Hyderabad: At a time when use of Urdu phrases sparks controversy, here is a guy bent on transferring Urdu literature into Telugu language. Unmindful of attempts to politicise Urdu in the public sphere, Padullaparthy Venkata Suryanarayana Murthy goes about his job – giving a peep into the rich world of Urdu for those who don’t know the language.
Mehak Hyderabadi, as he is known by his pseudonym, has taken up the arduous task of translating works of celebrated Urdu writers into Telugu, his mother tongue. In the last six years he has translated five books. A tall order indeed.
His notable translations include short stories of acclaimed Urdu novelist, Jeelani Bano. The Telugu anthologies go by the name – Guppita Jaare Isuka and Anta Nijame Chepta. The first book got an award from Potti Sriramulu Telugu University in the best translation category. The two books contain 21 stories each. Murthy is so impressed by Bano’s writings that he translated her autobiography also into Telugu with the title – Terichina Pustakam.
This is followed by translation of an Urdu writer, Saadat Hasan Manto’s, short stories in Telugu. The first volume titled Manto’s Classics containing 27 selected stories was published in 2020. The second volume brought out this year contains 24 stories. Manto was a daring and controversial writer and charged for portraying obscenity. He wrote about sex, pimps, prostitutes and alcoholics. But he is best remembered for his heart-rending stories of partition. Murthy has translated some of his controversial stories like Kali Salwar and Thanda Ghost into Telugu. “I am the first person to translate Monto’s stories directly from Urdu”, he says.
Basically a Telugu journalist, Murthy retired recently having worked for several vernacular newspapers. Now as an empanelled writer with the Sahitya Akademi, he plans to translate more books from Urdu to Telugu. He has a list of books lined up for translation. They include: Amrita Pritam’s Punjabi novel, Pinjar and Prof. Baig Ehsas award winning book, Dakhma.
But why Urdu? “Because it’s a language dearer to my heart”, pat comes the reply.
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