M D Riti in Bangalore
Soon, A P J Abdul Kalam's autobiography Wings of Fire will be available in Kannada too.
Kalam's book, which is now attracting much interest in bookshops, is being translated into Kannada by Aeronautical Defence Agency's public relations officer Puttur Jayaprakash Rao.
This project actually got underway much before Kalam became a candidate for the President's post. Rao, who says that Kalam affectionately calls him 'Jaya,' got Kalam's blessings for the venture many months ago. Now, he hopes to have the book on the shelves in the next three months.
It will go by the title of Agniya Rekkegalu, which means wings of fire in Kannada. While the English original is 180 pages, Rao's version will run to 210 pages. Rao has already signed on a publisher.
"I am trying hard to ensure that the book does not just read like an impersonal translation," says Rao. "I want readers to get a real glimpse of Dr Kalam and to feel as if they have heard him talk." This, Rao says, should not be hard to do because he himself has interacted closely with Kalam a lot over the past few years.
As PRO of ADA, Rao used to receive Kalam at the airport whenever he visited Bangalore and even accompany him to the Defence Research and Development Organisation guesthouse to ensure that he was comfortable there. "I have spent a lot of time with Dr Kalam, beyond the call of duty, and believe that I know him quite well now," he says.
He hopes that this knowledge will help him make Kalam sound the way he himself
would like him to sound, in Kannada.
Rao, 49, began his career working for Syndicate Bank in 1974. He moved on to ADA
a couple of decades later after an advertisement for the PRO's job there caught his eye. This enterprising man also freelances regularly for local dailies in Bangalore as a pastime.
Kalam's book has already been translated into two other South Indian languages -- Tamil and Malayalam.
However, Rao does not feel he is doing something that has been done before. "Dr Kalam himself told me I had his blessings for this project and that I should go all out to take his message to the younger generation of Karnataka...what better way to do that than to bring out this book in Kannada?" he asks.
By the time the book is ready for its launch, Rao is confident that its author would have become the President of India.
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