Translated Works

archakarchak 2082 Points
A few days back @thebeautifulgame had suggested his idea (brilliant in my opinion) of translating the works of Moti Nandi's fictional(inspired by real Indian footballers) books on football.
Having already experienced his ability to paraphrase while reading the translated Krishanu article, most of the active Bengali members in IFN thought he would be the correct person and would be just to the works of Moti Nandi.

About the Author:

Moti Nandi (1931-2010) was a sports journalist and worked as a sports editor in Anandabazar Patrika. He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award (2008) at a glittering ceremony to mark the grand finale of the maiden edition of the Excellence in Journalism Awards.
In his novels, he is noted for his depiction of sporting events and many of his protagonists are sports-persons. His first short story was published in Desh weekly in 1957. His story for Pujabarshiki was in Parichoy Magazine in 1985. The character Kolaboti from his novels is popular among the younger audience(I've become a fan since reading it.

The stage is all yours @thebeautifulgame



  • reddevil87reddevil87 1858 Points
    edited April 2016
    I second the idea of new thread!! However, I would like to extend it other people too so that they can translate football related articles/writings in other local languages (esp. Malayalam and Konkani) too to English.

    Note: Please let one end their translation story/article/writing before starting a new one.
  • Deb_BanDeb_Ban 9970 Points
    In those days of no TV and no internet Moti Nandi used to ignite our hearts like nothing else. It was the next best thing to the real; and often, it would surpass the real as the protagonist often came out on top. He would take us along with his portrayal of victory over poverty, unmasking of corruption and nepotism, the pulsating suspense of the endgames and climaxes and above all, the will to win and succeed. The ground reality in all sports in India, regrettably, hasn't changed much though. And in Nandi's portrayal, most of us would identify themselves in some form or the other.

    Would more than love to revisit those days (albeit in a different language) and share it with fellow forum members.

    Nandi did a great service to Bengali literature, and @beautifulgame is poised to give a tribute to him.
  • thebeautifulgamethebeautifulgame Durgapur,India29700 Points
    Thanks to @Archak for creating this thread. I did float the idea of translating a short story of Nandi (called India's Neville Cardus) , Dolbodoler Aage (The Transfer Saga), especially when the transfer season is upon us. The story, among other things, offers a first-hand account of the drama surrounding the transfer season during the heydays of Indian football. However, I want to make it clear that this story is written for the sake of sharing Nandi's works to a larger audience, and no copyright infringement is intended. I fully agree with @reddevil87 that people should translate football-related writings in all regional languages; who knows many an unearthed gem might lie buried in the treasure troves of Indian literature. I will upload the first part of the story in 2-3 days ( it is a very long story consisting of 85 pages). Till then , watch this space.
  • thebeautifulgamethebeautifulgame Durgapur,India29700 Points

     I thought that I would upload the whole of the first section but then thought that I would give you a feel of the story. So I am posting about half of the first section in the next post. I shall post the remaining part tomorrow. Waiting for your feedback.

  • thebeautifulgamethebeautifulgame Durgapur,India29700 Points
    It seems that the body of the text is too long and will not fit in one post. Any ideas on how to solve that? Anyway, posting it in chunks.
  • thebeautifulgamethebeautifulgame Durgapur,India29700 Points

                                        The Transfer Saga

                                                                                                      —Moti Nandi

    As one advanced towards Kolkata from Dumdum by VIP Road, one would find Susobhan Palli tucked away at the right side of the thoroughfare. A thirty-foot wide pucca road branches away from VIP road towards this locality. It is this road that acts as a boundary for the entire twenty-two acre settlement. The name ‘Palli’ might conjure up the vision of earthen houses with thatched roofs and bamboo walls, a few gourd and cucumber leaves on the roofs, drains filled with thick slime, one or two cows and goats tied in front of the houses, stray dogs roaming all over the place and a few dripping sarees-blouses-pajamas hung up for drying, but in the case of Susobhan nothing could be further from the truth.

                Consisting of seventy five plots, Susobhan Palli is a small settlement of well-to-do people. The settlement had come up twenty years ago. There was a fifteen-foot wide road before each house. Most of the houses had a small iron gate, then a staircase and finally a grilled corridor. With the help of chairs, the corridor could easily be converted into a sitting room. A stone plaque beside the gate mentioned the house’s name and number. Suffixes like ‘Smriti’, ‘Villa’, ‘Kunja’, ‘Niketan’, ‘Neer’, ‘Kutir’ and ‘Niketan’ were added to the names of the houses.

