A Song Lost In The Flow Of A River Kanakadasa, Chandrakanta, and The Gift of the Heart: A Short Review

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Kanakadasa, Chandrakanta, and The Gift of the Heart: A Short Review

Three short reviews:

1.

Select songs of Kanakadasa. Tr. Sashidhar G. physician. Bareilly: Prakash Book Depot, 2018, p. 160. ISBN 978-81-7977-635-3.

Kanakadasa, a 16th century poet of the Bhakti sect, is a Kannada saint-poet known for his ‘Kirtanas’. Unfortunately it is not very familiar to most Indians who do not know Kannada language. His poetic stature as a saint-poet, Dr. A.V. Navda notes, no less than Guru Nanak, Tulsidas, Mirabai, Kabir, Narsi Mehta, Lalleshwari and many others.

A Kannada poet sings in various ‘raags’ and ‘talas’ for surrender to God, pursuit of truth, realization of the reality behind appearances, socio-spiritual vision, condemnation of superstitions in caste society and all that ails the common man. He still motivates us to realize human realities and adhere to moral values ​​in today’s decadent society.

As the translator of 102 selected ‘Kirtanas’ of the Kannada poet divided into 11 sections, Dr Shashidhar Vaidya’s bilingual and bicultural competence gives a sense of the original flavour, meaning, music and lyrical mystery. He helps the reader negotiate Kanakadasa’s vision with his short synopsis, glossary and explanation of each song.

The book is an important contribution to the literature of English translation and Indian writing.

2.

Chandrakanta By Devaki Nandan Khatri. Tr. Ram Bhagwan Singh and CL Khatri. New Delhi: Prabhat Paperback, 2018, ISBN 978-93-5266-738-3.

I first read a Hindi novel as a child. My father had a copy of it, which is now lost. But with vague first reading impressions and having read the work produced by Singh and Khatri in English, I can imagine how challenging their task would be to create a flavor of original fantasy and romance in today’s English.

Attempts to provide clarity and precise expression for the almost untranslatable Hindi idioms and phrases, signs and symbols, images and place and culturally loaded metaphors and verbal ethos are challenging in their interlinguistic potential. One can imagine how difficult it must have been to select vocabulary and phrases to be faithful to the 19th century Hindi discourse style.

Although translators use a mixture of word-by-word and semantic-sensual approaches, there are some practical communicative problems that only a sympathetic reader can perceive the flow and energy of the original composition.

His book is a major contribution to the growing lexicon of Indian literature in translation. Congratulations to Professor Ram Bhagwan Singh and CL Khatri.

3.

Anastasia Dumitru. Enemy/The Gift of the Heart. Romanian/English. Constanta: Editura Celebris, 2018, ISBN 978-606-8849-56-0

My initial impression of Anastasia Dumitru’s Enemy/The Gift of the Heart was proven more than correct when I re-read the entire book.

It is truly a quest for truth, for a new life, to experience the heaven within, through divine influence in some very subtle lyrics. The poet-professor’s 3-liners are meditative, contemplative and spiritually uplifting, making moments of silence poignant. As a truth-seeker, she transforms her soul into symbols of love, hope and faith that refresh the soul, purify the heart and enlighten the mind.

It will not be an exaggeration to say so A gift of the heart An epic romance in brief lyrical pieces with rare passion, vigor and conviction, with whirlwinds of longing, hunger for consciousness, throbbing with pain and twists of imagination to grasp eternity in a moment. Awareness: “Give me just a moment-/ I give you all my heart/ For eternity.” Such surrender, both physical and mental, to experience liberation through prayer, contemplation, compassion and love, a real salvation or even nirvana, is possible on this earth, in this life, through man’s divine becoming, finding the inner heaven: “In prayer-/ Winged soil ,/ becomes the soul.”

I enjoyed participating in Anastasia’s inner adventure and search for spiritual liberation.

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