StoryWeaver Spotlight: C.P. Ravikumar

Posted by Remya Padmadas on November 01, 2019

C.P. Ravikumar grew up reading translated stories. He translates at least one story or poem on his blog every day to keep the child in him alive. He has translated for National Books Trust and Pratham Books. Navakarnataka Publications has adopted his series of short stories translation in a book called "Kadinalli Beladingalu". His translated poetry collection has been published by Abhinava Prakashana. He has translated several works by famous authors in English and Hindi into Kannada and received appreciation for the same. He toggles between Hindi-Kannada-English, often translating simply for the joy of it.

On StoryWeaver, he has translated many books into Kannada including I Want That One and I Can Help!

Q: With more than 4 decades of experience in translation, how did you cultivate the skills needed for translating children’s books? 

I grew up in a literary environment. My father was a journalist and a writer. He was an avid reader and our house was full of books. I picked up the habit of reading at a young age. When Samudaya, a drama troupe, was looking for someone to translate the Hindi play Bakri (written by Late Sarveshwar Dayal Saxena), my teacher K.N. Nagaraju asked me if I could do it. I had finished my pre-university exam and was awaiting results. I took on the challenge. There were many songs in the play, which is written in the Nautanki style. I adapted Purandara Dasa’s songs in my translation. The songs became a big hit under the music direction of Rajeev Taranath. The play Kuri, directed by M. S. Sathyu, also became a big success.

I got my second break when Navakarnataka Publishers contacted me. They were planning a big project called Vishwa Kathakosha which would have 25 volumes of stories from across the world.  The original stories were translated first into English and the manuscripts were handed over to Kannada translators. My father knew the editor of the series Late Niranjana. Niranjana had heard about “Kuri,” and gave me my second big break. I was asked to translate the volume of stories from Vietnam. The volume was called “Kadinalli Beladingalu.” Interestingly, my father also translated a volume of stories from Holland for the series.

When I went to Los Angeles for pursuing my Ph.D., I started translating poetry and stories from Kannada to English. These became instantly popular with the readers of the Usenet group (the precursor of social media in the eighties).  I had a large readership and I received a lot of encouragement from many erudite readers. Some Hindi-speaking readers requested me to translate stories and poems from Hindi to English. I have translated hundreds of poems and scores of stories from English to Kannada, Kannada to English, Hindi to Kannada, and Hindi to English. I have collected them in my blogs and they are available online. I have a large number of readers and you will be surprised to know that a big chunk of them are from USA! I enjoy translating. It is an opportunity to get to know a writer and to understand another culture. I also enjoy the challenge of preserving as much of the original flavor in the translation. There is a great sense of satisfaction when translating the classics – poems of Wordsworth, Yeats, and Auden, or sonnets of Shakespeare, Keats and Browning. I have attempted to translate poems from all countries to give Kannada readers a flavor of world poetry.  For example, I translated the poems of Xu Lizhi, a young Chinese worker who committed suicide from depression coming from overwork and stress. I have also translated many American poems that have been written for children and adolescents.

Q: You carve out time for translating children’s books from a busy life. What do stories in translation bring to young readers?

It is a pleasure to translate stories for children of all ages. I love spending time with children. My own two children will vouch for my ability to enthrall them with stories. When they were growing up, not a single night went without telling them a story.  In the times of globalization, we see that children across the world are exposed to stories from different regions through movies, television and books. In this sense, children today can accept other cultures more easily.  There is also an opportunity to pick up some values from other cultures. Take the story of Cinderella, for example. She never weeps, no matter how miserable her life is. She may feel a sense of despair, but she wants to win, nevertheless. 

ನನಗೆ ಅದು ಬೇಕು!, translated by C.P. Ravikumar

Q: You are known for translating verses into Kannada, English and Hindi. What is your process while translating these gems? For Eg: Jerry Pinto’s Ming-Ming, Fat Little Bear. 

I thoroughly enjoy translating verse. Translating Ming-Ming, Fat Little Bear was a delightful experience. I suppose I ask myself, how I would narrate that story in Kannada to a toddler. In Kannada, like any other language, there are some meters or rhythms that are very popular in children’s verse.  It may be best to use one of them in the translation, so that we can build a connection with the child. Sometimes, it may be all right to use our poetic license to do a little bit of adaptation to make the translation seem natural. 

Q: We see your fresh translations everyday. What inspires you? We have read your observations on teaching curriculums. According to you, how do stories influence children? 

I love to read poems and stories when I am commuting. The commute in the city is long and arduous due to traffic, but it can become interesting if we have internet connectivity and a mobile phone in our hand. Today, there are repositories of literature that one can easily access on the Internet.  I am tempted to translate poems or stories that I instantly like when I read them. I share these translations on my blog.  

Stories that we grow up with influence our morality and our attitude. I will give you an example. My father used to tell us stories from a well-known book called Neeti Chintamani. There were very simple stories in that book. For example, there is a story of two women, one who was very careful with her resources and another who was careless.  Listening to such stories at an early stage can help mold our character. 

Q: What is your personal relationship with language and/or translation?

My father was an avid reader and encouraged his children to read. I  spent five childhood years in Delhi. When we visited Bangalore once during this period, my father picked up a huge collection of children’s books for us. We had this huge collection of books on our train journey back to Delhi and I and my brother were both hooked.  In Delhi, there was a large public library in the vicinity of our house and I spent my summer months reading children’s books in the library. I recall retelling those stories to my classmates. I suppose there is still some of that child in me still.  