                The area contains a small pond and a children’s park. Bathing and fishing in the pond are prohibited. Not that the pond offers any joy to the fish-stealers, as it contained hardly contains any fish. In the half-acre small park, besides two swings and see-saws, there are two concrete benches facing each other. A cluster of Krishnachura and Radhachura tress dots the entire area. In its initial days, the park was decorated with various flower plants. But the disappearance of a majority of these plants within one year put paid to the local inhabitants’ efforts to enhance the beauty of the park. Although a few of the buildings which surround the park are four-storeyed and two-storeyed, the majority are one-storeyed. The people who live at the back of the locality were the ones who were late in purchasing their plots; these people had mostly one- storeyed houses. Some of these houses are yet to receive a coating of plaster. Behind these buildings, that is beyond the pale of Susobhan Palli, there is a closed-down factory that once manufactured electrical goods.

                Local inhabitants call this ground the electrical field. Football is regularly played here in the morning and evening. A five-a-side tournament has also started five years back. The factory owners had once decided to sell the land to a promoter. But somehow the local people had got wind of the affair and had come armed with rods, bombs and whatever else they could lay their hands on to protest the move. Such was the uproar that they had created that the owners have still not gathered courage to approach the factory.

                 It was during the middle of April, in the wee hours of the morning, around 5:30 a.m. on a particular day that a group of four people could be seen walking at a brisk pace in the streets of the colony. Neither strolling nor jogging: Samiran had named it ‘begging’. According to him, these people who hustled along the streets in the early hours of the morning could be called ‘beggars’. Translated into Bengali, it would mean ‘health beggars’. Except his sister Shyamala (not Shyamali) and his brother Himadri, no one had the slightest hint of this nomenclature.

                Of course, when they meant ‘no one’, they were referring to their one and only aunty, Rekha Gupta. She used to work as a physical instructor in a girls’ school in Moulali in Central Kolkata. If any of the teachers were absent, she was the one invariably sent to control the class. The five foot ten inch tall, forty six year old Rekha Gupta, weighing all of seventy kiligram would enter the class, make a quick survey and a resounding ‘Hmm’ would resonate throughout the class. A hushed silence followed. ‘Do you want me to take your class?’ No response. ‘Good, do you want me to tell you a story?’ Immediately, a chorus of ‘ye-e-es’ would rise towards the ceiling only to thud downwards as another resounding ‘Hmm’ followed. But when this stern demeanour yielded to an indulgent impishness, another chorus of ‘Aunty, st-o-o-or-y’ would flutter up towards the ceiling and spread through the entire room like a butterfly. After the final bell rang and Aunty had left the room, the whole class would be drowned in laughter or sit transfixed, misty-eyed. Rekha Gupta would often be heard telling in the teachers’ room, ‘The girls hanker after stories: what sort of parents do they have? They should tell them stories every day. If you do not make them imaginative, how will you develop their minds? I used to tell stories every night.’

    She used to tell stories to her ‘Nak-Kan-Mala’. According to nickname, Nak meant Naku or Samiran, Kan was Kanu or Himadri and Mala was of course Shyamala. Rekha Gupta had represented the University and State in basketball till twenty years ago. When her sister-in-law died leaving her three children and her brother began to lead the life of a half-recluse, the twenty-six year old aunt took the four and two-year old Naku and Kanu and the three-month old Shyamali under her wings and had assumed the role of both father and mother to them. She had never married.

                Samiran’s aunty was the cornerstone of those whom he had termed ‘beggars’. Hence, all the three siblings were extremely cautious that the word did not reach the ears of that particular person. If it did, Samiran had an idea of what might transpire.

  • thebeautifulgamethebeautifulgame Durgapur,India29700 Points

    Twenty years ago, he had to clean ten small and twenty large window-panes of his house with a swab and soap water, with the clear instruction that no stains should remain. When found guilty of violation, he had to repeat cleaning three of them. It so happened that when Samiran had first started out playing in the first division for Darjipara Ekta, his goal against Juger Jatri was cancelled seemingly for an offside. There was no doubt that he was onside, but for a novice like Samiran to score a goal against the last year’s champion was crying for the moon. An infuriated Samiran could not control his mental balance and had called the referee ‘Jatri’s servant’. He was immediately shown the red card. After reading about this incident in the next day’s newspaper, one of the ‘beggars’, the Retd. Commandant of the State armed Police, G.C. Dutta had promptly informed Aunty about this ‘unsporting, undisciplined behaviour’. A deeply embarrassed Rekha Gupta did not give much time to her nephew to defend himself and pass her sentence.

    ‘You called the referee a servant! I can’t imagine that a boy of this family could utter such an indecent, uncivilized word. You are an animal, you are so uncultured.’

