Javed Akhtar’s bestselling book, Tarkash recently had its Marathi version launched at Rang Sharda. The translation has been done by Ms. Jayshri Desai, editor of Maitreya Prakashan. This is the first time that Javed Akhtar’s literature has been translated in Marathi.
Nightingale of India, Lata Mangeshkar launched the hard-bound book while director Ashutosh Govarikar launched the ebook version. Post the launch Javed Akhtar recited select poems out of Akhtar’s arena of work. Sister-in-law Tanvi Azmi translated his recitation in Marathi which left the audience applauding for more. Also present were Milind Gunaji, Shabana Azmi and Shaukat Azmi. The final touch of perfection was given to the night by famous vocalists Shailaja Subramanyam, Dinesh Rana & Akanksha Palkar who enthralled the audience with their tribute to Javed Akhtar.
An exhilarant Jayshri Desai said, “It is one of the biggest achievements of my life to translate the works of Mr. Javed Akhtar. I have always been a fan of his great poetry and his works will enlighten and inspire the Marathi youth. I am also very happy that we got the honor of bringing this great literature in Marathi. This is a great contribution to Marathi literature, that’s what I feel.”
When asked to say a few words, Lata Mangeshkar very coyly said, “Mujhe bhaashan se darr lagta hai (I am scared of speeches),” although she did give a short & beautiful dedication to Javedji. Congratulating him on his effort for the Copyright Bill she admitted, “Maine 6 saal main ek shabd bhi nai bola (In the 6 years I did not speak a single word)” (about her stint in Rajya Sabha) and rued that she was not able to do any such thing then.
Javed Akhtar, being his poignant self, commented, “Lataji ne jo aaj kahan, uske baad jab tak zinda hoon koshish karunga ki unke shabdon ke kaabil rahun. (After what Lataji said about me today, till the day I die, I will try to remain worthy of those words) ” Talking about the book he said, “I have lived and worked in the state of Maharashtra & it is a great honor for me that the people of this state have admired my work. The Marathi version of my book Tarkash will help me reach out to the Marathi music lovers.” Javed also added that he wasn’t too happy with the state of literature in the country, “I am glad people know Sachin Tendulkar but why don’t they know Vijay Tendular too,” he said jokingly.
Director Gowarikar gave many interesting anecdotes from the Lagaan days related to Javed and Lataji. He was ecstatic about the book being translated in Marathi and signed off saying, “I am glad that people will rediscover Javed Akhtar as a poet.”