Noted poet Nalimela Bhaskar, who can write and speak in 14 Indian languages, has been selected for the Kendra Sahitya Puraskar (National Literary Award) for translating the Malayalam novel ‘Smaraka Silagal’ into Telugu as ‘Smaraka Silalu’ in 2010. It is the story of souls narrating their woes to each other at a burial ground.
The award, to be presented to Bhaskar soon, carries a citation and a cash prize of Rs 50,000. Bhaskar (58), who hails from a tiny village called Narayanpur in Karimnagar district, told Express here on Tuesday that he got interested in literature when he was studying in IX class and he used to read books in the local Srirama library. He was working as a lecturer in a dregree college, from which job he was forced to seek voluntary retirement due to ill health in 2011.
He said he would like to dedicate his award to the state and people of Telangana. He added that the award should inspire young poets and writers in the state.
Bhaskar is the second person in the state to have won the award in the translation category. In the past, former prime minister PV Narsimha Rao received the award for translating the Telugu novel ‘Veyyi Padugalu’ written by Vishwanatha Satyanarayana into Hindi as ‘Sahasraphan’. Earlier, he had also received the Telugu Academy Award in the literature category. Bhasker, who has got Ph.Ds in Malayalm, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada, has 17 literary works like novels, poetries and songs and ‘Telangana Padakosham’ (dictionary) to his credit.
He had translated the award-winning book ‘Smaraka Silalu’ on behalf of the ‘Kendra Sahitya Academy’, he said. His house resembles a small library, with all the shelves filled with books.
■ Second person from the state after former PM late PV Narasimha Rao to win the award
■ Bhaskar won the award for translating Malayalam novel ‘Smaraka Silalu’ into Telugu with the same name