Q: You have translated / reviewed a handful of stories for us. Which one has been your favourite and why? 

I enjoyed translating Ming-Ming, Fat Little Bear. It is a funny little story related in verse form. It is meant for children who are say five or above. That is the age group that is easiest to entertain!   

An illustration from the book 'Ming-Ming, Fat Little Bear' translated by C.P. Ravikumar into Kannada.

Q: You have translated stories by well-known authors into Kannada. How do you think a translation can reach a child as opposed to original stories? 

To recount my own experience, I read “Robinson Crusoe,” “Oliver Twist,” “Treasure Island” and “Gulliver’s Travels” in Kannada before I read them in English. These Kannada translations were among the books that my father bought us for the train journey. I was enchanted by these stories. I felt the same sense of exhilaration that an English-speaking child may feel when reading the story in English.  Reading a story in our native language is easier and more appealing. I hope the best of world-literature becomes available to children through print media as well as digital media.

Q: You have translated a play from Hindi which has successfully been performed with 200 shows. According to you, what form of storytelling is most effective for children - stories told through books, plays or poetry?  

Toddlers love stories and rhymes.  They love the colorful illustrations in books.  Just about anything can happen in these stories! Small children also take naturally to acting a part in a story. As they grow up, children will enjoy stories that will appeal to their sense of logic Teenagers love adventure and fantasy. If the child is lucky,  he or she will get exposed to poems from a good teacher and will develop a liking for poetry. Every child should have an opportunity to be part of a school play! Reading a play can be as much fun as reading a story!

Q: What is the experience of translating a children’s book like? Especially as opposed to translating for adults?

Anyone who loves spending time with children, narrating stories to them or reading poems to them, will enjoy translating children’s literature.  If you ask me, when I translate a story or poem for children, I imagine narrating that story or poem to a young child. When we translate for children, we have an additional responsibility – we are trying to get a child interested in literature. I will feel elated if a child who reads my translation of a story and gets drawn to reading books.

Q: A book you'd like to recommend to other translators?

I feel many great writers like Roald Dahl have not been translated into Indian languages. What fun it would be to translate Matilda!

Q: You have contributed for us immensely. How has the StoryWeaver journey been? What is one big takeaway from this experience?

The platform you have built is absolutely amazing. It is a pleasure to use the tools and see a book take shape in front of your own eyes! 

Q: How do you feel when your story reaches the child?

It is most satisfying to find a like-minded reader. When it comes to a child, I suppose we have the additional challenge of inspiring the child. The illustrations and color go a long way in motivating the child to pick up the book. But if the child can relate to the story or the poem and picks up interest in reading, that would be most gratifying.

Q: How else do you think we can join hands to take more stories to more children in more languages?

You can consider doing reading workshops for children.  It is equally important to get the word out about your books to young parents.

Q: You have contributed a piece of an article on the role of a translator for Kannada translation handbook in collaboration with Shabdana, centre for translation under Sahitya Akademi. How relevant do you think are such initiatives? 

I am hopeful that such a handbook can be used as the resource material when conducting workshops for budding translators who feel the need to be mentored.  Today, we find so much “how to” material online and the younger generation seems to be hooked to them. People are learning how to cook, how to solve math problem or how to troubleshoot their equipment. I suppose there will exist some people who want to know how to translate literature! 

Q: What is the hardest thing about translating from English into Kannada/ Hindi to Kannada? How do you navigate words or phrases that are tricky to translate?

English language has borrowed from all other languages and has a very large vocabulary.  In English, it is perfectly all right to create new words by combining other words, such as “Bus Stop” or “Hard Disk” or “Read Only Memory.” When we try translating “Bus Stop” literally into Kannada or Hindi, it somehow does not sound right. Either we must shed these inhibitions and create a larger vocabulary or we must look for a word that seems more natural.  A long English sentence where predicates are combined with “and” or “or” may seem natural, but appears artificial in a regional language.

Q: Can you tell us anything about yourself and your job that would surprise us:)? 

I am a technologist with a background in Electronics and Computer Engineering. I have also published technical papers and books. I have written a technical column called “Janamukhi Tantraloka” for the Kannada daily Vijaya Karnataka.

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Celebrating Kannada Rajyotsava through classic poems

Posted by Remya Padmadas on November 01, 2019

A former software professional, Rajani Muralidhar developed a keen interest in children's literature while reading to her own children over the last few years. The lack of contemporary original content in Kannada for children piqued her interest towards writing for her own children in Kannada.

ಸಾಫ್ಟ್ ವೇರ್ ವೃತ್ತಿಯಲ್ಲಿದ್ದ ರಜನಿ, ಕೆಲವು ವರ್ಷಗಳಿಂದ ಅವರ ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ ಕಥೆಗಳನ್ನು  ಓದುತ್ತಾ, ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಆಸಕ್ತರಾದರು. ಸಮಕಾಲೀನ ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಮೂಲತಃ ಕನ್ನಡ ಕೃತಿಗಳ ಲಭ್ಯತೆ ಕಡಿಮೆ ಇದ್ದ ಕಾರಣಕ್ಕೆ, ರಜನಿ ತನ್ನ ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗಾಗಿ ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಬರೆಯಲಾರಂಭಿಸಿದರು.

