Kolkata: Celebrated poet-writer Javed Akhtar has translated eight songs of Rabindranath Tagore to Hindi, which are featured in an album.
To be launched tomorrow at the Kolkata Literary Meet here, 'Anant' has eight songs such as 'Tum Kaisey', 'Tumhey Janoo', 'Ghanghor', 'Aisa Tumhara Prem', 'Sakhi Prem' among others. Produced by Baithak Records, the songs are sung by Sangeeta Datta while young Sarod maestro Soumik Datta has set the tune.
"I have been as loyal to the text as possible. I don't know Bengali but the meaning of each and every line was explained to me by Sangeeta. Only after knowing the meaning completely I would write," Akhtar said.
For the 2011 film 'Life Goes On', which starred Sharmila Tagore, the lyricist had translated two Tagore songs into Urdu and claimed to be the first translation of any of the Rabindra Sangeet into Urdu.
Recalling that, Akhtar said the positive response for his translation encouraged him to cut a new album. "We would not know many literary giants if their masterpieces were not translated into other languages.
However, the task isn't easy as a word carries not only dictionary meaning but also a culture, tradition and a nostalgia.
"The meaning can be translated but not the history and traditions. Verbatim translations cannot be good because the translator needs to find which word will evoke the same feeling and the same nostalgia," Akhtar said adding that the translator needs to know both the languages very well.
On the importance of Urdu, he said, "a language doesn't belong to a religion but it belongs to a particular region". Stating that all indigenous languages are in danger, he said literature is created and nurtured by the middle class.
"Because of economic pressure and so-called globalisation, the middle class people are sending their children to English medium schools. As a result, vernacular language has been left only to the slums and to the poorest of the poor," he said.