O P Sharma
Name of Book : Ret Samadhi (Tomb of Sand)
Author : Geetanjali Shree
Translated into English by : Daisy Rockwell “Tomb of Sand”
Publisher: Rajkamal Prakashan Daryaganj, Delhi,
Year : 2018
Ret Samadhi , a Hindi novel bagged this year’s prestigious International Booker award. This is the firstever work of Hindi literature to win such an award. This Hindi book got translated as” Tomb of Sand” by Daisy Rockwell Indian author Geetanjali Shree has created history by giving a unique distinction to Hindi novel to bag Internationally covetous Booker Award.
Now this award to a Hindi novel Ret Samadhi has given a new status and stature to the Hindi language across the globe.
After the announcement of this covetous award, I was eager to go through this book and by God’s grace got a chance to read it on internet and also had a keen desire to review it for the people in this part of the country. I keenly read this book and here are my feelings about the high literary merit of the Ret Samadhi and its English translation “Tomb of Sand”.
The story in the “Ret Samadhi” revolves around the 80-year-old woman who travels to Pakistan to make peace with her memories and trauma of partition. It has been observed, “This is a luminous novel of India and partition, but one whose spellbinding brio and fierce compassion weaves youth and age, male and female, family and nation into a kaleidoscopic whole.”
Geetanjali born in Uttar Pradesh’s town Mainpuri in 1957 wrote Ret Samadhi in 2018. She got her higher education in Delhi and studied History at Lady Shree Ram College followed by a Master’s from Jawaharlal Nehru.
She has five novels to her credit and many short story collections. Her novels and stories have been translated into many languages including Gujarati, Urdu, English, French, Siberian, and Korean. Her fifth novel Ret Samadhi was published in 2018 and was translated by Daisy Rockwell into English.
On winning the award, Geetanjali Shree shared: “This is not just about me, the individual. I represent a language and culture and this recognition brings into larger purview the entire world of Hindi literature in particular and Indian literature as a whole. There is a vast world of literature with rich lineages which still needs to be discovered” Geetanjali has accepted her 50,000-pound prize and shared it equally with the book’s English translator Daisy Rockwell. “I never dreamt of the Booker, I never thought I could. What a huge recognition, I’m amazed, delighted, honoured and humbled,’ said Shree in her acceptance speech. She added the Booker will surely take my book Ret Samadhi to many more people and add to the stature of the Hindi language. The vocabulary of life and such literary books will surely increase, she opined.
The novel ‘Tomb of Sand’, in Hindi titled ‘Ret Samadhi’, is a family saga set in the shadow of the Partition of India and follows an 80-year-old woman after the death of her husband. Shree’s playful tone and exuberant wordplay resulted in a book that is engaging, funny, and utterly original, at the same time as being an urgent and timely protest against the destructive impact of borders and boundaries, whether between religions, countries, or genders. The Booker Award Jury adjudged it as best and decided to award as an original work in Hindi language.
On winning the award, Geetanjali Shree shared: “This is not just about me, the individual. I represent a language and culture and this recognition brings into larger purview the entire world of Hindi literature in particular and Indian literature as a whole…
At International level it has widely been observed: “Geetanjali Shree has become the first Indian author to win the prestigious International Booker Prize for her ‘utterly original’ Hindi novel Ret Samadhi , a family saga set in northern India about an 80-year-old woman who travels to Pakistan to confront the unresolved trauma of her teenage experiences of Partition and re-evaluates what it means to be a mother, a daughter, a woman and a feminist.”
This quality product and well- printed book “Ret Samadhi” in Hindi or ‘Tomb of Sand’ in English must be read by all the people.
O P Sharma