    ‘Aunty, the boys use even dirtier words against the referee. Compared with that, I—‘

    ‘Shut up!’

    ‘Aunty, the referee had intentionally cancelled my goal…’

    ‘Arguing again!’

    ‘The referee has taken money from Jatri….’By this time, Aunty had grabbed a fistful of Samiran’s hair. ‘You had called him a servant. Well, you shall do the work of a servant today. All the window panes…….’

    Samiran had calculated. The trial and the awarding of the sentence had been complete within two minutes. Now, if Aunty got to hear that he called her friends ‘beggars’ in her absence, she would surely send him begging. ‘Take this bowl and go to Shyambazar or Moulali. Keep begging from morning to evening. You can keep eight annas for your food and give the rest to me at night. I will feed jalebis to the beggars.’ Of course, Aunty’s ‘beggars’ would mean the real beggars, those who can be found begging on the streets.

    When Himadri went to the market, he would often buy piping hot jalebis and eat them while coming home. Needless to say, he would finish eating before he returned home. He had to go to the market six days a week. On Sundays, Aunty, accompanied by Shyamala, would go to the market herself. Himadri’s jalebi-eating was once noticed by another of the ‘beggars’, the Retd. Deputy Secretary of the Health Department, Aniruddha Bhattacharya. As usual, Aunty was soon informed of this dangerous news of ‘eating jalebis, made in an unhygienic atmospheric, with dirty hands, in a dust-ridden, polluted street, something that might lead to diabetes’.

    ‘Joy Tara Ma Sweet Shop’ is located on VIP road at the entrance of Susobhan Palli. On that particular day, after buying eight jalebis from the money saved, Naku had just opened the packet and taken one in his hand when he heard the very familiar voice, ‘Hand over the packet to me, Naku.’ The first jalebi had instantaneously dropped to the ground.  Jaga, the stray dog, who, perhaps for the first time in his life, had got a whole jalebi, was wagging his tail frantically at Naku, who was staring, ashen-faced, at his aunty.

    ‘Let me see your hand.’

    Himadri spread across his right palm for inspection. Rekha Gupta began to scrutinize it with sharp eyes, then she sniffed. ‘Here is the soil of potatoes, the smell of fish is still there…on this hand…’

    An old man dressed in a tattered vest and a lungi along with a small child was standing at one corner of the shop with spread hands. Aunty beckoned to the child to come over and gave the packet full of jalebis to him, ‘Here, you can have it.’  

    Himadri tried to mumble, ‘Aunty, he too has dirt on his hands.’

    ‘Let it be, he is not my nephew.’

    This was their Aunty.

    Every morning, Aunty, along with Shyamala and seven-eight children of the locality, used to jog wearing a tracksuit. Neither very fast, nor very slow as the ‘beggars’. The tracksuit belonged to Samiran. Last year, when he had received a new tracksuit at the India camp, he had told Aunty, ‘How can you jog wearing a saree? One day, you will stumble to the ground and break a leg or hand. I have one extra tracksuit, you may use this one.’

    Aunty and nephew were nearly commensurate in height and weight. After wearing the outfit and practicing before the three children, Rekha Gupta had commented, “The thing seems to be nice. I feel freer. I will tell them also to wear tracksuits.’

    ‘They’ or the ‘beggars’ had arranged a meeting to discuss Rekha Gupta’s proposal. The Basak couple or building-constructor Saroj and his wife Malabika had cited their primary problem: if they wore tracksuits, they would look even shorter.  The husband was five foot one inch in height, the wife four feet ten inch. Of course, they had compensated for their lack of height with girth. If they had to wear the rather baggy tracksuit, they had no doubt that they would resemble moving barrels.

    After such an honest confession, no one had the heart to persuade them to wear tracksuits. G.C. Dutta readily agreed, on the condition that ‘we have to increase our speed.’ He had only one wish: he would like nothing better than to return to the speed at which he had run for three miles while pursuing ‘Khoka-gunda’ when he was a sub-inspector (he repeated the story every ten days). The former police officer’s statement met with a strong protest from the former Deputy Secretary.

    ‘Do we practice running in the morning in order to chase thieves and gundas? Blood sugar, acidity, dyspepsia—these are my three principal antagonists. In order to control these three, I run according to my watch; there is a rhythm, a beat in it. We should consider whether we should increase our speed all of a sudden.’

    The proposal of wearing a tracksuit did not progress any further. Rekha Gupta was the only one to wear it regularly. Today too she was jogging. First a rail engine, then seven –eight tiny bogies, and last of all, Shyamala, the railway guard. The four ‘beggars’ were going about their daily business in the opposite direction. As the two groups confronted each other, Shyamala said, ‘Eight’. They had completed eight rounds of jogging.

