Lost in Translation– Cobalt Blue


cobalt blueBlue cobalt

By Sachin Kundalkar, translated by Jerry Pinto.

ISBN 974-0-470-08684-9.

The book was given as complimentary copy almost a year back. I did two pages then.

The book is about siblings Tanay and Anuja, and pay guest in their house.

Tanay’s interaction with the paying guest name not really mentioned is bromance flowering into hetero sexual his journey is about his acceptance of his sexual orientation. For Tanay acceptance and moving on, meant moving on to Mumbai from the comfort of home.

Then there is Anuja, who rebels from the norms of the traditional society, has a sexual thrust with her classmate, an affair with the paying guest, poses for artists, takes a part time job generally does everything a respectable Maharashtrian girl does not. But she eventually breaks. The finale is about overcoming the comfort and the restrain of her house environment and a escape symbolised by moving out of her parental house.

There are the other characters, the Nadkarni’s next door, Aunt Sharayu who is more happening. Anubhav, Anuja’s classmate who is also her buddy and she has her first sexual encounter with him..  Then there are the traditional Maharashtrian parents, a traditional older sibling Aseem who conforms to social norms and etiquette.

The book comes across like a journal written by a mind on journey which is what it claims to be. Jerry Pinto’s translating robbed me off either experiencing the book with its Marathi flavour or a usual more alive Jerry Pinto writing.

Of course jerry does explain his challenge in translating which I can empathize with. But maybe instead of translating the meaning we could use emotional phonetics that translates the ethos, I am not articulate enough but might let the translators keep the original ethos. Or simply like ”re” used by Tanay in the Marathi version could have been maintained or nearest epithets in English could be used, the word “love” does not really work here.

A good book to read if one is looking at social transitions and alternate stories. Though to experience the story in totality a background understand of the Marathi cultural fabric becomes essential.

About Sachin Kundalkar —  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sachin_Kundalkar

About Jerry Pinto. — http://jerrypinto.com/

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3 thoughts on “Lost in Translation– Cobalt Blue

  1. I enjoyed this book for two reasons 1. A taboo topic was seamlessly weaved into a sibling/love story 2. I did not expect something like this from a regional language (pardon my bias but it is quite surprising to see a plotline like this). I don’t know Marati but I still managed to get acquainted with the cultural peculiarities.

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