Nalak
Paper Type: Book Print Paper | Size: 178mm x 128mm
Black and white
ISBN-13: 978-93-89136-09-8

 250

The story of the Buddha is well-known, yet the original Bengali story of Nalak by Abanindranath Tagore remains unforgettable because of the sheer lyricism of the storytelling and the way in which the journeys of the Buddha and the young village boy Nalak are traced parallely throughout. They are like Rumi’s lovers, seeking each other but in each other all along. The author, literally painting pictures with words, takes us through the story of Nalak’s coming of-age—his quest to find the Buddha, the joys and sacrifices along this path. As in unfulfilled love, Buddha and Nalak never actually cross paths, missing each other by a hairbreadth. But the relationship is still complete. And the bittersweet end describes Nalak’s homecoming, back to
his mother.

Nalak is often treated as a book for children but it far transcends that label. It is deeply moving and profoundly philosophical. Nalak in its English translation has no chapters and the narrative flows like a meditation with subtle pauses. The lyrical quality of the text and the intrinsic visual appeal in Abanindranath Tagore’s descriptions, though hard to portray in translation, have been brilliantly captured and nothing has been lost
in translation.



Abanindranath  Tagore
Abanindranath Tagore
Author

Abanindranath Tagore (1871-1951) was an artist and writer from the illustrious Tagore family, and a nephew of Rabindranath Tagore. The principal innovator of the Bengal school of art, he created a distinctive Swadeshi style of art at a time when only western models were being imitated and practised in contemporary India. He revitalised Rajput and Mughal art into ethereal watercolours, and his later works incorporated Chinese and Japanese influences as well. He was appointed by Calcutta University as the Bageswari Professor of Oriental Art, and his writings and lectures on art remain relevant and important to art theory and practice to this day. His literary works, of delight to children and adults alike – Buro Angla, Khirer Putul, Bhoot-Potrir Deshe, Nalak and Raj Kahini – are marked by the delightful whimsy of his imagination and brought alive by his singular ability to paint pictures with words.

Urbi  Bhaduri
Urbi Bhaduri
Translator

Urbi Bhaduri has been bewitched by the magic of words for as long as she can remember. She is grateful to stories for teaching her almost everything she knows of life today.

After completing her Masters in English from Jadavpur University, she has been exploring her strengths in different capacities—as a writer, editor and translator freelancing with publishing houses, newspapers and other organisations, and as a facilitator in the developmental sector, holding experiential workshops on poetry, memoir, self-discovery, deep listening, gender and entrepreneurship with young people who inhabit the urban margins, mostly in the streets and slums of Kolkata. She moves home frequently, and has lived all over India with her husband, her four dogs and more recently, with a baby girl.