Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Hail Virus!

All hail Virus, my beloved Virus, my ateethi, my Devo and My Bhavah! My friend, my philosopher and my Text-cum-Guide! Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent! I have offered thee my flesh, I am your host, you are my dear parasite. You have been a real real pain in my ass, not to mention my neck and other significant parts of my body. When will I be able to get rid of thee?

Viral infection has laid me low from fortnight and it is a hellish thing. I cant sleep or keep awake or read as my body aches and drowsy numbness gets hold of me as if a glass of hemlock have I drunk and I feel as if I am headed Lethewards.

Couldn't go for FY comp English lectures which were to begin from today. I think it is every year that I have to sacrifice weeks or fortnights to viral infection.

Met Joglekar's family doctor, Dr. Potbhare, one who eats to his full, and he gave me enough medication to keep my belly full of tablets and bullets and bombs.

When will this bloody thing leave me? I feel as if I am punished by God who resembles the Deadly villain of Hindi Movies- Ajit, the Daan. As if he has immersed me in Likweed Aksigen; the likweed does not allow me to live and Aaksigen doesn't allow me to die.

Reading the Satanic Verses these days and feel that Rushdie is one of the most badmash writers in the world and his place should be in hell along with Balzac, Sterne and Cervantes. I can feel him howling with laughter when angrez log scamperfor their dictionaries to find out the meaning of `Chootia', I can also imagine him bellowing with boisterous belly laughter as they would inquire about its meaning with some Hindi knowing Gentlemen and Gentlewomen.

The references to the Prophet are really mean and I do suspect `malicious intentions' of the author. No wonder they are gunning for him.

Regressing into the pool of amniotic waters again!

Started my swimming lessons today. Old dogs trying out new tricks in the water. When I was very young, I remember entering the pool and the chlorinated water brought about a bout of nausea and the depth of water brought about a terrible fright. Consequently, it did not go continue long. After almost a decade and half, I entered the pool today and loved it. I am trying to stay afloat, hold my breath and what not. Obviously I need some good exercise badly. Being overweight is not a good thing at this age ( or at any age for that matter). Was planning to learn swimming from long. Lets hope I learn it properly.

Swimming is keeping with my amphibian existence, divided between the devilish lands and the deep sea, the translator's existence. Regressing into the pool of amniotic water is also in keeping with my existence as a poet. Poetry is obviously regression, like other best things in life.

Hoping to lose pounds, if not earn dollars. Hoping to have some fun.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Parvati as a Maker, Baby Aeroplanes and this Mad Water

I end up in Amogh's world so frequently- the world of Harry Potter films, dinosaurs, Hanuman and more recently Ganapati-that they invariably end up being part of my poetry.What is poetry after all but quest for the child within yourself, the naughty boy ( or girl) who is undomesticated, wild,  incredibly curious and so essentially anti-social and anti-civilizational. 

That's the reason why the poetry of the Romantic age was preoccupied the world of children. I remember Amogh has also given me the first line for my next poem- हे पाणी वेडंच आहे की नाही?! which means Isnt this water mad? Well, water is always mad Amogh. I also remember the grandson of my PhD supervisor telling me after drawing a big aeroplane on the board followed by a very small aeroplane that the smaller plane is the bigger one's baby. Only a small child can think of a baby aeroplane. A child's imagination, her way of looking at the world is what people call surreal. Anyway.

Parvati, coy of finding her nosy husband peeping into her bathroom while she is taking her bath, thinks of a plan to keep the nosy parker off. She takes the dirty soot from her body ( yucks! but remember she is the daughter of mountains!) and makes a door keeper ( not to be confused with Kafka's door keeper in the Trial, but equally firm and nasty) boy out of it. ( Well goddesses have their own ways, fine women as Yeats told us, eat crazy salad with their meat) and the boy resists Shiva ( that ascetic-lover) his legal father from going into his own house. The legal father gets angry with this defiant kid and in a fit of wrath cuts off his head with his trident. 

Dr.Sudhir Kakar would see Oedipal conflict here,he would also see the filth from Parvati's body as suggesting anal phase of psychosexual development, but the father has to repent. His missus is Durga and Chandika and Kali and etc, so the poor chap has to find a replacement for his soot-son's head. He kills an elephant asura (whats that?) and fits the elephant head on the decapitated doorkeeper. This is how the God of Intelligence, the bigamous beloved deity of Maharashtra comes into existence. Well thats what Amogh's recent CD on Ganapati says.

What fascinated me was the idea of taking soot and dirt from your body and making a living human being out of it. Well is this not a metaphor for creative process? You use the dirt from your body and make something living and intelligent out of it. So it will find place in my future poems!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Translation: As an Art and a `Service'

For a change from the boring routine,I attended a seminar on Translation, Quality and Technology yesterday.It was largely meant for translators of non-literary texts. It was chiefly out of curiosity and interest in translation as an activity.It provided a refreshing change from academic seminars and literary translation. Sandhya Murthy gave a good talk on how to become a professional translator in an international and national context. She expressed her astonishment at how amatuers can barge into the area of literary translation where the angels of professional translations fear to tread. A Dutch professional translator and IT expert and an open source activist Patrick someone gave a very interesting, albeit technical lecture on open source software and translation. He also talked about his own experiences as a professional translator. Mrugesh Shah talked about unicode and multilingual softwares and Manish Soni talked about multilingual softwares and translation. He also gave a short demonstration of his own software Sulekh. Jagruti Trivedi talked about her experiences of translating Harry Potter into Gujarati. I liked the seminar and found the information about professional translation and information technology very interesting. I think literary translators, especially in India, should be more professional and serious about their craft and passion. Literary translation can only be a passion, because it is an art, and like all arts, it is also a service, and hence should be done in more professional manner. Translators should also be open to the advances in information technology, multilingual softwares, online glossaries, and TMs ( translation memories, the memories of earlier translation of lexicons, stored in translation software like Trados, Wordfast and OmegaT) and so on.
Jagruti Trivedi did a good job of organizing a seminar on such an area. There were more participants than I expected, which goes to show that in the age of globalization, the need for translation ( which implies knowledge of languages, and the knowledge of interpretation as well as the knowledge of writing well) combined with the knowledge of information technology and commerce is going to increase exponentially.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Cheeni Kum

Went to watch a movie in a theatre after more than three years! Cheeni Kum was a good experience, very funny and not stupid like most of the Hindi movies. Multiplex -Mall culture is here for good. Consumerism has become an acceptable lifestyle . I dont think it is evil as many of the elderly people tell us. Consumerism is here to stay and is part of our life. Brand conscious life style which irks my friend Hemant Divate so much is no doubt a new form of snobbery.
Anyway, Cheeni kum was good and the jokes were good. But I felt that the director got carried away by this humour thing and forgot to keep an eye on the later part of the script and had to hurriedly and abrubtly find resolution for the problem.
My doc has told me to implement the changes he suggested in my lifestyle. Havent been successful so far! But trying hard, no doubt. Depression is in check, thanks to better state of my health. Montair 10 mg is keeping asthma under control.
My MA Part II batch results were declared yesterday . It was my first batch at MSU.