Regional Gems That Were Translated In English

While innumerable books have created an impression on our minds, there are a handful of books that are not just written in regional languages but are translated into English. Being a reader I look at those books that made a huge influence, stood apart as best-sellers, and underwent plentiful reprints. I equally felt low about the language barriers that obstructed me from savoring the essence that the author wishes to convey to its regional audience.

However, few authors heard and read the minds of readers and extended their aid by translating the regional marvel into masterpieces without wavering in the nitty-gritty of the plot and most importantly carrying the native piquancy and avoiding pesky. 

With this foreword, let’s dive into the magic of Indian stories, but with a twist! I am talking about two amazing books that started in different languages but now speak to us in English. Get ready for a journey into the heart of “Cobalt Blue” and “One Part Woman” where every chapter is like a window into a choate world of feelings, customs, and friendships.

First In the List..!!

“Cobalt Blue.”, A paying guest seems like a win-win proposition to the Joshi family. He’s ready with the rent, he’s willing to lend a hand when he can and he’s happy to listen to Mrs Joshi on the imminent collapse of our culture. But he’s also a man of mystery. He has no last name. He has no family, no friends, no history and no plans for the future. The siblings Tanay and Anuja are smitten by him. He overturns their lives and when he vanishes, he breaks their hearts. Elegantly wrought and exquisitely spare, Cobalt Blue is a tale of rapturous love and fierce heartbreak told with tenderness and unsparing clarity.

Picture yourself in a cozy house in Pune, a bustling city in India. In this story, we meet a brother and sister who live a simple life until a mysterious tenant moves in. As they get to know him, both siblings fall head over heels in love with him. But as love stories often go, things get complicated, secrets spill out, and hearts end up broken.

Written originally in Marathi by Sachin Kundalkar and beautifully translated by Jerry Pinto, this book takes you on an emotional rollercoaster, exploring love, longing, and the pain of loss

Key Highlights..!!

  • The book depicts intertwined narratives of attachment, loss, and survival in the prosaic minutiae of day-to-day reality. 
  • The understanding of this novel is more about the journey than the fortitude.

Notable Quote(s)..!!

  • “Those who choose differently must suffer the consequences. They must take the pain their decisions bring.”
  • “When I think about my childhood, I feel the best times came before one began to seek pleasure in the bodies of others.”

Next In the List..!!

“One Part Woman.”, Kali and Ponna’s efforts to conceive a child have been in vain. Hounded by the taunts and insinuations of others, all their hopes come to converge on the chariot festival in the temple of Ardhanareeswara, the half-female god. Everything hinges on the one night when rules are relaxed and consensual union between any man and woman is sanctioned. This night could end the couple’s suffering and humiliation. But it will also put their marriage to the ultimate test.

Imagine yourself in the serene countryside of Tamil Nadu, a southern state in India. Here, we meet Kali and Ponna, a couple longing for a child. But in their community, the pressure to have a baby is immense, and their inability to conceive weighs heavily on them. Then comes the Chariot Festival, a tradition where childless women can seek to become pregnant by spending a night with strangers. This festival sets the stage for a gripping tale of tradition, desire, and the search for happiness.

Originally written in Tamil by Perumal Murugan and translated with care by Aniruddhan Vasudevan, “One Part Woman” offers a deep dive into rural India’s cultural richness and complexities.

Key Highlights..!!

  • This Book talks about how individuals can find their true calling and live a life that is true to themselves, rather than one dictated by society.
  • It encapsulates the suffocating nature of societal pressure and the courage it takes to defy societal expectations

Notable Quote(s)..!!

  • “Maybe in the end, love meant the courage to let go of what you thought was right,” 
  • “In the pursuit of happiness, we often make choices that we later come to regret.”

My Endevours..!!

What makes these books extra special is how they transport you to different corners of India, letting you experience the sights, sounds, and flavors of Marathi and Tamil culture. Through translation magic, you can savor every moment and connect with the characters as if they were your neighbors.

End Thoughts..!!

So, if you’re looking for stories that touch your heart and broaden your horizons, look no further than “Cobalt Blue” and “One Part Woman.” These captivating tales remind us of the universal truths of love, longing, and the human experience, no matter where we come from.

Links & FootNote..!!

My HandleKiran_Kumar_Adharapuram
Book Link: One Part Woman.” & Cobalt Blue.
You can also explore my works -> Here

Let me know in the comments if any of the book(s) that you liked reading in English that were translated from the respective regional language. I am happy to read, review, and appreciate the respective author for his/her good deeds.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘BookishCafeBloghop2024’
hosted by Rakhi Jayashankar & Samata Dey Bose

Kiran Kumar Adharapuram

8 thoughts on “Regional Gems That Were Translated In English

  1. It’s amazing how to chose two books from entirely different themes. First being my favorite genre piqued my interest and now I am definitely gonna try this one. I have recently read Volga’s – Liberation of Sita. The stories are amazing, you can try them too.

  2. Cobalt Blue sounds like a sensitive read. It can be quite a shock to find someone you are fond of disappearing without a closure. Besides, the translator, Jerry Pinto, is a good one. I am not fond of old-world practices, so One Part Woman doesn’t match my reading habits. Your recommendations are good openers to new authors for me.

  3. First of all I like the way you have written this post detailed and interesting. I’ve read Perumal Murugan’s Poonachi and liked it. Both your recommendations seem to be emotional reads which I will definitely add to my tbr. Especially The Cobalt Blue which has an intriguing story.

  4. Cobalt blue seems like an interesting read. Love the quotes you have mentioned here, especially the first one. One part women is in my list for long. I have read the original Tamil version of it. Hopefully will read them all soon..

  5. I know of these books thankfully but have not read either. I have read Murugan sirs other works but particularly this one. Indeed translations help us reach so many directions and widen our variety of languages.

  6. I’ve cobalt blue in my kindle waiting to be read but I had no idea it’s a work of translation. Reading the plot, I’m intrigued and gonna read it soon. I’ve not yet read One Part Woman but read a lot of good reviews about the book.

  7. This blog beautifully highlights the impact of translation in bringing regional literary gems to a global audience. Through “Cobalt Blue” and “One Part Woman,” readers are taken on emotional journeys into the heart of Indian culture. “Cobalt Blue” delves into love and loss in Pune, while “One Part Woman” explores tradition and desire in rural Tamil Nadu. These translations offer insights into diverse Indian experiences and remind us of universal truths about love and longing.Thanks for sharing

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