[Assam] Yaatra, Garioshi etc

Rajen Barua barua25 at hotmail.com
Tue Feb 14 12:59:51 PST 2006


>But if the language is English, the audience is non-Assamese, then Jatra may not sell as much - from a marketing stand point. The word 'Jatra' may not carry the >meaning journey in some other languages, but Yatraa might.

Now if the magazine is really meant for English speaking audience, what an American or British will reader understand by the word Yatraa or Jatra?. 
Nothing. Both are equally meaningless to him.  If your audience is English speakers in the broad world, why not give an English name like A LITERARY JOURNEY or something else in English? Why you are bringing a Sanskrit word in between the Assamese literature and English audience?
>From that angle actually the name Yatraa is even more meaningless, because looking at the name a non Indian English reader will never buy that magazine unless there is a quick 5 second explanation in every front cover of the magazine first how to pronounce Yatraa (That Y as in Yes, a as in UP, aa as in father etc) then what is the meaning (Journey), a completely non profitable proposition I would say. By that time probably the customer will loose his attention to something more catchy. 

Now while being critical of the name I really laud the idea and the effort and adventure in trying to publish such an magazine, Assamese literature in English translation, which we need very badly. I simply hope the producers would not take my criticism for the magazine but just for the name of the magazine, I think they are not deeply thinking about how the name will be received by an American or British or Japanese reader looking at the magazine suddenly in their libraries (say). 

Please don't mind, in all these, I see how our Assamese mind is influenced and rather chained by pan Indian pan Sanskrit culture. We need to come out free as an Assamese soul.  
RB
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Ram Sarangapani 
  To: Rajen Barua 
  Cc: utpal borpujari ; assam at assamnet.org 
  Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2006 2:25 PM
  Subject: Re: [Assam] Yaatra, Garioshi etc


  Barua,

  In Assamese we pronounce it as 'Jatra' and thats as it should be. I have no problems with your arguements there, and agree that the magazine be named as such.

  But let us look at it from a different angle. The magazine 'Yatraa' is an English language magazine (so I guess the audience is the rest of India). If they were targetting an Assamese audience, then Jatra would be the right way. 

  "An English language journal named Yaatra is all set to bring Assamese literature to readers, writes Utpal Borpujari" 

  But if the language is English, the audience is non-Assamese, then Jatra may not sell as much - from a marketing stand point. The word 'Jatra' may not carry the meaning journey in some other languages, but Yatraa might.

  Now if your argument is that proper name can have any spelling (which is right in a way) , then why we are trying to change the name of Assam to Asom at all?. Why we changed the name of Gauhati to Guwahati, Calcutta to Kolkata, Bombay to Mumbai etc . Why? These are all just proper names after all. 

  I agree with your assessment as you had indicated in a previous post regarding the historical significance to the English names and so they be kept the same way.
  I brought it up because the example you gave that "Gauhati University" remains the same (even though the city has changed its name). I think it should be so. 

  Not being a linguist of any means, I was thinking only from a marketing point of view. 

  What if we were to translate these Assamese language stories for German readers? What title would you suggest so as to marketl the magazine in Germany?

  --Ram




   
  On 2/14/06, Rajen Barua <barua25 at hotmail.com> wrote: 
    You are right in a way. We can right proper name any whichever way we want to write.  I can write Barua in so many different ways.But please think again what you are talking about. 
    Gariyoshi is an Assamese magazine. I am not asking that Gariyashi should change the name because I am saying so. People will pronounce it GARIOSHI, a pronunciation which does not have any meaning in Assamese language, and that may be perfectly all right to Gariyoshi people.  Let them rest in haven. 
    But if you are saying if it has the proper Assamnese Roman transliteration like GORIOXI instead of Sanskrit  as it is now, Assamese people will not buy it outside Assam? (If you are right, then I would say that is the problem of the Assamese people. They want their big brother's approval. That actually more than proves my point. Assamese people are suffering from a bigger inferiority complex then I would like to think.) 

    Like Gorioxi, Yatraa is a magazine with an Assamese name with a meaning.    People will pronounce it YATRAA the way it is written, a pronunciation which does not have any meaning in Assamese.  Now I would imagine, when the producer named it YATRAA he had some idea probably have the Assamese meaning in mind.  Although these are proper names, these have Assamese meaning. (Conversely, imagine writing the word JARNI = Journey in Assamese as JARONI for a name of a magazine, and calling it OK because it is just a name of a magazine? It is exactly like it.  People will pronounce it as JARONI which pronunciation does not have any meaning in English.  But one may always argue to deaths with backward logic and win. I have seen many. And life goes perfectly all right.) 

    But I thought it my sacred duty to point out to the Assamese people what is right and what is wrong.  So far proper Assamese Roman spelling is concerned, XADIN, PROTIDIN, JONOMBHUMI, XONGKORDEV, XOTRIA, OXOM, XIBOXAGOR etc are the proper phonetic  spellings which represent proper Assamese pronunciation. (The letter A as used by Hindi and Sanskrit for Hosro A, for vowel sound like U as in UP, does not represent the Assamese O sound of OXOM etc) So if we name ASOM, people will read USOM and definitely not OXOM. Now that may be perfectly all right to the Assamese (or shall we say Asomese) people.  And life will go on.

    Now if your argument is that proper name can have any spelling (which is right in a way) , then why we are trying to change the name of Assam to Asom at all?. Why we changed the name of Gauhati to Guwahati, Calcutta to Kolkata, Bombay to Mumbai etc . Why? These are all just proper names after all. 

