GUWAHATI, April 13 – A poetry collection titled Kuruntokair Kabita – Assamese translation of an anthology of celebrated classical Tamil love poetry belonging to Sangam literature – was released at a function held at the National Book Trust (NBT) Book Promotional Centre on Saturday.
The volume has been translated into Assamese by young poet Bijoy Sankar Barman. Litterateur Prof Pradip Acharya did the ceremonial release of the book.
In his address, Prof Acharya lauded the translation as a commendable accomplishment, saying that the young poet had been successful in retaining the essence of the original work dating back to over two thousand years.
“Translation, that too of poetry, is an arduous task but Bijoy has successfully captured the thrust and mood of the original – regarded as a milestone in Tamil literature – and conveyed it in an appealing manner to the Assamese reader,” he said.
Unlike many poetical works of ancient times, Prof Acharya said, the poetry of Kuruntokai is refreshingly free from any religious tenor and deals mostly with love and human emotions. An underlying current of introspection is dominant in these poems and the treatment matches the theme in following a simple, lucid style, he added.
Journalist Samudra Gupta Kashyap, who was among the appointed speakers, termed the volume as a significant addition to Assamese (translation) literature which would go a long way in acquainting the Assamese readers with the acclaimed Kuruntokai poetry.
Kashyap also said that the NBT Book Promotional Centre set up at the Assam Rashtrabhasha Prachar Samity building at Hedayatpur was the first such regional centre of NBT. “This will boost sharing and exchange of literary works among different languages and facilitate enhanced academic interaction,” he said.
Dr Anil Boro of the Dept of Folklore Research, Gauhati University, Prof Lutfa Hanum Salima Begum of Cotton College, and library scientist Rabindra Nath Pathak, among others, also addressed the function.
The poet, Bijoy Sankar Barman, gave an account of his painstaking efforts in translating the poems. “The Kuruntokai poems stand out for their appeal to our emotions. I feel happy that I have been able to give our readers a taste of these engrossing poems,” he said.
Dhiraj Kumar Lahkar of Panchajanya, the publishers, also spoke.
Ankita Deka delighted the gathering with her soulful rendering of Bhupen Hazarika’s unforgettable number Tomar uxah kohuwa komal.