In this bilingual blog post, Rajani writes about Dr. G.P. Rajarathnam, author, lyricist and poet from Karnataka and how his work inspired her to write poetry in Kannada. 

November 1st, the day when the state of Karnataka was formed in 1956, is observed as ‘Kannada Rajyotsava’ every year. It is a day to celebrate the rich and varied culture and heritage of this state.

There is no better day than this to remember Dr. G.P. Rajarathnam, author, lyricist and poet from Karnataka, well-known for composing children’s poems. Dr. Nissar Ahmed, also an eminent author and poet in Kannada language, once quoted, “Dr. Rajarathnam understood the minds of children and their need. Some of his works have remained a challenge for translators even today". Such is the quality of Dr. G.P. Rajarathnam’s poetry.

Dr. G.P. Rajarathnam

Every child’s initiation to language in school begins with nursery rhymes. Similarly, initiation to Kannada in school always begins with one of Dr. Rajarathnam’s poems. 

Dr. Rajarathnam started writing poetry for children several decades ago by accident. The story goes that his father worked as a Kannada teacher in a school and was unwell for a few days. Dr. Rajarathnam had to work in his place as a substitute teacher for 2nd grade children. He was appalled by the poems taught to small children in school. The same evening, he sat thinking after a walk near a lake at the foothills of Chamundi hills in Mysore and wrote his first story in the form of a poem ‘Bannada tagadina tutturi’. He introduced this poem to his students in school and it was an instant hit. Thrilled with its popularity, he also taught this poem to the children in his neighbourhood. He continued writing more poems for the children. A publisher in his neighbourhood noticed his work and asked him to write a collection of children’s poems, which went on to be published as a book. Thus, began his journey as a writer.

Some of his popular poems taught in schools even today:

  1. ‘Naayi Mari Naayi Mari’ – a delightful poem about feeding a little puppy

  2. ‘Ondu Eradu Baalele Haradu’ – a poem that teaches numbers starting from 1 to 10 while describing the art of eating a meal on a banana leaf 

  3.  ‘Bannada Tagadina Tutturi’ – a poetic story of boy who bragged about his colourful trumpet and eventually lost it

  4.  ‘Hatthu Hatthu Ipatthu’ – a poem teaching addition of numbers while narrating a story of a boy who tried to steal mangoes from an orchard

  5. ‘Namma Maneyalondu Sanna Paapa’ – a poem about the exploits of a little baby

  6. ‘Taata Butti Tumba Rotti’ – a short poem about a boy who ate tasty rotis that were not meant for him.

  7. ‘Kuriya Mari Byaa’ – a story of hunting down a tiger about to kill a little lamb

  8. ‘Kallu Sakkare’ – a short poem about the tasty candy sugar

The list goes on. In all, Dr. G.P. Rajarathnam wrote more than 100 poems for children. Apart from ‘Bannada Tagadina Tutturi’, my personal favourites are ‘Kuriya Mari Byaa’ and ‘Kallu Sakkare’ because of their natural rhythm and funny sounds in between that children love.

When my daughter was 3 years old, I started reading English books to her extensively to keep her entertained and develop the habit of reading. After a few months, I noticed an unexpected fallout of this habit. She had stopped conversing in Kannada, her mother tongue. The more I tried, the less she spoke in Kannada. Dr. Rajarathnam’s poems came to my rescue. One day, she sang ‘Bannada Tagadina Tutturi’ in school after learning it from her older brother. The appreciation that she got in school opened the doors to her conversing in Kannada again. This made me realize the power of poetry as a tool for learning. 

Inspired by Dr. G.P.Rajarathnam’s style of writing stories as poems, I started writing in Kannada for my children a couple of years ago and the first of my rhyme and rhythm stories is available in Story Weaver: ಅಚ್ಚುಮೆಚ್ಚಿನ ಸಂಗಾತಿ- A story about a little girl’s quest for a pet. You can read the English version of the story here

A beautifully illustrated book of the poems ‘Bannada Tagadina Tutturi’ and ‘Namma Maneyalondu Sanna Paapa’ written by G.P.Rajarathnam is available in StoryWeaver. You can read the book here

There are several delightful poems written by other well-known Kannada poets that are illustrated and available on the site:

  1. Enchanting poems about phases of the moon and rainbow by Dr. Kuvempu:

  2. Lovely poems that teaches concepts of addition &subtraction and gravity by Smt. B K Tirumalamma

  3. Charming poem about a boy imagining a walking stick as his horse by Dr. Siddayya Puranik:

  4. Poem that describes the destruction caused by storms in South India by Shri. Panje Mangesh Rao

Celebrate Kannada Rajyotsava by enjoying these classic Kannada poems with your little ones!

೧೯೫೬ರ ನವೆಂಬರ್ ಒಂದರಂದು ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ರಾಜ್ಯವು ನಿರ್ಮಾಣವಾಯಿತು. ಇದರ ಸಂಕೇತವಾಗಿ ಪ್ರತಿವರ್ಷ ಈ ದಿನವನ್ನು  ಕನ್ನಡ ರಾಜ್ಯೋತ್ಸವವೆಂದು ಆಚರಿಸಲಾಗುತ್ತದೆ. ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ರಾಜ್ಯದ ವೈವಿಧ್ಯಮಯ ಹಾಗೂ ಸಮೃದ್ಧ ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಯನ್ನು ಈ ದಿನ ಆಚರಿಸುತ್ತಾರೆ.

