By SEHERISH MAHMOOD
The DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2018 has been awarded to Jayant Kaikini along with his translator Tejaswini Niranjana for their book “No Presents Please”.
The winner was announced by the DSC Prize jury chair Rudrangshu Mukherjee at the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet on 25th Jan 2019, where eminent writer Ruskin Bond presented the trophy to the winning author and translator.
Founded in 2010 by Londoners Ms Surina Narula and son Manhad Narula, the DSC Prize has been successful in bringing South Asian writing to a larger global audience through rewarding and showcasing the achievements of the authors writing about this region. It is a unique and coveted prize – $25,000 – and is open to authors of any ethnicity or nationality as long as the writing is about South Asia and its people. It also encourages writing in regional languages and translations and the prize money is equally shared between the author and the translator in case a translated entry wins.
The prize received a record 88 entries which included stunning portrayals of migration, war and the pain of displacement, poignant love stories, the exploration of new found relationships and identities, and vivification of the personal struggles, hopes and aspirations that symbolise the urgent and divisive realities of contemporary South Asian life.
About the book:
Jayant Kaikini’s compassionate gaze takes in the people in the corners of the city, the young woman yearning for love, the certified virgin who must be married off again, the older woman and her medicines; Tejaswini Niranjana’s translations bring the rhythms of Kannada into English with admirable efficiency. This is a Bombay book, a Mumbai book, a Momoi book, a Mhamai book, and it is not to be missed. – Jerry Pinto.
No Presents Please: Mumbai Stories is not about what Mumbai is, but what it enables. Here is a city where two young people decide to elope and then start nursing dreams of different futures, where film posters start talking to each other, where epiphanies are found in keychains and thermos-flasks. From Irani cafes to chawls, old cinema houses to reform homes, Jayant Kaikini seeks out and illuminates moments of existential anxiety and of tenderness. In this book, cracks in the curtains of the ordinary open up to possibilities that might not have existed, but for this city where the surreal meets the everyday.
Jayant Kaikini is a Kannada author and dramatist who has won the Karnataka Sahitya Akademi prize four times. He has also written regular newspaper columns, screenplays, dialogues and lyrics for Kannada films.
About the Translator:
Tejaswini Niranjana is an Indian professor, cultural theorist, translator and author. She specialises in culture studies, gender studies, translation and ethnomusicology, particularly relating to different forms of Indian music. She has an M.A. in English and Aesthetics from the University of Bombay, an MPhil in Linguistics from the University of Pune and a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles. Currently professor of cultural studies at Lingnan University, Hong Kong, Tejaswini Niranjana is a Sahitya Akademi prize-winning translator.