From India with love : Timeless Tales in Translation

‘Words travel worlds and the translator does the driving‘! Whoever said this has hit the nail right on the head. How else could great epics like Odyssey cross the shores of Greece and reach every corner of the world? In a world that is increasingly becoming international, stories from across cultures and languages take center stage. Award winning author Chaitali Sengupta takes the driving seat in ‘Timeless Tales in Translation‘ to bring selected classic Indian short stories to the Netherlands.

Handpicked collection

Chaitali has selected an ideal mix of short stories from various well-known Indian writers. From Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore to Saadat Hasan Manto, the authors, and their works cover a wide variety of topics from history to morals. The collection features two stories by Munshi Premchand that revolve around endurance. A ‘Winter’s Night‘ is a delightful tale about testing the endurance of a farmer to the elements whereas  ‘The Salt inspector‘ is a heartwarming read about how the integrity of a young officer endures various trials. The stories featured in this book are like chalk and cheese and yet, they bring to life the true picture of India during colonial times.

Truly timeless

All the stories were written between 1855-1955. How can the stories from over a century back still be relevant? Readers will be pleasantly surprised that the themes are all the more pertinent in modern times. Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘Bolai’ deals with the evergreen theme of the conservation of nature as seen through a young boy’s eyes. in a world fighting deforestation and climate change, we need more Bolais in this world than ever before!

Touch of humor

Humor has universal appeal. Chaitali has cleverly picked stories that revolve around diverse themes but the contemporary humor makes them unique. ‘Young hearts club’ by Rajsekhar Basu stands out as a fun read about the expectations of a groom to be. The story is a delightful read. From the eccentric clubs set up by the young men to the ridiculous names they bestow upon themselves and the absurd dress code, they choose to sport, the story is guaranteed to tickle your funny bones.

Photo Credit: Chaitali Sengupta, author and translator

Classic capture

Translation can be very tricky.  How do you translate the feeling of the word ‘Gezellig’, for instance? Chaitali has achieved perfection in ‘Timeless Tales in Translation’ by balancing language, emotions, message, and humor and yet retaining the original tone. The stories are so well-translated that it is hard to put down the book once you start reading.  Chaitali’s translation engages the reader effortlessly through her easy-to-read style peppered with original word references. A stupendous feat considering that the stories chosen were written in three different languages – Bengali, Hindu, and Urdu. Hats off to her tireless research and efforts, you can almost hear the authors themselves talking to you in English.  No wonder this book has won the Special Jury award in the Panorama International Literature Festival.

In a world where reading is getting obscured by digital distractions, Chaitali has done a remarkable job of making timeless Indian classics available to read in English—the right step in breaking cultural boundaries and furthering international integration. A delectable collection of stories that is a must-read for all ages!

You can get your copy from amazon worldwide.

For Eindhoven News: Muktha Kartik Iyer

Muktha is a Process Consultant by profession and is passionate about books, languages and animals. She is working on her dream of publishing a rack full of books of her own.


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