ಕನ್ನಡದ ಸುಪ್ರಸಿದ್ಧ ಸಾಹಿತಿ ಹಾಗೂ ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಕವಿತೆಗಳಿಗೆ ಖ್ಯಾತಿ ಪಡೆದ ಡಾ|| ಜಿ.ಪಿ.ರಾಜರತ್ನಂರವರನ್ನು  ನೆನಪಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಇದಕ್ಕಿಂತ ಉತ್ತಮ ಸಮಯವಿಲ್ಲ. ಖ್ಯಾತ ಸಾಹಿತಿ ಡಾ|| ನಿಸಾರ್ ಅಹ್ಮದ್ ಹೇಳಿದಂತೆ "ಡಾ|| ರಾಜರತ್ನಂ ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಮನಸ್ಸನ್ನು ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿ ಅರಿತಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಈಗಲೂ, ಅವರ ಕೃತಿಗಳನ್ನು ಭಾಷಾಂತರಿಸುವುದು ಅನುವಾದಕರಿಗೆ ಬಹಳ ಕಷ್ಟದ ಕೆಲಸ."

ಪುಟ್ಟ ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ ಶಾಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಆಂಗ್ಲ ಭಾಷೆ ಕಲಿಸಲು ಮೊದಲಿಗೆ ನರ್ಸರಿ ರೈಮ್ಗಳನ್ನು ಹೇಳಿಕೊಡುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಹಾಗೆಯೇ ಕನ್ನಡ ಭಾಷೆಯನ್ನು ಕಲಿಸಲು ಶಾಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ ಮೊದಲಾಗಿ ಡಾ|| ರಾಜರತ್ನಂರವರ ಶಿಶು ಪದ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ಹೇಳಿಕೊಡುತ್ತಾರೆ.

ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗಾಗಿ ಪದ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ಬರೆಯಲು ರಾಜರತ್ನಂರವರು ಆಕಸ್ಮಿಕವಾಗಿ ಆರಂಭಿಸಿದರು. ರಾಜರತ್ನಂರವರ ತಂದೆ ಶಾಲೆಯೊಂದರಲ್ಲಿ ಶಿಕ್ಷಕರಾಗಿದ್ದರು. ಒಮ್ಮೆ ಅವರ ಆರೋಗ್ಯ ಕೆಟ್ಟಿದ್ದ ಕಾರಣಕ್ಕೆ ಅವರ ಸ್ಥಾನದಲ್ಲಿ ರಾಜರತ್ನಂರವರು ಎರಡನೇ ತರಗತಿಗೆ  ಪಾಠ ಮಾಡಲು ಹೋದರು. ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ ಹೇಳಿಕೊಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದ ಪದ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ನೋಡಿ ಅವರಿಗೆ ಬೇಸರವಾಯಿತು. ಆ ದಿವಸದ ಕೆಲಸ ಮುಗಿದ ಮೇಲೆ ಸಾಯಂಕಾಲ ಚಾಮುಂಡಿಬೆಟ್ಟದ ತಪ್ಪಲಿನಲ್ಲಿದ್ದ ದೊಡ್ಡ ಕೆರೆಯನ್ನು ಒಂದು ಪ್ರದಕ್ಷಿಣೆ ಹಾಕಿ ಯೋಚಿಸುತ್ತಾ ಕುಳಿತರು. ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗಾಗಿ 'ಬಣ್ಣದ ತಗಡಿನ ತುತ್ತೂರಿ' ಎಂಬ ಕವನದ ರಚನೆಯೂ ಅಲ್ಲಿಯೇ ಆಯಿತು. ಮರುದಿನ  ಶಾಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ ಈ ಪದ್ಯವನ್ನು ಹಾಡಲು ಹೇಳಿಕೊಟ್ಟರು. ಅವರ ಸಂತೋಷವನ್ನು ನೋಡಿ ಅಕ್ಕಪಕ್ಕದ ಮನೆಯಲ್ಲಿದ್ದ ಪುಟ್ಟ ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೂ ಪದ್ಯವನ್ನು ಹೇಳಿಕೊಟ್ಟರು. ಮಕ್ಕಳ ಉತ್ಸಾಹವನ್ನು ಕಂಡು ಅವರು ಇನ್ನಷ್ಟು ಪದ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ಬರೆಯತೊಡಗಿದರು. ಎದುರು ಮನೆಯಲ್ಲಿದ್ದ ಪುಸ್ತಕ ವ್ಯಾಪಾರಿಯೊಬ್ಬ ಅವರಿಗೆ ಪುಸ್ತಕವೊಂದನ್ನು ಬರೆಯಲು ಪ್ರೋತ್ಸಾಹಿಸಿದರು. ಹೀಗೆ ಅವರ ಮೊದಲ ಕವನ ಸಂಕಲನದ ಪುಸ್ತಕವು ಪ್ರಕಟವಾಯಿತು ಹಾಗೂ ಅವರ ಲೇಖಕ ಜೀವನ ಆರಂಭವಾಯಿತು.

