Best Classic Translated Book: Timeless Tales in Translation by Chaitali Sengupta

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Book Review of Timeless Tales in Translation: A Representative Anthology of Bengali and Hindi Short Stories by Chaitali Sengupta

Do you enjoy short story reading? An anthology set to provide you with some of the best literary works of our time, written by the most renowned authors-Timeless Tales in Translation: A Representative Anthology of Bengali and Hindi Short Stories by Chaitali Sengupta is a must-read if you want a true glimpse into life’s strange and complex alleyways. A collector will appreciate an anthology.

Many times, it so happens that we miss the opportunity of reading some of the most excellent literature that has adorned our literary world, thanks to the barrier of language. Yes, not all excellent stories are always written in English or Hindi. Not only globally but right here locally in our country too, there have been such beautiful pearls of writing that have been present for several years now and not until very long ago we did not have access to them, courtesy of the language barrier. However, thanks to translations happening for quite some time and the presence of some of the finest translation writers who are present in our times, we are blessed with the opportunity to pore over and appreciate these timeless pieces of musing and wisdom-oriented tales.

I am sure you must have read some timeless tales at some point of time in your life, even though in another language. Reliving those daily wanderings of life, yes daily because they are more commonplace, closer to real life than a larger-than-life and thought kind of an idea, is something I always feel is a much more amazing instance than any other since our own life which is made up of many short stories by itself is not a singular entity by itself. Assimilation of all joys and sorrows, ups and downs and countless experiences ranging from love, heartbreak, joys and loss to several others and even a sombre one such as death has a story by itself to tell. How we live our life accumulating such stories and living our life is what life is truly about, I feel. 

Chaitali Sengupta’s anthology titled Timeless Tales in Translation: A Representative Anthology of Bengali and Hindi Short Stories is one such pursuit which is an assimilation of short stories from different Authors who are not only highly acclaimed but what makes them completely approachable is the fact that they were written straight from the heart, experience as well as emotions.

I have sensed loneliness scattered amongst the pages of this one, I have seen happiness, wonder and many other emotions even in between something as grave as a death in these tales. Yes, to tell you guys the truth I also saw my own self, my own story somewhere lying in between the pages of another’s tale. Indeed, this is what makes a book so special. We see ourselves, our own stories, our edited, as well as unfiltered versions of our lives amongst the pages of another, ’s writing. This book by Chaitali is one such book which simply heals you, makes you teary-eyed, dewy-eyed, in awe sometimes, sometimes a little sober and yet it heals you and how!

Do you know the biggest thing that matters in a translated story? It is whether you are able to literally translate and re-emote those little emotional cups alongwith the main writing course too. Or whether you have simply done what I call the more “regular and robotic” task of simply putting across the tale as it is, sans any real feeling or true liquidity as I call it.

The language used is extremely important in an anthology since it is surely the power of the writer aka the translator to convey that raw feeling of the original writer, acting akin to a bridge, merging the true thoughts and portrayals of the writer to that of his readers.

With stories from some of the finest writers to ever walk our lands such as Rabindranath Tagore, Swarnakumari Devi, Sarat Chandra Chatterjee, Rajsekhar Basu, Munshi Premchand, Jaishankar Prasad, Saadat Hasan Manto, this is a priceless assimilation which surely has some of the best tales of our times. A literary masterpiece, kudos to Chaitali for being able to get across the true emotion, the real PoV, the raw feelings of all of these esteemed and distinguished writers to us -unfiltered and in such a relatable as well as aesthetically beautiful manner via this anthology. Yes, I say aesthetically beautiful because it is simply no joke to be able to translate these tales in such a brilliant and flawless manner. 

To tell you guys the truth I almost cried during Subha, the story which has the power to shake every single person to the core and a couple of more stories which are such that they will render the reader speechless, haunting your own senses, making you question the existence and identity of your inherent humanity. 

Related: Book Review: Of Closets and Skeletons and Other Crime Stories by Kaivalya Ramnath

Chaitali has done a brilliant piece of writing with this one, translating some of the most loved and revered literary pieces of our times. Great anthology, pick this one up for a closer tete-a-tete with life.

Timeless Tales in Translation: A Representative Anthology of Bengali and Hindi Short Stories

Neelam Sharma
Author: Chaitali Sengupta



An anthology of some of the best translated short stories of our time, a must-read for classic literature lovers


So, hope you guys liked my review of Timeless Tales in Translation: A Representative Anthology of Bengali and Hindi Short Stories by Chaitali Sengupta. Stay tuned with us right here at Booxoul for the best in the field of entertainment, fun, finance, lifestyle, education, travel, tech and gadgets as well as all things bookish.

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