Jerry Pinto
Jerry Pinto is the author of Em and the Big Hoom (Aleph Book Company, 2012) which won the Hindu Lit for Life Award in 2013. It has...
Why Translate? Moral Imperatives and Falling in Love

Ever since he started translating from Marathi into English, the most common question Jerry Pinto gets asked is “Do you know Marathi?” He does, but certainly not as well as he knows English. Yet for readers in English, Jerry Pinto has been the one providing a window into compelling Marathi writing, including Sachin Kundalkar’s Cobalt Blue (2013)Daya Pawar’s Baluta (2015), Vandana Mishra’s I, The Salt Doll: A Memoir (2016) and Baburao Bagul’s When I Hid My Caste: Stories (2018). Ask him why, and he talks about a moral imperative – no one else is doing it, so he must.

We are delighted to invite Jerry Pinto - teacher, poet, translator and anthologist – to Mumbai Local, to share with us his love affair with translation. We’ve asked him to take us through his journeys with books from the moment of falling in love, through his efforts to stay true to that love he feels, to the final expression of love in the form of the translated book. We’ve also asked him to talk about the moral imperative he feels – why he feels translation is a necessary act, and what it brings to the culturally complex country we live in.

Do join us on Saturday for a wonderful evening with an irreverent writer driven by utmost seriousness to translate gems from one language into another.

Curated by Sameera Iyengar
RSVP for the session begins on Monday 30th Sept, 2019

Jerry Pinto is the author of Em and the Big Hoom (Aleph Book Company, 2012) which won the Hindu Lit for Life Award in 2013. It has been described as a "rare and brilliant book" (Kiran Desai), "flawlessly written" (Eunice de Souza), "profoundly moving" (Amitav Ghosh) and "one of the very best books to come out of India in a long, long time" (Salman Rushdie). His second novel, Murder in Mahim (Speaking Tiger, 2017) is being made into a film.

His first book was Surviving Women, (Penguin India, 2000), described as "guaranteed to raise feminist and masculine hackles alike" (The Business Standard) and "India's answer to P J O'Rourke" ( His first book of poetry Asylum and Other Poems (Allied, 2004), was described as "balancing precariously between reason and passion and having the nerve to admit as much" (The Hindu). Then came Helen: The Life and Times of an H-Bomb (Penguin India, 2006), on Bollywood's best-known vamp, described as "passionate and precise" (The Hindustan Times). It won the National Award for the Best Book on Cinema, 2006.

He has written several books for children including A Bear for Felicia (Puffin, 2008), "a magical journey" (Sunday Mid-day), "sheer magic" (mint) and "a great read" (Time Out Mumbai). The others are When Crows are White (Scholastic, 2013) a graphic novel drawn by Garima Gupta which has been described as "a wise, witty, informative book for children" (Mumbai Mirror) and Mowgli and the Bear (Disney, 2011). His latest book Hey that's an A (Tulika Books) has not been reviewed but it is an ABC book for children who are beginning to learn.

His first anthology was Bombay, Meri Jaan (Penguin India, 2003), with Naresh Fernandes, a collection of writings about Mumbai, which has been described as getting its readers "inside the heaving desperation and violence that's tucked into this city" (Deccan Herald). He also worked with Arundhathi Subramaniam on Confronting Love: (Penguin India, 2005), an anthology of poems by Indian writers in English dealing with love. Reflected in Water: Writings on Goa (Penguin India, 2006) has been described as "a labour of love" (Daily News and Analysis) and "furious and funny" (Hindustan Times). The Greatest Show on Earth; Writings on Bollywood, (Penguin India, 2011), was described by TimeOut Mumbai as "a compendium that every Bollywood fan.. should have in their collection" (livemint). He has edited and introduced Maps for a Mortal Moon; Essays and Entertainments; Prose by Adil Jussawalla (Aleph Books, 2014). Leela's Quilt; A Life in Pictures (Penguin/Viking, 2010), on which he worked with Leela Naidu, has been well-received and been described as "a stunningly eloquent portrait" (Mint Lounge). He has translated Sachin Kundalkar's Cobalt Blue (Penguin Books, 2013) from Marathi. He has written the scripts for two wildlife documentaries In the Pink,on the flamingos of Mumbai,and The Last Dance, on the Indian sloth bear.

He has translated seven books from Marathi. These include Cobalt Blue; Baluta; I, the Salt Doll; When I hid my Caste; Half-Open Windows; I want to destroy myself; Strike a Blow to change the World and Em and the Big Hoom. His first translation from Hindi is expected next year.
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MCubed Library Sat 5 Oct 05:00 pm to 06:30 pm Available
12-99 yrs
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