ಈಗಲೂ ಶಾಲೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಹೇಳಿಕೊಡುವ ಅವರ ಪ್ರಸಿದ್ಧ ಕವನಗಳು ಇಂತಿವೆ:

೧. 'ನಾಯಿಮರಿ ನಾಯಿಮರಿ': ಪುಟ್ಟ ನಾಯಿಮರಿಯೊಂದಿಗೆ ಸಂಭಾಷಣೆ

೨.  'ಒಂದು ಎರಡು ಬಾಳೆಲೆ ಹರಡು': ಬಾಳೆಯೆಲೆ ಊಟದ ಜೊತೆ ಸಂಖ್ಯೆಗಳನ್ನು ಕಲಿಸುವ ಪದ್ಯ

೩.  'ಬಣ್ಣದ ತಗಡಿನ ತುತ್ತೂರಿ': ಜಂಬದ ಕೋಳಿ ಕಸ್ತೂರಿಯ ಕಥೆ

೪.  'ಹತ್ತು ಹತ್ತು ಇಪ್ಪತ್ತು': ಮಾವಿನ ಹಣ್ಣನ್ನು ಕದಿಯುವ ಕಥೆಯೊಂದಿಗೆ ಗಣಿತದ ಪಾಠ

೫. 'ನಮ್ಮ ಮನೆಯಲೊಂದು ಸಣ್ಣ ಪಾಪ': ಕೂಸಿನ ಗಲಾಟೆಯ ಪದ್ಯ

೬.  'ತಾತ ಬುಟ್ಟಿ ತುಂಬ ರೊಟ್ಟಿ': ಕಿಟ್ಟ ಮತ್ತು ತಾತನ ರೊಟ್ಟಿಯ ಕಥೆ

೭. 'ಕುರಿಯ ಮರಿ ಬ್ಯಾ': ಕುರಿಮರಿಯನ್ನು ಹಿಡಿಯಲು ಬಂದ ಹುಲಿಯ ಬೇಟೆಯ ಪದ್ಯ

೮.  'ಕಲ್ಲು ಸಕ್ಕರೆ': ಬಾಯಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ನೀರೂರಿಸುವ ಕಲ್ಲುಸಕ್ಕರೆಯ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಕಿರುಪದ್ಯ

ಡಾ|| ರಾಜರತ್ನಂರವರು ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗಾಗಿ ನೂರಕ್ಕೂ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಕವನಗಳನ್ನು ಬರೆದಿದ್ದಾರೆ.

'ಬಣ್ಣದ ತಗಡಿನ ತುತ್ತೂರಿ' ಅಲ್ಲದೆ, ನನಗೆ ಇಷ್ಟವಾದ ಕವನಗಳು 'ಕುರಿಯ ಮರಿ ಬ್ಯಾ' ಮತ್ತು 'ಕಲ್ಲುಸಕ್ಕರೆ'. ಈ ಕವನಗಳನ್ನು ತಾಳ ಹಾಕುತ್ತಾ ಹಾಡಬಹುದು ಹಾಗೂ ಕುಣಿಯಲೂ ಬಹುದು .

ನನ್ನ ಮಗಳಿಗೆ ಮೂರು ವರ್ಷಗಳಾಗಿದ್ದಾಗ ಓದುವ ಅಭ್ಯಾಸ ಮಾಡಿಸಲು ಆಂಗ್ಲ ಭಾಷೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಅವಳಿಗೆ ಅನೇಕ ಪುಸ್ತಕಗಳನ್ನು ನಾನು ಓದುತ್ತಿದ್ದೆ. ಕೆಲವು ತಿಂಗಳುಗಳ ನಂತರ, ಅನಿರೀಕ್ಷಿತವಾಗಿ ಅವಳು ತನ್ನ ಮಾತೃಭಾಷೆಯಾದ ಕನ್ನಡವನ್ನು ಮಾತನಾಡುವುದನ್ನು ನಿಲ್ಲಿಸಿದಳು. ಆಗ ಡಾ|| ರಾಜರತ್ನಂರವರ ಕವನಗಳು ನನ್ನ ಸಹಾಯಕ್ಕೆ ಬಂದವು. ತನ್ನ ಅಣ್ಣನಿಂದ 'ಬಣ್ಣದ ತಗಡಿನ ತುತ್ತೂರಿ' ಕವನವನ್ನು ಕಲಿತು, ಅವಳು ಶಾಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹಾಡಿದಳು. ಎಲ್ಲರ ಮೆಚ್ಚುಗೆ ಪಡೆದಿದ್ದು ಅವಳಿಗೆ ಹುಮ್ಮಸ್ಸು ಕೊಟ್ಟಿತು ಹಾಗೂ ಅವಳು ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಮಾತನಾಡಲು ಪುನಃ ಶುರು ಮಾಡಿದಳು.

