Arundhati Roy announces Hindi, Urdu translations of 2nd novel
"When you write, you should write like a suicide bomber," said Arundhati Roy in her candid-best at the 69th foundation day of Rajkamal Prakashan Samuh.
In a no-holds-barred discussion with professor and translator Alok Rai on 'Waqt ki Aahat' at Silver Oak, India Habitat Centre in New Delhi, Roy also announced the Hindi and Urdu translations of "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness," her second novel, published after a hiatus of two decades since "The God of Small Things".
Rai, who prepared the ground for Arundhati Roy, introduced the session and spoke about the works that Roy has been doing ever since her first novel 'The God of Small Things' became hugely successful. Roy, who has never shied away from speaking her mind, was her forthright best and spoke candidly about issues that are close to her heart.
Roy, who started her address in Hindi, made it clear that she is most comfortable writing and speaking in English. "I will reduce the sophistication of what I want to say if I speak in Hindi," she said. "I was never the writer that who thought that after the success of my first book, let me write another one and then another one because, to me, experimentation is everything. Also, twenty years of writing other stuff (essays) deepened my engagement with the world I live in. While my first book is about a family, although dysfunctional, it gives you the comfort of a family. In this book, it's the reverse – it's about people whose hearts are broken, homeless but not in the literal sense. Eventually, it's about broken people who bring their little shards of broken hearts."
She elucidated how the structure of a story is as important as the story itself and described how she creates a universe in her book and is ready to walk her readers through it. "It's not a book that you can consume in 10 minutes and rush to others to tell them about it. You might lose yourself and learn to deal with yourself," she said.
Roy also said that she never defends her novel but argues the hell about her essays. About her fiction, she said, "There are truths that only fiction can tell and fiction is truth in a way that musical note is true – here you are dealing with feelings. The claim to truth cannot be made by the writer but must be felt by the reader."
On the occasion, Ashok Maheshwari, MD, Rajkamal Prakashan Samuh, remembered the Founder Publisher Om Prakashji "who, with his far-sightedness and professional approach, was solely responsible for making Rajkamal a pioneering establishment in the world of Hindi publishing. It was his efforts that made Rajkamal such a respected name that it continues to be so popular even among the non-Hindi publishing. We all continue to get inspired by his vision and believe that his path-breaking endeavours are a still a challenge for us."