Why I chose Abol Tabol?
Poet, Playwright and Writer Sukumar Ray’s masterpieces exposed readers mostly Bengali readers to a new genre of literary nonsense. Ray wrote for children’s magazine Sandesh right from its first publication in 1913. Most of the poems were originally published under a section named Abol Tabol (The Weird and the Absurd) within the Sandesh Magazine. The poems were finally published in the year 1923.
As a child I was always fascinated by fantasy literature. My grandfather was an excellent story teller and I used to get engrossed into whatever stories he depicted to me. Abol Tabol, Thakumar Jhuli ( Grandmother and her sackful of stories) and many more. These were the story books I was first exposed to as a child. I developed a keen interest as well as love for literature. And thanks to my grandfather, I even studied literature. Still, my love for Sukumar Ray’s works remain eternal whether it is Abol Tabol or Pagla Dashu or Ha Ja Ba Ra La….everything.
So I think children even in this era should also get exposed to read these classic books. They will love it.
Please check details below.
Author: Sukumar Ray Illustration: Sukumar Ray
Originally Published: 19th September 1923 Original Publisher: U.Ray and Sons.
Original Language: Bengali Genre: Literary Nonsense
Translations: Two translations I liked…
1. Wordygurdyboom by Poet, Novelist and Translator Sampurna Chatterjee.
Published on 16th June 2008. Publishers: Peguin India
Wordygurdyboom offers the best of playwright, poet and writer Sukumar Ray and his world of nonsensical, pun riddled poetries or rhymes. Excellent translation by Sampurana Chatterjee brings alive each characters of Ray’s masterpieces, through amalgamation of ‘magical nonsense as well freewheeling play of sound and sense’ . A vibrant new introduction by Ruskin Bond ‘captivates Sukumar Ray’s fans and wins him a whole new generation of admirers.’
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2. Rhymes of Whimsey by Niladri Roy.
Published on 3rd April 2017 Publishers: Haton Cross Press
Wonderfully and accurately translated version of ‘Abol Tabol’ or ‘Rhymes of Whimsy’. Niladri Roy applied his ‘analytical skills and knowledge of history’ to uncover hidden messages in Ray’s poems.
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