Shanta Gokhale

Shanta Gokhale is a bilingual writer, novelist, playwright, translator and performing arts, culture critic and editor. Her first stint as editor...

In Pursuit of the Right Word

According to the Internet, 'baazigar' literally translates into 'gambler'. But, that hardly does justice to the meaning or the spirit of the inimitable baazigar, does it? And how do you translate the word 'jootha'? 'Chai-paani' doesn't mean 'tea-water'. And when it comes to regional languages, the search only becomes more nuanced. Has anyone ever found a really satisfying translation for the coy Bengali word 'naeka' or the almost-possessed Tamil word 'veri'?

Translations are exciting, tempting and so incredibly elusive. To capture the essence of what is written in one language and express its meaning in another is a remarkable art in itself. And an almost-addictive one, according to our Mumbai Local artist.

We are beyond delighted to invite the amazing novelist, theatre historian and translator, Shanta Gokhale to Mumbai Local this week. Here's what she says: "At the beginning, translation was something I did for friends. Then, before I knew it, I was doing it for myself. And then, before I knew it, it became something I couldn't live without. Sounds mad? Sure. You don't translate unless you're mad."

As you can see, this Mumbai Local will draw us into the magical, mystical and slightly mad world of translation. Shanta Gokhale, with her years and wealth of experience in literature, will give us a taste of how completely delicious it is to translate different works and yet stay true to their core. Join us in an evening of playing with languages. It will be an experience you won't be to translate into words!

Save your seat! Write to and we'll respond within 24 hours.

@ MCubed Library, Bandra (W) - 1st Sat, 5 pm
@ Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum, Byculla (E) - 2nd Sun, 5 pm
@ Kitab Khana, Fort - 3rd Fri, 5:30 pm

Shanta Gokhale is a bilingual writer, novelist, playwright, translator and performing arts, culture critic and editor. Her first stint as editor was with Femina where she created a two-page section called Literati, comprising fiction by women. Some of it was written originally in English and some translated from other Indian languages. Her next stint as editor was designing and running the arts page for the Times of India. In recent times she has edited three books on theatre: "Satyadev Dubey: A Fifty-year Journey Through Theatre", The Theatre of Veenapani Chawla: Theory, Practice, Performance and "The Scenes We Made: An Oral History of Experimental Theatre in Mumbai". She has written two novels in Marathi both of which won the State award in their respective years of publication. She has written a critical history of Marathi Theatre, "Playwright at the Centre". She has also written plays and scripts for feature and documentary films. She has been writing a culture column for Mumbai Mirror since 2006. In 2016 she received the Sangit Natak Akademi award for overall contribution to the performing arts. She also received the Jambhekar Shastri award for her translation into Marathi of Jerry Pinto's "Em and the Big Hoom"

Venues Dates Time
12-100 yrs
Entry free, on a first-come-first basis. Pre-register now to save your seat.