Punjab Research Group

Opening up a treasure trove of Punjabi literature

Posted in News/Information, Poetry and Literature by Pippa on March 1, 2012

The Times of India, 22 February 2012

Diplomat-writer Navdeep Suri opened a treasure chest of Punjabi literature with the launch of the ‘A Life Incomplete’, an English translation of his grandfather Nanak Singh’s iconic novel, ‘Adh Khidiya Phool’ based on the Punjabi nationalist writer’s 10-month stay in Lahore jail in the 1920s.

Written as a draft by Nanak Singh in jail, it was redrafted 18 years later as a novel.

The book, second of Suri’s English translation of his grandfather’s books, was published by Harper Collins-India. A joint secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs, Suri had earlier translated Nanak Singh’s novel “Pavitra Paapi” as “Saintly Sinner” in 2003.

“Pavitra Paapi” was also made into a movie starring Parikshit Sahni in 1970.

“A Life Incomplete” was released by Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur Tuesday evening at Bhai Vir Singh Sahitya Sadan. Unveiling the book, Kaur said, “Nanak Singh was a leading light of Punjabi literature. He wrote 59 books, including 38 novels and was honoured with the Sahitya Akademi award in 1962.”

Kaur said: “Several of Nanak Singh’s books were prescribed on high school and university syllabus, and I am told many of his novels are in their 20th and 30th reprint.” She said Nanak Singh’s books conveyed several messages pertinent to the times — “religious tolerance and empowerment of women.”

“The translation will carry the novel to new sections of Indian lovers of Punjabi literature and to the Indian diaspora around the world,” Kaur said.

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