GUWAHATI, July 29 – Folk literature plays an important role during the formative years of life because in most of the tales the good scores over evil. This observation was made by noted film maker Jahnu Baruah on Saturday after releasing the English version of Burhi Aair Sadhu translated by Deepika Phukan.
The English version has been published as Grandma’s Tales by Bhabani Books.
Deepika Phukan, a well known name in the literary circle has translated 30 stories from Lakshminath Bezbaruah’s Burhi Aair Sadhu, a collection of tales that has been delighting both the young and the old alike. Burhi Aair Sadhu which has completed 100 years not only creates an interesting world for the young people where animals talk like humans, but also provides a glimpse into the life and customs of the Assamese society and rural life.
“I am very happy that some stories from Burhi Aair Sadhu have been translated into English. These stories have the power to take one outside the boundary of reality which is very important for the growth of the creative faculty,” said Baruah adding that folk literature is a vehicle to connect to one’s roots.
Taking a drive down memory lane, Baruah said that tales from Burhi Aair Sadhu had been a favourite read during his childhood days. “These tales are much more than a story. There is so much of human emotions in them and the presentation is so lucid and entertaining that even the impossible is possible and acceptable,” said Baruah.
Playwright Arun Sarma who was also present on the occasion said that the folk literature of the State must be translated into English so that the world gets introduced to the rich world of Assamese folk literature.
Deepika Phukan expressed that this venture took her back several decades, to her childhood and that she enjoyed the work immensely.
“When I was translating the stories, I was at peace with the world,” she recalled admitting that translation is more difficult than doing an original write-up.
“While translating I have to maintain fidelity to the author and some Assamese texts simply defy translation,” said Phukan mentioning that she was really happy to share the wealth of Assamese folk literature with the rest of the country.