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Kalam book takes an Ambassador route to hit Romania now

On A visit to India in 2006, Romanian President Traian Basescu was talking politics and economics with Dr A P J Abdul Kalam.

On A visit to India in 2006, Romanian President Traian Basescu was talking politics and economics with Dr A P J Abdul Kalam. At the same time, at his home in Delhi, Romanian ambassador to India Vasile Sofineti was using the spare time flipping through Kalam’s Ignited Minds, translating it into Romanian.

“The first time I read it I knew that the book ought to be translated,” Sofineti says. Since then he has sifted through the text umpteen times and is now ready with his translated version.

Titled Minti Aprinse, the work has already got a nod of approval from the author, Kalam, and will be released by him on February 16. “It is a book that inspires young minds. It transcends several arenas, from politics to the civil society and Dr Kalam’s own experiences makes it special,” Sofineti says.

While the ambassador’s official duties may have delayed the process of translation, he says the task wasn’t particularly challenging: “the simple and straight language made it easier.”

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Sofineti has previously translated Forugh Farrokhzad’s Persian poems into Romanian.

However, it isn’t just Kalam’s text that the ambassador has worked on; he also roped in artist Dipto Narayan Chatterjee to create works inspired by the book, so that they could be featured in his translated publication. “The idea was to show more of India and the country’s art is an impressive and popular aspect about it,” he says.

Talking about artworks that are part of the book — ranging from watercolour, tempera and gouache on paper to acrylic and oil on canvas — Chatterjee says, “I tried to concentrate on the likes of Dr Kalam.” So while an acrylic on canvas, that has children framed in the Tricolour border, depicts Kalam’s love for children, a mixed media creation titled ‘Five Icons’ portrays Kalam’s idols, including Mahatma Gandhi, Einstein, Emperor Ashoka and Abraham Lincoln.

“The creations are my tribute to Kalam,” Chatterjee says.

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As the artist and the ambassador get ready for the release day, Sofineti has his fingers crossed. “I hope the book is read by most Romanians.”

An exhibition of Chatterjee’s artworks will be held at PBC Art Gallery, Nehru Place, till February 29.

First published on: 16-02-2008 at 01:10:05 am
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