Romance of Earth with Sun and My Country My Sacrifice: English Books of Sijitha Anil’s collection of poems and short stories translated by Jayashankar Menon launched
Two of Jayashankar Menon’s English translation works by the author and poetess Sijitha Anil, titled in Malayalam Sooryane Pranayicha Bhoomi (Collection of Malayalam poems) titled in English: Romance of Earth with Sun and Atmabli (Collection of short stories) titled in English: My Country My Sacrifice was released at Kottayam Press Club on February 26, 2019.
While the first book, Romance of Earth with Sun was formally released by Padhma Bhooshan Justice KT Thomas, Former Judge of the Supreme Court of India and received by Rev Father Joseph Puthan Purakkal and the second book, My Country My Sacrifice was released by the renowned writer in Malayalam and critique, Dr. George Onakkur by handing over a copy to Dr. Gopal K Nair, Chief Patron of Amrutha Peetom.
In the event headed by the Chief Guest, famous actor and producer of Malayalam film industry, Prem Prakash, the translator of these two books, Jayashankar Menon, Tomy Kallani, former DCC President of Kottayam District, Sudeep Thekkepat of Sahitya Publishing (the publishers of these two books); Dr. Philipose Thatamapally and Advocate Raji P Joy spoke on the occasion.
Jayashankar Menon also introduced his translation of poems by reciting one poem from the book.
While speaking on the occasion, Justice KT Thomas spoke about the intricacies of translation as a genre and he added that translation was the most difficult task at hand. “Actually it is not a mere translation, rather it is transliteration a translator had to do. Jayashankar Menon had done utmost justice to the original Malayalam version and in fact, had added more value to the original content. Therefore, I congratulate both Sijitha Anil and Jayashankar Menon for bringing out the Malayalam and English versions of these two genres of books,” Justice Thomas added.
Dr. Gopal K Nair, while lauding Sijitha Anil for portraying the central character of the novel, Atmabali, Sulekhamma, said: “The protagonist is not a mere woman. She is the daughter of a freedom fighter and the wife of a solider who laid down his life for the nation at the border. It was with great difficulty, Sulekhhamma raises her son, gives her good education and to become a responsible citizen. Unfortunately, her son turns out to be a member of a terrorist outfit and when the mother realises that her son was scheming to bomb a train, she decides to place nation above her son and kills him. Although, the society ostracises her as a murderer of her own son, Sulekhamma becomes a principled woman, who do not hesitate to kill her only son to avert a major disaster. The court also realises her greatness and give Sulekhamma simple sentence and that reflects the patriotic fervour of Sijitha Anil.”
Dr. Geroge Onakkur spoke about the poems and Sijitha Anil’s deep concern for the destruction of nature by human beings. He also spoke about the translation of Jayashankar Menon and how the English version has done justice to the Malayalam poems.
Actor and producer of Malayalam films, Prem Prakash also spoke about the powerful theme of the poems as well as the novels and the aesthetics maintained by the English version. Father Joseph Puthenpurakkal also spoke about the lofty ideals propounded by the poems and the powerful messages each story in the collection of short stories being sent to the society to sit and take notice. Tomy also spoke about the beauty of these two works in Malayalam and the effort put in by both Sijitha Anil and Jayashankar Menon in terms of getting the Malayalam literature beyond the confines of Kerala by bringing out the English version, which had universal readership. Advocate Raji P Joy did the welcome speech and the introduction of the personalities who had participated in the grand event. Dr. Philpose Thatampally recited one of Sijitha Anil’s poem in a mellifluous voice which had the crowd enthralled. Sijitha Anil also spoke about her works.