpt from “The Revenue Stamp” by Amrita Pritam

March 16, 2008

समय की मुस्कुराहट और मेरे अपने कंपन के कारण मेरी आँख खुल गई, और उन्हीं दिनों मैंने लिखा-

दु:खांत यह नहीं होता कि रात की कटोरी को कोई ज़िंदगी के शहद से भर न सके और वास्तविकता के होंठ कभी उस शहद को चख न सकें –

दु:खांत यह होता है कि जब रात की कटोरी पर से चन्द्रमा की क़लई उतर जाए और उस कटोरी में पड़ी हुई कल्पना कसैली हो जाए ।

दु:खांत यह नहीं होता कि आप की किस्मत से आप के साजन का नाम-पता न पढ़ा जाए और आप की उम्र की चिट्ठी सदा रुलती रहे ।

दु:खांत यह होता है कि आप अपने प्रिय को अपनी उम्र की सारी चिट्ठी लिख लें और फ़िर आप के पास से आप के प्रिय का नाम-पता खो जाए …

दु:खांत यह नहीं होता कि ज़िन्दगी की लंबी डगर पर समाज के बंधन अपने कांटे बिखेरते रहें और आप के पैरों में से सारी उम्र लहू बहता रहे ।

दु:खांत यह होता है कि आप लहू-लूहान पैरों से एक उस जगह पर खड़े हो जाएं, जिस के आगे कोई रास्ता आप को बुलावा न दे ।

दु:खांत यह नहीं होता कि आप अपने इश्क के ठिठुरते शरीर के लिए सारी उम्र गीतों के पैरहन सीते रहें ।

दु:खांत यह होता है कि इन पैरहनों को सीने के लिए आप के पास विचारों का धागा चुक जाए और आप की क़लम-सूई का छेद टूट जाए …

– हिंदी में अनुवादित “रसीदी टिकट” में से साभार 

Poem by D. H. Lawrence

March 15, 2008

ખતમ કરી દો પૈસાનું રાજ

ખતમ કરી નાખો પૈસાને

કાઢી મૂકો એને જીવનમાંથી બહાર.

પૈસો છે વિકૃત વૃત્તિ

ને છે છૂપા દુશ્મન જેવું તત્ત્વ

સડી જાય છે જેનાથી

ચિત્ત, લોહી, હાડકાં, જઠર અને આત્મા.

સમાજના વ્યવહારનો

આજે છે તેનાથી જુદો

સ્થાપો નવો મૂલાધાર

કરીને દૃઢ નિર્ધાર.

હોવી જોઇએ પરસ્પર વિશ્વાસમાં શ્રદ્ધા

અને સાદા જીવન માટેની નમ્ર ઇચ્છા

દરેક માણસને મળવા જોઇએ વિના મૂલ્યે

ઘર, ખોરાક અને ઉષ્મા

મળે છે જેમ પક્ષીને !

અનુવાદક:  મહેશ દવે