THE HERMIT AND TARANGINEE BY BUDDHADEV BASU Translated By Tania Chakravertty, New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi, 2022, pp.117, Rs. 125 and Literature Reviewed By Dr. Md Siddique Hossain

Published: 3 June 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/9x9zf5vmym.1
Md Siddique Hossain MD S HOSSAIN


Buddhadeva Bose, a prominent figure in contemporary Bengali literature, authored the four-act Bengali play Tapaswi O Taraginee, which serves as the focal point of the book being discussed. Basu was a multifaceted individual who made a significant impact on Bangla literature through his contributions as a poet, essayist, playwright, novelist, and short story writer. In April 1966, the play was published in Desh, a highly influential Bangla monthly, in a serialised format. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for 1967. Tania Chakravertty’s translation renders this drama comprehensible to readers who are not proficient in the Bangla language.


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Translating Basu's writings can be a challenging task, requiring bravery on the part of the translator. An inherent challenge in translating this play lies in the abundant poetic quality that saturates the exchanges. The talks are filled with intense emotion and fervour, and the vocabulary used may appear somewhat outdated to contemporary Bangla speakers. Translating the emotional nuances of Bangla into a language like English without it becoming excessively sentimental is certainly a difficult task. The translation effectively conveys the numerous metaphors and similes, as well as the exaggerated language that is present throughout the dialogues, without making it appear cliché. Translating Basu's writings can be a challenging task, requiring bravery on the part of the translator. The setting of the drama is the kingdom of Anga. The kingdom is plagued by a curse. Anga is currently experiencing a severe drought and hunger. Ultimately, Rishyashringa, the recluse who has been engaging in rigorous self-discipline, assumes the duty. Rishyashringa and his father, Bibhandak, reside in a hermitage. The minister summons Taranginee, the most skilled courtesan in Champa City, and Lolapangee, her mother. The minister provides her with specific instructions, directing her to entice Rishyashringa while his father is away. What could be a more demanding examination for Taranginee than trying to persuade this recluse to abandon his vow of celibacy? Taranginee willingly embraces the challenge and proceeds towards the hermitage. Throughout her conversations with Rishyashringa, she successfully captures his affection. The dialogue between Rishyashringa and Taranginee is one of the most lyrical sections of the drama, as well as the most challenging to translate.Taranginee expresses her philosophy as follows: 'Passion and want are my guiding principles; I pursue pleasure as my ultimate goal; and the joy of connection is the focus of my self-discipline.' This episode depicts the collision between two contrasting realms—the realms of naivety and wisdom, of physical desire and the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment. Unlike Taranginee's attempts, the writer portrays the young Rishyashringa's innocence, skillfully capturing it with the phrase 'Embrace'. This naivette clings to its surroundings, much like a creeper embracing a tree. Basu, who possesses extensive knowledge of international literature, effectively alludes to the act of Iphigenia's sacrifice by her father, Agamemnon, before to the commencement of the Trojan War by the Greeks, in order to emphasise his argument.....


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