ಭಾಷೆಯನ್ನು ಕಲಿಯಲು ಕಾವ್ಯಗಳ ಮಹತ್ವ ನನಗೆ ಆ ದಿನ ತಿಳಿದುಬಂತು. ಡಾ|| ರಾಜರತ್ನಂರವರ ಕವನ ರೂಪದ ಕಥೆಗಳಿಂದ ಪ್ರೇರಿತಳಾಗಿ ನನ್ನ ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗಾಗಿ ನಾನು ಪದ್ಯರೂಪದ ಕಥೆಗಳನ್ನು ಬರೆಯಲಾರಂಭಿಸಿದೆ. ನನ್ನ ಮೊದಲ ಕಥೆ ‘ಪ್ರಥಮ್ ಬುಕ್ಸ್’ರವರ 'ಸ್ಟೋರಿವೀವರ್'ನಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರಕಟವಾಗಿದೆ: ಅಚ್ಚುಮೆಚ್ಚಿನ ಸಂಗಾತಿ- ಪುಟ್ಟ ಹುಡುಗಿಯ ಸಂಗಾತಿಯಾಗುವುದು ಯಾವ ಪ್ರಾಣಿ? 

'ಸ್ಟೋರಿವೀವರ್' ಸೈಟ್ನಲ್ಲಿ 'ಬಣ್ಣದ ತಗಡಿನ ತುತ್ತೂರಿ' ಹಾಗೂ ’ನಮ್ಮ ಮನೆಯಲೊಂದು ಸಣ್ಣ ಪಾಪ' ಪದ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ಅದ್ಭುತವಾಗಿ ಚಿತ್ರಿಸಿರುವ ಪುಸ್ತಕವನ್ನು ಓದಬಹುದು. ಇದರ ಲಿಂಕ್ ಕೆಳಗಿದೆ: 

ಸ್ಟೋರಿವೀವರ್' ಸೈಟ್ನಲ್ಲಿ ಅನೇಕ ಪ್ರಸಿದ್ಧ ಕವಿಗಳ ಸೊಗಸಾದ ಕವನಗಳನ್ನು ಓದಬಹುದು. 

೧. ಡಾ|| ಕುವೆಂಪು ಅವರ ಚಂದ್ರ ಮತ್ತು ಕಾಮನಬಿಲ್ಲುಗಳ ಕುರಿತು ಸುಂದರ ಕವನಗಳು 

೨. ಶ್ರೀಮತಿ ಬಿ.ಕೆ.ತಿರುಮಲಮ್ಮ ಅವರ ಗಣಿತ ಹಾಗೂ ಗುರುತ್ವಾಕರ್ಷಣೆಗಗಳ ಕುರಿತು ಮನೋಹರವಾದ  ಕವನಗಳು 

೩. ಡಾ|| ಸಿದ್ಧಯ್ಯ ಪುರಾಣಿಕ ಅವರ ಕೈಕೋಲನ್ನು ಕುದುರೆಯಾಗಿ ಭಾವಿಸುವ ಮನಮೋಹಕ ಪದ್ಯ 

೪. ಡಾ|| ಪಂಜೆ ಮಂಗೇಶರಾಯರ ತೆಂಕಣ ಗಾಳಿಯ ಆರ್ಭಟವನ್ನು ಕುರಿತ ಪದ್ಯ 

ಈ ಮಹಾನ್ ಕವಿಗಳ ಶ್ರೇಷ್ಠ ಕವನಗಳನ್ನು ನಿಮ್ಮ ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ ಓದಿ(ಸಿ) ಕನ್ನಡ ರಾಜ್ಯೋತ್ಸವವನ್ನು ಆಚರಿಸಿ. ನಮಸ್ತೇ!

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Pratham Books' in-house editor, Hema D Khurshapur, writes exclusively about translations and how they end up giving the feel of the original story, if given a fresh approach. In this blog post, she writes about C.P. Ravikumar's translation of Ming-Ming, Fat Little Bear’s translation into Kannada and the psychology behind laughter. 

ಮನುಷ್ಯರ ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗಷ್ಟೇ ತುಂಟತನ ಸೀಮಿತವೇ? ಪ್ರಾಣಿಗಳ ಮಕ್ಕಳೂ ತುಂಟತನ ಮಾಡಬಹುದಲ್ಲವೇ? ಅದ ರಲ್ಲೂ ಮುದ್ದಿಗೆ ಹೆಸರಾದ ಕರಡಿ ಮರಿಗಳು ತುಂಟತನ ಮಾಡಿದರೆ ಹೇಗಿರುತ್ತದೆ. ಅದೇ ಈ ಪದ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಮೂಡಿ ಬಂದಿರುವುದು. ಕೂದಲಿಗೆ ಉದಾಹರಣೆ ಕೊಡುವಾಗ ನಾವೆಲ್ಲ ಒಂದಲ್ಲ ಒಂದು ಸಲ ಬಳಸಿರುವ ವಾಕ್ಯ, ಅಲ್ಲಿ ನೋಡು ಅವನ ಅಥವಾ ಅವಳ ಕೂದಲು ಕರಡಿ ಕೂದಲಂತೆ ಎನ್ನುವುದು. 

