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Hari Krishna Kaul is an important modern Kashmiri writer who published most of his work between 1972 and 2000. His short stories, shaped by the social crisis and political instability in Kashmir, explore – with an impressive eye for detail, biting wit, and deep empathy – themes of isolation, individual and collective alienation, corruption, and the social mores of a community that experienced a loss of homeland, culture, and language.
In unique collaborative translation project, four translators, Kalpana Raina, Tanveer Ajsi, Gowhar Fazili and Gowhar Yaqoob, mentored by Arshia Sattar and Rahul Soni under the aegis of the Yali Project at Sangam House brought a collection of his select works into English.
In southern India, the yali, a hybrid creature made up of the body parts of several animals, is a guardian deity found at the entrance to temples and palaces. Taking inspiration from this seamless combination of multiple elements and qualities, the Yali Project nurtures and mentors translators and translations into and out of Indian languages. Yali commissions newer translators to work with experienced translation mentors and brings them together for an intensive workshop to create a final draft of the work.
Two of his translators, Kalpana Raina and Tanveer Ajsi, and one of their mentors, Arshia Sattar will discuss the extraordinary process of the translation, and the fine collection, For Now, It Is Night.
They will be in conversation with Indira Chandrasekhar.
Kalpana Raina was born in Kashmir and lives in New York. She is a senior executive, board director and adviser with over thirty years of experience in both corporate and not-for-profit sectors. This is her first work of translation.
Tanveer Ajsi is an independent art historian and cultural theorist. He has written extensively on theatre, performing arts, visual arts and literature, besides translating and directing plays, and curating and conceptualizing exhibitions.
Arshia Sattar works with myth, epic and the story traditions of the Indian sub-continent. She teaches and writes about Indian literatures both here and abroad.
Indira Chandrasekhar is a writer. She founded the literary short fiction journal Out of Print and is its main editor. An anthology marking ten years of the magazine was co-published with Context Books in 2020 and reissued in 2023.