ಇದ್ರೀಸ್ ಶಾ ರವರ ದರವೇಶಿ ಕತೆಗಳು

Sufis address human problems through fables, allegories and metaphors. The poetic diction and socio-cultural values asso­ciated with sufi literature have interested modern Kannada thinkers. Gauri Lankesh’s ren­dering of Idris Sha’s “Tales of the Dervishes” offers an en­lightening experience. At dis­tressing times like these, the book offers great solace.

Idris Sha spent over three decades collecting sufi stories. His books have been translated into many languages. The sufi stories were meant to sharpen the human minds. It is widely accepted that sufi stories have changed the methods of think­ing and understanding the hu­man mind in the 20th century.

‘Darveshi’ is what Jangamas are to Hinduism. The mystical element makes the reading of the stories invaluable. Kinship, hard work, fate, family rela­tions, money, pragmatism, ig­norance, belief in God – all these rendered in simple lan­guage and makes the book ex­tremely readable.

There are 40 stories here and each story could be treated as an epitome of sufi view of life. The concern for the working class and the celebrating the greater common good forms the main crux of the stories. “Benkiya Kathe” speaks of the exploita­tion and degradation of human values which can lead to disas­ter of some kind or the other. In fact, all the stories lend them­selves to multiple readings. For example, “Padarakshegalannu Kuritu”, talks about two differ­ent approaches to inculcation of honesty among people. But the real problem of honesty lies el­sewhere.

Similarly, “Nirannu Badalayi­sidaaga”, talks about the queer ways in which human beings act and react. The translation is so good that it sounds very sound original and intense in Kanna­da.

One cannot however, miss certain ideological inclinations of the translator in this collec­tion. For instance, the word “purohitashahi” seems too ide­ologically loaded in Kannada (“Benkiya Kathe”). In the origi­nal, it probably was less loaded. Similarly, the useful informa­tion given as postscript for some of the select stories most often advocate a particular kind of reading of the stories. This is not a negative observation. Such manifestations are indeed the translator’s unconscious, but legitimate responses to the materials s/he is translating. Translation is after all a way of interpretation too.

Rahmath Tarikere has writ­ten an important foreword to the book. Neelu (p. Lankesh)’s poem on the blurb is relevant and goes well with the theme of the book.

K. Sundara Raj (The Hindu)

 

Title : Idrish Sharavara Dara­veshi Kathegalu Translation : Gauri Lankesh Rate:Rs.90/-

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