Illustrations from the book, Ming-Ming, Fat Little Bear, by Vishnu M Nair

ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಕರಡಿ ಮತ್ತು ಕರಡಿ ಮರಿ ಕುರಿತಾಗಿ ಬಹುತೇಕ ಮಕ್ಕಳು ಕೇಳಿರಬಹುದಾದ ಒಂದು ಕವನ, ಒಂದು ಕತೆ ಇದೆ. ಕವನ ಅಂದ್ರೆ ಅದು ಬೇಂದ್ರೆಯವರ ‘ಕರಡಿ ಕುಣಿತ’, ಕತೆ ‘ಜಾಂಬವಂತ’ ಕರಡಿಯ ಕತೆ. ‘ಕರಡಿ ಕುಣಿತ’ ಕವನ ಕರಡಿ ಆಡಿಸುವವನಿಂದ ಶುರುವಾಗಿ, ಮಕ್ಕಳು ಕರಡಿಯನ್ನು ಮುಟ್ಟಿ ನೋಡುವ ಪ್ರಕ್ರಿಯೆ ಮುಗಿದು, ಕರಡಿಯ ಕೂದೆಲೆಳೆ ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ ದೃಷ್ಟಿಯಾಗದಂತೆ ತಡೆಯುತ್ತದೆ ಎನ್ನುವ ನಂಬಿಕಯೊಂದಿಗೆ ಮುಗಿಯುತ್ತದೆ. ‘ಜಾಂಬವಂತ’ ಕರಡಿಯ ಕತೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಬರುವ ಕರಡಿ ಮಾತ್ರ ಜೇನು, ಹಲಸಿನ ಹಣ್ಣು ತಿನ್ನುವ ಮುದ್ದು, ಮುದ್ದು ಪ್ರಾಣಿಯಾಗಿ ಮಕ್ಕಳನ್ನು ಸೆಳೆಯುತ್ತದೆ. 

ಆದರೆ ಈ ಮಿಂಗ್ ಮಿಂಗ್ ಎಂಬ ಕರಡಿ ಮರಿ, ಇನ್ನೂ ಮುದ್ದು ಮುದ್ದು. ಒಂದು ದಿನ ಬೆಳಗಾಗಿ ಎದ್ದು ನೋಡಿದರೆ ಮರಿಯ ತಲೆಯ, ಮೈಮೇಲಿನ ಕೂದಲೆಲ್ಲ ನೆಟ್ಟಗೆ ನಿಂತಿವೆ. ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ಏನು ಮಾಡಬೇಕೋ ತೋಚುತ್ತಿಲ್ಲ. ಯಥಾ ಪ್ರಕಾರ ಅಪ್ಪ-ಅಮ್ಮ, ಅಣ್ಣ-ಅಕ್ಕ, ದೊಡ್ಡಪ್ಪ-ಚಿಕ್ಕಪ್ಪ ಎಲ್ಲರೂ ಒಂದೊಂದು ಸಲಹೆ ಕೊಡುವವರೇ. ಎಲ್ಲರ ಮಾತು ಕೇಳಿ ತಲೆ ಚಿಟ್ಟು ಹಿಡಿದು ಮಲಗುವ ಕರಡಿ ಮರಿಯ ಕೂದಲು ಮತ್ತೊಂದು ಬೆಳಗ್ಗೆ ಎದ್ದು ನೋಡುತ್ತಲೇ ಮೊದಲಿನಂತಾಗಿ ಬಿಟ್ಟಿರುತ್ತದೆ. 

ಇಂಗ್ಲಿಷ್ ನಲ್ಲಿ ಎಲ್ಲವೂ ಸರಿ ಎನ್ನಿಸಿಯೇಬಹುದಾದ ಅಥವಾ ಹಾಗೆಂದು ನಾವು ಭಾವಿಸುವ ವಾಕ್ಯ ರಚನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕೆ ತರುವಾಗ ಎದುರಾಗುವ ಸಮಸ್ಯೆಗಳು ಒಂದೆರಡೆಲ್ಲ. ಅದು ಅನುವಾದ ಪ್ರಕ್ರಿಯೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ತೊಡಗಿ ಕೊಂಡವರಿಗೆಲ್ಲ ಗೊತ್ತಿರುವ ವಿಷಯ. ಈ ಕವನವನ್ನು ಕೂಡ ಇಂಗ್ಲಿಷಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಓದುವಾಗ ಚೆಂದ ಎನಿಸುವ ಪ್ರಾಸಗಳನ್ನು ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕೆ ತರುವುದು ನಿಜಕ್ಕೂ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಕಷ್ಟದ ಕೆಲಸ. ಕವನ ವನ್ನು ಟ್ರಾನ್ಸ್ ಫಾರ್ಮ್ ಮಾಡದೇ ಅನುವಾದದಲ್ಲಿ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಮಟ್ಟಿನ ಸ್ವಾತಂತ್ರ್ಯ ವಹಿಸಿ ಒಂದೆರೆಡು ವಾಕ್ಯ, ಒಂದೆರೆಡು ಸಾಲುಗಳನ್ನು ಸೇರಿಸುವ ಮೂಲಕ ಕವನವನ್ನ ಕನ್ನಡದ್ದೇ ಆಗಿಸಿದ್ದು ಅನುವಾದದ ಮಟ್ಟಿಗೆ ಒಳ್ಳೆಯ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನ. ಓದುತ್ತಿದ್ದರೆ ನಗುವನ್ನು ತಡೆಯಲು ಆಗದ ಕೆಲಸ. ಇಂತಹ ಒಳ್ಳೆ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಅನುವಾದಕ ಸಿ.ಪಿ.ರವಿಕುಮಾರ್‌ ಅವರಿಗೆ ಅಭಿನಂದನೆಗಳು.

