Saar Sansaar
A Quarterly Magazine of Foreign Language Literatures in Hindi
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"Saar Sansaar" is a Vorstellung of Dr. Amrit Mehta for those lovers of world literature, who want to read their literature in Hindi - in an undiluted form, where the original text does not come to them through the filter of English. This is a modest effort to restore Hindi it's rightful glorious place in the world, whereby Hindi readers do not have to depend on some English and American translator to decide for them, what kind of literature from various foreign languages they should read.

The second issue of "Saar Sansaar" this year has been delayed inordinately. The reason behind this has been the wrapping up of the Günter Wallraff's novel "Ganz unten" with the last issue, and the search for an equally strong content for serializing in the magazine. With this issue we are beginning with two books, which are going to be serialized for many years to come. I had, for a long time wished to serialize the biography of the Nobel Prize Winner writer Günter Grass'; written by Prof. Volker Neuhaus of the University of Cologne the biography titled "Schreiben gegen die verstreichende Zeit" is a fascinating account of Grass' eventful life from his childhood till almost the end of the last century. It took me sometime to acquire the publishing rights of the book, and I am thankful to Prof. Neuhaus and Ms. Constanze Chory of the dtv-Verlag for awarding the rights to "Saar Sansaar" without charging a paisa. Prof. Neuhaus is a Grass-Expert, is close to the writer, and has written his biography after having close consultations with him. The Hindi-edition of the book titled "Beetate Samay ke viruddh Lekhan" was published in 2005.

The other book is a very remarkable novel titled "Die Steinflut" by the Swiss writer Franz Hohler, whose literature our readers have been reading now for well over a decade. Translating this novel has been an exhilarating experience for me. The Hindi-edition of this book titled "Prastarvrishti" was also published in 2005, and in the same year Hohler had undertaken a recitation tour of India and fascinated everybody, who came in contact with him, with his multi-faceted literary talents. This book is based on a real life story of a small girl, who was the only survivor in a small hilly village, devastated totally by a fateful landslide. In spite of its grim premise its story will tickle you more than leaving you feel distressed.

The other texts in this issue are a story each by Swiss writer Peter Stamm, German Karl Valentin, Slovak Ivika Ruttkayova, 2 folk-tales, one each from China and Russia, and two poems, one each from France - by Paul-Marie Verlaine - and Austria - by Clemens Setz. Noted writer Peter Stamms's story has been translated by Prof. Hamsavahini Singh of the Banasthali Vidyapeeth, Rajasthan, who is getting her first translation getting published in this magazine. She is 72nd such translator translating directly from a foreign language into Hindi, who has been discovered by our magazine. In the last issue also I had mentioned that we had discovered 72 translators till then, but the numbers were not right. Till then the total number of such translators was 70 - Nitish Kumar's translation from Chinese was not included in the last issue due to some constraints, but with Hamsavahini's translation in this issue the number now comes to 72. Till 2003 the number of such translators was 54; these names can be read on this webpage by clicking 'news'; the names of the successive 18 translators are Mohd. Shakeel, K.M.A.Ahmad Zubair, Muzzafar Alam, Sheela Bodra, Svati Yadav,, Shipra Chaturvedi, Ramchandra Gupta, Jyoti Sharma, Vipul Goswami, Mazharul Haque, Ghulam Moinuddin, Naheed Akhtar Siddiqui, Sheikh Abdullah, Abdul Wasey, Mahmood Alam, Priti Das, Nitish Kumar and Hamsavahini Singh. It is significant in this context that the mother tongue of Hamsavahini Singh is Tamil, a Drawidian language; and she is translating skilfully from German into Hindi. The mother tongue of a large number of translators (40) discovered by "Saar Sansaar" is not Hindi - the mother tongue of 14 of them is Urdu, Punjabi of 7, Marathi of 6, Bangla of 4, Telugu of 3, Tamil of 2, and Kashmiri, Kannada, Hungarian and Czeck of one each. Many of our Anglophiles, including many Hindi writers, are 'enlightening' the cultural diplomats from the West that the lingua franca and the most spoken language of India is English. Here is a concrete validation of the power of Hindi, corroborating the actuality that many Indians from non-Hindi states have a good command over Hindi, so much so that they are able to translated foreign language literatures into Hindi - just like their Hindi-speaking compatriots.

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