    ‘Six’, G.C. Dutta replied in his baritone.

    ‘Not six, three’, Malabika retorted. ‘Why do you take recourse to lies?’

    ‘Today is Saturday, have you forgotten at whose house we are to have tea?’ Dutta could barely control his anger.

     For five days in the week, they had tea and a ‘little’ breakfast in each other’s homes by turns. On Saturday, it was Rekha Gupta’s turn, her school being closed on that day. Usually she served puris with potato curry, sometimes halwa in place of puris. The quantity depended on the number of rounds they had run. Six rounds meant six puris or six liberal spoonfuls of halwa.


  • thebeautifulgamethebeautifulgame Durgapur,India29700 Points
    Here's the third part of Section One (next post): the last part will be uploaded in a few hours. Waiting for your comments.
  • thebeautifulgamethebeautifulgame Durgapur,India29700 Points

    After four rounds, the four ‘beggars’ sat down on the bench, exhausted. Rekha Gupta was then teaching free-hand exercises to the children. Two newspaper-hawkers entered the locality, riding a bicycle. One of them went the other way, the second one handed three papers to three of them and sped away. Newspapers were provided to Rekha Gupta at her house. After her brother had gone through it, others were permitted to get hold of the paper.

    Three of them opened the papers and glanced at them. Malabika did not have any interest in news. She was looking at the children performing their exercises.

    ‘Look at what Kapil Dev has said during his visit to Kolkata,’ Mr. Dutta said.

    ‘What has he said?’ Bhattacharya stared at him.

    ‘Don’t you have a paper in your own hands?’ the voice of a police officer emanated from Dutta.

     Bhattacharya, after scanning the entire paper, said, ‘No, there is nothing in my paper.’

    ‘Same here,’ Basak added.

    ‘Then listen to me. He said, talent itself is not enough, if you want to be a successful cricketer, you got to have strong will power and the desire to work incessantly…I believe that if someone is capable of achieving something, no force on earth can prevent him…He is bound to overcome all obstacles…I really like the fact that people here in Kolkata are so passionate about sports…at the same time it is equally disturbing to see that this great city has not been able to produce a Test cricketer.’ Staring at his companions with a thoughtful glance for a few seconds, Dutta added, ‘Did you understand the matter? Could you follow what Kapil was trying to say?’

    ‘A little,’ Basak replied, a bit unsure.

    ‘But I could make out what he was saying,’ Bhattacharya was all smiles.

    ‘Then you can elaborate on that,’ Dutta insisted.

    ‘Cricket is not seriously played in Bengal. Everyone is sensationalistic here. There might be talent, but the players are all dandyish, not willing to toil hard, just because they do not have the burning desire. If someone’s photo appears on the newspaper, the common people think that he has done wonders,’ Bhattacharya finished his speech and looked at Dutta anxiously. With closed eyes and a slight nod of his head, Dutta signaled his approval.

    ‘Our Naku is very hard-working. I have seen him practicing with the ball, day in and day out,’ Basak interrupted.

    ‘We are talking about cricket, not football,’ Dutta could not resist a small snub.

    ‘The thing applies to all sports, not only cricket. Basak-babu is right, listen to another of Kapil’s comments. On being quizzed how he had kept his desire to work hard till now, he said, “It is here I think that that professional sportsmen differ from people of average mentality. Professionals always look forward. More, more, more and more. I have the appetite of an elephant.”’

    ‘Wow, an elephant!’ Bhattacharya started, ‘I suffer from acidity if I eat only two puris. Eh, how many puris does an elephant eat?’

    ‘Two,’ Dutta mumbled absent-mindedly, his eyes glued to the newspaper.

    ‘Mr. Dutta, do we fall in the category of people of average mentality?’ Basak asked sheepishly.

    ‘Average mentality…’Dutta contemplated, ‘It all depends on the situation: in extra-ordinary circumstances might turn, an ordinary person might turn extra-ordinary. When I was chasing Khoka, I was unarmed, but he had a pistol.’ And with that ‘And now you can understand’ smile lit up the corners of his lips.

    After sending the children home, Rekha Gupta came to join them. ‘Well, let’s move on. We shall have puri today. But only French fries, Naku would be returning today from the Bangalore camp.’

    Rekha Gupta advanced towards her house along with Shyamala. Their house was at the back of Susobhan adjoining the electrical field. A few boys could be seen practicing football in the playground. Baren Mukhoti did have a laundry shop, but he had spent most of his time in the last thirty five years coaching footballers. Even now, at the age of sixty five, braving the cold and the rain, he would regularly arrive at the football ground, the whistle slung around his neck.

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