    Please think your logic again.
    What I am saying, you are right just for the sake of argument, but not right for the context we are discussing.
    Assamese peole are doing it wrong since Yandabu Xondhi. That does not mean we need to conitnue with our errors. We need to do a beginning for correction.
    RB
      ----- Original Message ----- 
      From: Ram Sarangapani 
      To: utpal borpujari 
      Cc: Rajen Barua ; assam at assamnet.org 
      Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2006 8:35 AM
      Subject: Re: [Assam] Yaatra

       
      Please forgive me for butting in.

      Barua, as this a 'proper' name of a magazine, why should any attempt be made to change it. 

      A word like 'Gorioxi' in a magazine that is interested in marketing itself outside the NE might have the same problems of  Asom/Axom we were discussing yesterday.

      I think there is a contradiction somewhere.

      On 2/14/06, utpal borpujari <utpalb21 at yahoo.com > wrote: 
        Dear Shreejut Barua,

        Thanks for your mail. You definitely have a point about how we should write Assamese words in English. This is the name given to the journal by its publishers, the North-East Foundation. I am sure if you also send this mail to Dr Dhruba Jyoti Borah, who is the man behind this positive endeavour (since this is probably the first time ever that an independent effort has been made to take contemporary Assamese literature to the outside world), they will look positively into your suggestions. 

        With regards,

        Utpal Borpujari / New Delhi 


        Rajen Barua <barua25 at hotmail.com> wrote:
          Yatraa  ????

          This Roman spelling is another creation of Ignorant Assamese scholars!! 
          Assamese language has only one a-kar pronounciation (unlike Hindi and Sanskrit).
          Therefore the 'yatraa' in Assamese Roman Script should be written by a single vowel a as written for the first vowel. In Hindi and Sanskrit, they have two a sounds.  Don't follow them.

          Second, in Assamese Y is pronounced as YO not JO.  So the correct Roman translation of the word Yatraa should be Jatra.

          Similarly the name of the megazine GARIYOSHI should be GORIOXI.

          Ignorant Assamese scholars should try to learn and stand for original Assamese creation and not follow big brother Indian brothers.
          Rajen Barua
            ----- Original Message ----- 
            From: utpal borpujari 
            To: assam at assamnet.org 
            Sent: Monday, February 13, 2006 4:56 AM
            Subject: [Assam] Yaatra

             
            Hi all. I had recently written an article on Yaatra in my paper. The journal, I feel is a nice and first-time effort. - Utpal Borpujari / New Delhi

            http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/jan222006/artic151472006120.asp 

                  A Yatraa into light  
                 
                  An English language journal named Yaatra is all set to bring Assamese literature to readers, writes Utpal Borpujari. 
                 
                     
                 
            While Indian writing in English in recent years has gone to gain international name and fame, writers who have chosen to express themselves in their mother tongues in different corners of India have not been fortunate enough despite giving their readers a huge number of masterpieces. 

            The culprit has always been the lack of proper translation of the incredibly rich regional literature. And even when translated works are published, like those from organisations like Bharatiya Jnanpith and Sahitya Akademi, often they fail to reach the masses adequately because of non-aggressive marketing. Private publishers, of course, also do come up with the odd translated work, but they are merely a sampler of the great treasure trove of literature that we have. 

            Compared to Bengali, Tamil or Malayalam literature, the writings from the North-East, and particularly Assam, are a major victim of this lack of translation, and the great tradition of Assamese literature is virtually unknown to those outside the region. In the backdrop of this scenario, a non-governmental organisation called the North-East Foundation, has launched Yaatra, an English language journal that will solely concentrate on bringing before the readers translations of both contemporary and classic Assamese literary work. 
                 

            Based in Guwahati, the foundation is quite aware that it has a daunting task in its hands, specially as it will not be easy to market the journal all over India from Assam. But the enthusiasm of the people associated with the project are quite high, as was visible when the first issue of the journal was launched recently at the Sahitya Akademi in Delhi by Akademi Secretary K Satchidanandan in the presence of Jnanpith Award winning Assamese author Dr Indira (Mamoni Raisom) Goswami, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and noted intellectual from the state, Amalendu Guha. 

            Says Foundation chairman and Yaatra editor Dhruba Jyoti Borah, "It has been a long-standing resentment of the people of Assam that very little is known in the outside world about the rich literary and cultural heritage and the present cultural scene of the state. At the same time, avid curiosity is noticed about these in the rest of India and also abroad. 

            Yaatra is a project that seeks to popularise Assamese literature and culture outside the state and each issue of the journal will contain a wide selection of the best in contemporary Assamese literature and culture." Launched as a non-profit venture, Yaatra will not be available in newsstands like other magazines but will be distributed in the literary and academic circles both within and outside the country. 

            The journal, says Borah, will have several sections that will focus on different areas. Assamese novels, poetry, short stories, drama, classics, criticism, book reviews, folklore and culture will be the focus areas of the project which will also seek to include literature and culture from the other North-Eastern states in it. 

            "Assamese literature has developed considerably over the years. It has drawn its sustenance from the great Bhakti movement of Srimanta Sankardev, the 'buranjis' and the folk traditions of myriad groups of people that inhabit the region," he says. 

            For more info contact; djbdoctor at yahoo.co.in 

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