Thursday, February 4, 2010

Travels, a book release and...

Due to laziness and busyness, i haven’t been able to update on my doings for quite a while. Well, 2009 ended and 2010 began with travels. November-December of last year we (hubby & me) went to Northeast—Guwahati and other parts of Assam, Shillong, Aizawl & Lunglei on a combination of work and other visits. On first of Jan we set out for Kerala on a week’s trip. And later the same month we were in Bangalore for three days. Right now i’m almost travel weary though we had great times in all the trips.

To avoid making it a long post, i’ll talk of only a few things that happened during these times. I had hopes of meeting some of the bloggers and the ‘elusive poet’ Mona in Aizawl but it didn’t work out. But i did meet another ‘elusive poet’ Lalzuahliana, who hid his face with a book when we tried to take his photo. But he’s really worth meeting and we had a good time discussing poetry.

Dr. Laltluangliana Khiangte invited us to dinner. One of the invitees was a journalist guy who, on seeing me for the first time, exclaimed “Hei hi maw Malsawmi Jacob!” (Is this----!) and walked out of the room. He came back only after dinner was served. Obviously badly disappointed with my looks!:(

And then on 28th Jan we had a book release at Crossword, Bandra, Mumbai. It’s a collection of poems, short stories and interviews of women writers in Assamese, Bengali, Garo, Manipuri and Mizo languages, translated into English, published by SPARROW and titled 'Being Carried Far Away'. Sadly, i was the only contributor present and had to read out my poems in Mizo and English. Some were quite fascinated by the Mizo language sound though they couldn’t understand a word. One of my poems i read is given here in Mizo and English. I’m quite nervous to show this, as some of you may snigger and chuckle at the poor translation, but here it is.

Kawl zawl Bungpui

A khi ral tiang mual lian,
Chhaktiang Kawl daiah khian
Bungpui a ngir an ti.

Belh ve ka nuam ngei e
Zing zin theih chang teh se—
Her chhuak ang maw, tur ni?

Hmasanga pi leh pu
An tuan chaina mual chu
Chul iang va fang ve i’—

Tuk zan siang an lawina.
Tawng i maw, an rauthla,
Chhingmit thla an zem si.

Fam chu chan lul suh u!
Zofate lung lentu
Chhak Kawl zawl Bungpui khi.

The English rendering (laugh if you must).

The Banyan Tree

On eastern plain afar,
In the land of Myanmar
There stands a Banyan Tree.

I would rest in its shade
(O, do notlet itfade!)
Could I take the journey –

Where our fore-fathers stayed
And worked, and danced, and played
I would a pilgrim be.

Could I make the visit,
Would I meet their spirit?
Here they come to haunt me.

Oh, do not let it die!
Don’t let it fall to lie!
The grand old Banyan Tree!

And then the icing on the cake is that my little book for kids titled 'Magic Mirror Stories' has come out at last. I started writing the stories for my son when he was about three or four, added girlie ones when my daughter came, and upgraded the age level as they both grew up. They have way outgrown them now but some kids just might love them. So...


DayDreamBeliever said...

Oh congrats! congrats! Must get copies of both books somehow. And the translation's great. I love the Mizo version. Really, really proud of you!

feddabonn said...

while the english helps me understand the mizo, i suspect it doesn't match the imagery of the original. [resolves to continue practice on]

lmao@the journalist! should have told him you were just pretending to be malsawmi jacob! LMAO!

mesjay said...

@DayDreamBeliever, thanks a lot. The books are available with the publishers. Actually the 'Far Away' will be good for your Dept. library too.

@Feddabonn, your suspicion is correct.The English translation is not quite satisfactory.

I felt so sorry for the disappointed journalist. Guess he expected someone with the looks of an actress.:)

Sekibuhchhuak said...

congrats, hotunu!

KA ziawl cham laia nia sin ma wle aw, kan lo inhmu lo ani! Ve hrim hrim in, han hmuh chhan thlak chu nei lo mahila!

mesjay said...

@Seki, thanks. Keini ho hi engtik emaw chuan kan la inhmuh theih beisei phawt ila, inhmuh a chakawm khawp mai. Mahse journalist pa ang hian i titau ve ang tih a hlauhwm :-)

Calliopia said...

Congratulations! How many published books does that bring up for you? I thought you'd met up with Mona and wondered why she never got in touch about you being in town. As for the journo, what a rude fellow!

Zaia said...

Ka lawmpui a che.