ಬರೀ ಮಿಂಗ್ ಮಿಂಗ್ ಎಂಬ ಮುದ್ದು ಕರಡಿ ಮರಿ ಪದ್ಯ ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕೆ ಅನುವಾದಗೊಂಡ ಪ್ರಕ್ರಿಯೆ ಚೆಂದವಾದದ್ದು ಅಂತ ಓದಿದರೆ ಸಾಕೇ... ಓದುವಾಗ ಬರುವ ನಗು, ಹುಟ್ಟುವುದು ಹೇಗೆ ಎನ್ನುವುದರ ಬಗ್ಗೆಯೂ ಒಂದು ಕುತೂಹಲವಾದ ವಿಷಯವಿದೆ. 

Illustrations from the book, Ming-Ming, Fat Little Bear, by Vishnu M Nair

ನಗು ಹುಟ್ಟುವುದು ಹೇಗೆ?

ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಗೆ ಉತ್ತರ ತುಂಬಾ ಸರಳ. ಒಬ್ಬ ಹಾಸ್ಯನಟನನ್ನು ನೋಡಿದರೆ ಸಾಕು, ನಮಗೆ ತಿಳಿಯುತ್ತದೆ! ಆದರೆ ನಗೆ ಸಂಕೀರ್ಣ ವಿಷಯ. ನಾವು ಸಹಜವಾಗಿ ಭಾವನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಅಭಿವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಸುತ್ತೇವೆ. ನಗು ಮನುಷ್ಯರ ನಡುವೆ ಮಾತ್ರ ಕಂಡು ಬರುತ್ತದೆ. ಆದರೆ, ಮನಃಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಜ್ಞರು ನಗುವಿನ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಎರಡು ಮೂಲಭೂತ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಇನ್ನೂ ಅಧ್ಯಯನ ಮಾಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಒಂದು, ಜನರನ್ನು ನಗುವಂತೆ ಮಾಡುವುದು ಯಾವುದು? ಎರಡು, ನಗುವಿನ ಉದ್ದೇಶವೇನು? ಜನರು ನಗುವಂತೆ ಮಾಡುವ ಅಂಶ ಯಾವುದು ಅಥವಾ ಜನ ಯಾವುದನ್ನು ತಮಾಷೆ ಎಂದು ಪರಿಗಣಿಸುತ್ತಾರೆ ಎಂದು. ಉತ್ತರ ಹುಡುಕುತ್ತಾ, ಆಲೋಚಿಸುತ್ತಾ ಹೋದರೆ ನಾವು ಮನಃಶಾಸ್ತ್ರಜ್ಞ ಅಥವಾ ತತ್ವಜ್ಞಾನಿಗಳಾಗಿ ಬಿಡುತ್ತೇವೋ ಏನೋ?

ಜನರ ಕೆಲವು ಎಡವಟ್ಟು, ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಯ ದೌರ್ಬಲ್ಯ ಅಥವಾ ಕುಂದು-ಕೊರತೆ, ಕಾಳಜಿಯ ಸಂದರ್ಭಗಳಲ್ಲೂ ಜನರು ನಗುತ್ತಾರೆ. ನಗುವಿನ ಬಗೆಗಿನ ಮತ್ತೊಂದು ವಿವರಣೆ ಎಂದರೆ, ಇದ್ದಕ್ಕಿದ್ದಂತೆ ನೋಡಿದ ಕೆಲವು ದೃಶ್ಯಗಳು ನಗು ಹುಟ್ಟಿಸುತ್ತವೆ. ಅವು ಸಹಜ ಸಂಗತಿಗಳೇ ಇರಬಹುದು ಅಥವಾ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಗಳು ಜತೆಗಿದ್ದಾಗ ಕಣ್ಣ ಮುಂದೆ ನಡೆಯುವ ವಿಷಯಗಳಿರಬಹುದು. ಎಲ್ಲ ರೀತಿಯ ನಗುವಿಗೂ ಈ ಸಿದ್ಧಾಂತ ಅನ್ವಯವಾಗುವುದಿಲ್ಲ. ಕಾಮಿಕ್ ನೋಡಿದಾಗ ಉಕ್ಕುವ ನಗುವೇ ಬೇರೆ, ವಿನೋದ ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯ ಅಥವಾ ಘಟನೆ ನೋಡಿದಾಗ ಉಂಟಾಗುವ ನಗುವೇ ಬೇರೆ. ದೈಹಿಕವಾಗಿ ನಗುವಿನ ಅಂಶವನ್ನು ನೋಡಿದರೆ, ನಗು ಒಳ್ಳೆಯದು. ಇದು ನಮ್ಮ ಶ್ವಾಸಕೋಶಕ್ಕೆ ಮತ್ತು ದೇಹಕ್ಕೆ ಬೇಕಾದ ಹೆಚ್ಚುವರಿ ಶಕ್ತಿಯನ್ನು ಒದಗಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ನಾವು ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ನಗುವುದು ಒಂದು ಗುಂಪಿನಲ್ಲಿದ್ದಾಗ. ಈ ಸಿದ್ಧಾಂತದ ಪ್ರಕಾರ ಜನರ ನಗುವನ್ನು ನೋಡಿ ಅವರ ವರ್ತನೆಯ ಟಿಪ್ಪಣಿ ಮಾಡಬಹುದಂತೆ!!

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