New Delhi, July 1 ‘Jaya Ganga, a novel by Paris-based Indian writer Vijay Singh that traces the quest of a young Indian from France journeying down the Ganga, has been translated into Hindi by (late) Manglesh Dabral and published by Rajkamal Prakashan with the support of the French Institute in India. The book has also been made into a cult Indo-French film.
When this travelogue-novel was first published in France in 1985, it received a ravishing response from the critics, who pointed to the unprecedented coming together of the author’s inner and outer worlds.
Later, the author himself adapted the book into a film which ran for a record 49 weeks in Paris and the UK cinemas after being screened in 40 countries in all continents.
Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India, said, “Jaya Ganga being translated into Hindi represents the completion of a cycle and a perfect example of cross fertilisation between Indian and French cultures. Vijay Singh masters many universes and is an outstanding driving force in cultural exchanges. The French government is enthusiastic about this project and supports it fully. I have no doubt it will bring delight to many Hindi speakers.”
Translated into Hindi by renowned poet and writer, Mangalesh Dabral, it will sadly be listed as one of those books whose translator succumbed to Covid almost soon after the work was completed.
In a moving tribute to Dabral, Vijay Singh writes in the book, “I had never met him. I had never seen him. I had never read him. He was only a voice to me, a telephone voice that came into my life just before the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic. But this was also the voice that I exchanged with for hours and hours over 2020, and we spoke of virtually everything under the sun – love, life, death, poetry, music, rivers, mountains…”
Commenting on the Hindi translation, Ashok Maheshwari, Managing Director, Rajkamal Prakashan, said, “We at Rajkamal Prakashan are thrilled that ‘Jaya Ganga’ is being published in Hindi in India. It is also a poignant moment for us as this is going to be the last piece of translation done by Mangalesh Dabral. The written word and Ganga will both continue their journey forever, etching newer and newer impressions on the reader’s mind.”
The novel has been in print for over 35 years and the new English edition will shortly be re-issued.