Saar Sansaar
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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 issue of Oct.-Dec. 2017 is once again dedicated to Czech Literature. It contains a long story titled "They called me Leni" penned by Zdenka Bezdekova , a much- admired Czech writer, who by virtue of having been born in 1907 witnessed two world wars in her lifetime. This novella, which was written four years after the end of second war, happens to be her most memorable work, which had at one time been compulsorily prescribed in many schools of undivided Czechoslovakia. The author, who had been writing literature for children and adults since 1947, was lauded more for her war-time stories. "Leni", published in 1948, narrates the story of a girl-child, has received well-deserved respect in European literature, and has been published in English, Ukrainian, Russian, Slovak, Danish and Swedish translations. Hindi is the first non-European language, in which it has now been translated.

Leni is living with her German (!) parents in Germany in the fifth decade of the last century, and suddenly, one fine day, she gets to know that her parents are not her real parents. The Red Cross people tell her that when she was a baby she was taken from her Czech/Jew mother and given to one German family, which was very close to Nazis, who survived in the post-war period. Her mother is extremely cold to her, and her brother never misses a chance to insult her, even in the school. Her class-mates and teachers were also extremely rude to her. She has a vague memory of her real parents, who haunt her in the form of shadows, or in dreams. Ultimately she is confronted with the truth that her father died in the war and her mother, who is alive, is living in Czechoslovakia. She leaves her German home to find a new home in Czechoslovakia, in a land, the language of which she does not understand, and to a mother, whom she never knew..

Hope our readers would like this poignant tale.

*****

Our second last issue did not have the photo of our esteemed colleague Prof. Dagmar Markova, but that of a namesake. The photo of real Prof. Markova adorns the cover page of this issue. It was an inadvertent mistake, but not a minor one, since I have personally met her in Prague. I tender my sincere apologies to her for this error.




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