‘Playground’-Book Review

Basics of the book
Author  Original-Premchand-Translated by-Manju Jain [retired as professor from the dept of English , University of Delhi]
Picture of the Author  
ISBN 978-0-143-10211-3
Price [INR] 550/-
Pages 631
Main Plot Set against the backdrop of colonial India-a grim account of a poor blind man’s struggle against the forceful acquisition of his ancestral land by feudal landlords, opportunists and ruthless capitalists.
No. of Characters 7 leads
Tone of writing Simple [though it totally give a feel of ‘translated’ stuff]
My take on the book
Do I recommend No.
Reasons being >The plot sure is captivating and one would want to read ahead to know what happens next. However the translation of the original story [in Hindi] doesn’t come out so well or better put doesn’t give the same feel and punch as the original text does.[have checked the original copy too after reading this one]>Manju Jain, I think, has done quite a good job in putting the entire Hindi text into English and have tried her best to retain the original tone and essence of the plot, but, while reading in between pages you get a feel time and again that no matter how good a translator, the original stuff always is best to pick up!

>Like for instance the name of the story in Hindi is ‘Rangbhoomi’ which in English has been put as ‘Playground’. Though there is a deeper meaning to the word used but still it doesn’t spell the same importance as the former one in the first place.

On the other hand >As I said above the plot and the backdrop against which it is set is appealing and leaves the reader with lot of information of how the colonial India functioned.>A tint of religion and its beliefs is also spread across people in the story and you also get a glimpse of poetry by some characters and their selfless sacrifices in the service of the nation.

>Quiet dramatic and makes you wonder and think.

>You get to peep in the lives of villagers and know about their unity and diversity.How easily they can be fooled and how quickly they are to gather up and even go to the extent of killing to fight for each other.


10 thoughts on “‘Playground’-Book Review

  1. As someone who knows a foreign language and has done translations I so get what you are talking about. Reading a translated text is not the same as reading the original however good the translator.Tho to give translators their credit, I think its almost impossible to capture the nuances and essence of things said in one language into another language.

    you said it Ruchira 🙂

    I have read rangbhoomi in original and greatly enjoyed it .

    hai na? and YAY you’re back 🙂 how was the holiday?

  2. hmmm I agree wit hthe first comment , translation loses the charm its like watching a hindi movie with english subtitles and not listening to dialogues but reading the subtitles ..

    well you know what i mean 🙂

    yup I got it B 🙂

  3. When I saw the title of the post in my inbox i thought its some post about chirpy and then see its actually a book review…. 😀

    lol so you did not read the review 😀

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