Gulzar pens debut novel in English on Partition

Veteran lyricist Gulzar has come out with his debut novel in English which examines the status of refugees after the Partition. Two , published by HarperCollins India, was originally written in Urdu, Gulzar’s medium of writing.

“But then, it included many words and phrases in Punjabi, Saraiki and other dialects spoken in that area of Punjab which became Pakistan after Partition. I belong to that area,” he says.

Translating the novel into English became a bit of a hurdle, he says.

Two of his friends, Sukrita Paul and Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri, tried, but Gulzar was not happy with the outcome. It was then that he decided to work on the translation himself.

“You may not find ‘perfect’ or ‘proper’ English in it, but you will find stories of refugees, and how life planted them all over the world. A lot of Sukrita’s translated lines have remained in this. So have those of Shantanu’s,” he says about his effort. PTI