I bei nalh hle mai. Midang ang deuhvin a Mizo zawk hi ka duh. A rhyme pawh i bei nalh hle mai. Mizo chuan a har teh a sin! Poetry translate hi chuan a original hi a tluk mawh an ti em ni kha?

mesjay said...

@Caliopia, thanks; it's the 5th one but they're all very small books that can be finished in one sitting.

The journo didn't mean to be rude but it was more of a shock reaction. I was quite sorry to disappoint him so bad.

@Zaia, i ti lawmawm. Translate hi ka thiam loh zawng tak ania. Nang chu a talent i dawng tel tlatin ka hria, poetry ziah bakah.

aduhi said...

Would love to read the children's book. I think children should be encouraged to read from a very young age. Great job there.
"Hei hi maw mesjay chu" tih ve a chakawm ve. Never knew you were famous.

mesjay said...

@Aduh, i do agree with you, children should be encouraged to read. Reading to them before they can read for themselves helps.

I'm NOT famous. The journo guy happened to know about me from some aquaintance or perhaps read my pieces somewhere. That by no means makes me famous.

MARKWOOD said...

1977 kha ka hmuh hnuhnun ber che a ni ta ... a flow-ah chuan Angrejee zawk hi chu a tawlhpanal a thleng rang zawkmahin ka hria!

Patla khai meuhva buk ralah chuan a inbuk tawn thial thial ngawt chuan ka hria!

A mawi e.

mesjay said...

@Markwood, i identity zawn chhuah theih lohvin i la inthup a, i inlar hun ka lo nghak phawt mai ange. 77 chu kum 30 chuang fe ani ta a, min hmu leh mahla min hriat tawh loh hmel.

Jerusha said...

wowees! Congrats! Am definitely going to head to crossword to look for a copy. The journalist's behaviour is just shocking to me - no matter what his reason for walking out was. And to think it's a grown man and that too a journalist. Kan mawl thei ve ngawt mai 1

mesjay said...

@Jerusha, hope you do find a copy, it's quite an intersting collection. The journalist was a bit poor in hiding his feelings, hehe!

mesjay said...

@Jerusha, hope you do find a copy, it's quite an intersting collection. The journalist was a bit poor in hiding his feelings, hehe!

Gauri Gharpure said...

congratulations... the poem reads beautiful

mesjay said...

@Gauri, thanks and thanks.

Calliopia said...

I'll stick my head out here and say the Mizo version makes me go zzzzz. I don't like the poetic diction that has a death grip on Mizo poetry and has practically made sure our poetry is dead/stagnant/finito. There's just no growth whatsoever which is why all our poems revolve around the themes of love, patriotism and nostalgia. Just plain boooring.

mesjay said...

@Caliopia, Hahaha, you really seem to have a thing against existing Mizo poetry. Mona would agree with you. But we of the older generation are still charmed by 'diction','flow' 'form' and things. (Btw, this one was written ages ago). Of course, i fully agree with you that we really need to move on in style, theme and all.

feddabonn said...

while i do not understand the old-style mizo poetry, i love (what seems to me like) its ability to paint pictures out of words. i think it would be a pity to lose that ability. i do not know how calliopia proposes that mizo poetry should 'grow', but i personally hope this growth is towards a a clearer understanding of one's place, rather than trying to be like the rest of the world.

am currently reading on contemporary pacific art, and it is fascinating how they are interpreting their traditions in a contemporary context. i sometimes feel western art practice would foist a renaissance style 'break from tradition' 'model on all other cultures, and is yet to fully understand the 're-interpret tradition' model that the pacific and the australian aborigines have responded with. one of the examples of this 're-interpretation' is in the art of weaving, which is very deeply linked to tongan society. while the materials and the designs have changed, weaving is still as relevant to the immigrant tongan community as ever.

mesjay said...

@Feddabonn, while i understand very little of visual art, i would think that a total break from old Mizo poetry would be a loss. What Calliopia objects to may be the endless recycling of the same themes in the same (attempted) diction, causing the works to be merely imitative, lacking originality. I think we should give traditio its rightful place but move on from there--not just round and round. This i've been trying to do but still get stuck on the way.

Calliopia, your turn :)

samda said...

in a recent visit to Mizoram I was surprised to see very few puan wearers in Aizawl. I was told that puans were reserved for Sundays. Has the Church become the sole custodian of Mizo culture.
Even in the revived chapchar kut, I suppose, there will be fancy dress competitors coming out in puans.