Category Archives: Language and Literature

The Stories That Influenced Me: Foreword

4151100524_9e9d933e33_nA question is generally asked — Does literature have any social responsibility or is it yet another means of aesthetic pleasure? In fact, this question is asked not just about literature, instead about all arts. However, in this post I would not go into the debate on this issue. Continue reading

Keith Broni : World’s First Emoji Translator!


Keith Broni, photo source: Today Translations.

I had been in regular correspondence with her for quite some time without any communication gap. Her English was flawless without any grammatical or punctuation errors, a virtue which I always admire. However, one day there was an unusual error — she ended the sentence with a colon and closed it with a parenthesis. As I could not locate the opening bracket, I concluded that she had deleted a part of the sentence by mistake. Continue reading

A Solution To Break Language Barrier — Join Them!


Liron Lavi Turkenich and her script Aravrit. Photo source:

Which is the biggest problem that you face when traveling to a different city? A problem that you mostly take for granted, but are confronted with as soon as you set your foot on that land? It is language. You don’t have to go that far as China or Russia to appreciate the enormity of this problem. In fact, even within our own country, we face this problem on a routine basis.

Strangely, we give more importance to food and wonder ‘what would we eat there?’ And we pack sattu, khakhara, Maggi, even hot plate for emergency survival purpose. On the other hand, not for a moment do we pay any attention to the language barrier that is eagerly waiting for us. We brush aside all concerns with a ‘Oh, don’t worry, we’d manage’. Continue reading



हमारा समस्त जीवन मानों प्रतिबिम्ब को देखने में ही बीतता है और मानों हम लोग उसी से संतुष्ट हैं । प्रत्येक वस्तु हमें किसी अन्य का स्मरण कराती है । किसी तत्व का विवरण देने के लिए हम किसी दूसरे तत्व का ही आधार लेते हैं । हरिणि से नेत्र, सिंह के सदृश कटि आदि । क्या हम बिना किसी उपमा के किसी वस्तु को उसी के रूप में, यथार्थ रूप में नहीं देख सकते ? यानी पर्वत को पर्वत के ही जैसे, रोटी को रोटी के ही जैसे, सूर्य को सूर्य के ही जैसे । बिना अलंकार के, बिना भ्रांति की रचना किए, जो समक्ष स्पष्ट रूप से विद्यमान है, क्या उसका निरूपण कर सकते हैं ?

photo credit: Anvica Espejo, espejito mágico ¿Qué nube es la más hermosa? via photopin (license)

Is Reading Habit Really Declining?

27818904945_3d58104f28_nA well known publisher once expressed his concern about the declining reading habit these days. He seemed to be extremely worried and started a discussion on Facebook asking how to encourage reading habit. Some people gave very good input. The discussion was over in a few days — the usual lifetime of any Facebook post. However, couple of months later, the publisher posted the same query once again! This time nobody replied to him. Continue reading

Do Surnames Carry Signatures Of Migration?


Surname is a very involved subject, which encompasses caste, profession, language and native place. For example, you need not be told where your colleague Bandyopadhyay hails from or why your neighbour Agarkar is not a Bihari. As long as surnames are unique — Rao, Gowda, Chaturvedi, Mukherjee or Kulkarni — everything is fine. However, whenever there is an overlap — obvious or apparent — new questions arise. An example could be Trivedi. Today we would discuss few such cases. Note that here our aim is not about the classification and nomenclature per se, nor do we attempt at understanding the logic behind surname and its distinction from Jati, Varna, or Gotra. Here we are only concerned with the migration or movement of people as reflected in their surnames. Continue reading

एक सरकारी कर्मचारी की मौत : आन्तोन चेखोव (अनुवाद)


आन्तोन पावलोविच चेखोव (1860-1904), स्रोत – विकिमीडिया

एक सुन्दर शाम को, लगभग उतना ही सुदर्शन एक्जिक्यूटर, इवान द्मित्रिच चेर्व्याकोव, कुर्सियों की दूसरी पंक्ति में बैठा था और दूरबीन से “कॉर्नविल की घंटियाँ” (ओपेरा) देख रहा था । वह देख रहा था और स्वयं को आनन्द की पराकाष्ठा पर बैठा अनुभव कर रहा था । लेकिन अचानक . . . कहानियों में अक्सर यह “लेकिन अचानक” मिलता है । लेखकों का कहना सच है: जीवन अप्रत्याशित घटनाओं से कितना भरपूर है ! लेकिन अचानक उसका चेहरा बिगडा, आँखें घूम गईं, साँसें रुक गईं . . . उसने आँखों से दूरबीन हटाई, झुका और . . . आपछू !!!  छींका, जैसा कि आप देख ही रहे हैं । छींकना किसी को भी कहीं भी मना नहीं है । लोग छींकते हैं, पुलिस अधिकारी छींकते हैं,  और कभी कभी तो गोपनीय सलाहकार भी । सभी छींकते हैं । चेर्व्याकोव जरा भी शर्मिंदा नहीं हुआ, रुमाल से पोंछा और एक सज्जन व्यक्ति की तरह अपने चारों तरफ देखा: कहीं उसने अपनी छींक से किसी को परेशान तो नहीं किया ? Continue reading