Another mark by Hindi on Australian soil

Alok and   Rekha Rajvanshi with Keith Salvat and Mrs Salvat

By Ajoy Ghosh

The Dreaming Hindi Translation Won AUSIT National Excellence Award, 2011 on Friday 11th November 2011. Hindi Translator, Author and Poet Rekha Rajvanshi of Sydney won a national level award for translating aboriginal dreamtime animation films in Hindi. AUSIT Excellence Awards 2011 were organised at the University House in Canberra by the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators (AUSIT), the peak industry body for translators and interpreters in Australia.   These prestigious awards, instituted in 2004 in Victoria and going national in 2007 in Sydney, recognise the outstanding achievements of translators and interpreters throughout the country. The Awards recognise initiatives and activities by individuals, teams and organisations and encourage best practice, professionalism, dedication to quality, innovation and outstanding contributions.

The AUSIT Excellence Awards celebrate organisations and individuals/teams in six categories.   Rekha was nominated for the Excellence in Translation Award by producer Mr Keith Salvat of The Aboriginal Nations Australia for Translating “The Dreaming” stories from English into Hindi.   Rekha Rajvanshi translated 13 most popular aboriginal animation films known as “The Dreaming” in 2010 and this DVD was released by the Hon MP Nick Berman on Hindi Divas in IABBV Hindi Vidyalaya this year in September.

As I witnessed this award ceremony, which was organised in ANU, Canberra, beautifully decorated University House (ANU) was full of dignitaries, translating and interpreting teams and organisations. The candles were lit, wine was served and in a very formal dinner setting, the awards were announced. It was great to see an Indian woman, wearing the traditional Indian Saree, walking confidently onto the stage to receive this prestigious award. Many organisations such as SBS, AUSLAN, and TAFE Western Australia were also other awards recipient for interpreting.

After the ceremony I asked Rekha a few questions:

TIDU: Rekha ji recently we Indians have taken an initiative to include Hindi language in the National curriculum and this is a very positive note in that direction that as an Australian Indian you have been honoured with this prestigious award. How are you feeling?

Rekha: I am feeling very honoured as Hindi has got another step towards recognition at national level, and being attached with Hindi language I think it is a privilege for us as Indian to be accepted by the locals in official manner which I feel will make some impact towards getting the recognition for the Hindi language in the national curriculum.

TIDU: Tell us something about this award and how it happened?

Rekha: “AUSIT National Awards are prestigious awards. Mr Salvat nominated me for this award and I was asked to provide a sample of my work. I followed the procedure and after a month I received an email saying that I was one of the three finalists and that the results were to be announced in Canberra on 11/11/11. In the beginning I didn’t want to go to the award ceremony because my Saturday School HSC students were preparing for their exam, but eventually my husband insisted that we should go, and so we went there. I won the Excellence in Translation runner up award. An Arabic translator from SBS TV won the Excellence in Translation Award. The Jury said this was a difficult decision to make as both the finalists did an excellent job and were very close. I felt very proud as another Indian who got a runner up Award for Excellence in Interpreting was Mr. Nadesan Sundaresan, who claimed it for the Tamil language.

TIDU: Did you know about the dreaming stories beforehand?

Rekha: Yes I did, when I was teaching Australian History to my students in High school. In 2009, Keith Salvat of Aboriginal Nations Australia approached me to translate 13 Aboriginal animation films from English into Hindi. Needless to say, I was excited even though I knew it would be a challenging job.   What sort of Challenges did you have to face during translation?   I accepted Keith’s offer and started translating and soon realised that it was not that easy and I needed to learn the correct pronunciation of Aboriginal terms such as: Kuneye, Yandi, Djet, Bulbree, Mungan Ngour, and Wurrawana-Kannenner. Some of the challenges involved matching the captions frame-by-frame with English subtitles and choosing the right words and easy language because the target audience was mainly children. It was sometimes frustrating to listen to the story over and over again just to get a word or name correct. No doubt, I also had a deadline to meet. But in the end, I was more than happy. When the final product was ready I enjoyed watching these stories. It is a great way to connect with the culture of indigenous Australians. As far as I am concerned, the general aim of the entire project was accomplished.

TIDU: How would ”˜The Dreaming’ help Hindi speaking community?

Rekha: The Indian community has appreciated my efforts. This translation will soon go to Indian schools and provide children with an opportunity to learn about the Aboriginal culture. My adult Hindi students will find this DVD useful in language learning. These Dreaming stories would not only help Hindi speaking Australians to learn more about the culture of their adopted country but would also reach Hindi speaking people all around the world.

TIDU: Has “The Dreaming” won any other award?

Rekha: Keith Salvat’s ”˜The Dreaming’ animation stories have won many international film awards, including: Festival Internacional de cinema video (Gava Spain), Best Animated Film & City of Gava Best Film Award (all categories) for the story of The Dolphin, Chicago International Film Festival Five individual Awards of Excellence, Annecy Film Festival Commendation, The Jury Prize for the story The Bungulunga Man. I am very happy and proud to be part of such a wonderful project.

TIDU: Who would you give credit for your success?

Rekha: To Mr Salvat, of course, who first gave me the opportunity to translate these stories and then nominated me for the award, also to my referees Charlie Tannous, Mala Mehta and Antoinette Goninan. Also I believe in god very strongly and I feel that when it is meant to happen it will happen.

TIDU: You are a Hindi poetess and writer as well, what is your next project?

Rekha:  Kitabghar, Delhi is publishing my next poetry book titled as “Kangaroon ke Desh men.”   I am sure that Hindi poetry lovers will welcome it.   You are creating awareness about Hindi and Hindi literature in Australia, what is your future plan? I want our younger generation to learn our Indian National language, Hindi, because through a language only we can keep our traditions and culture alive. Art, Language and Literature are very strong mediums of expression; I don’t want our younger generation to lose their cultural identity. I am working hard to give my students right values so that they can take a pride in our culture, art and literature. This is an achievement of Hindi because this is the first time someone has got an AUSIT National Award for Hindi translation work.

तस्मानिया का टाइगर

ड्रीम टाइम (स्वप्न काल की) बात है कि एक छोटा बच्चा था, जिसका नाम पलाना था। वह महान देवता मोइनी का बेटा था, देवता मोइनी सितारों के बीच रहते हैं।   हमेशा की तरह एक दिन छोटा बच्चा पलाना ख़तरनाक जंगल में घूमने निकला।

उसे जंगल में जंगली जानवर ढूँढने में बहुत मज़ा आता था   …..जैसे कंगारूओं, इम्यू और वूम्बट्स को खोजने में, गोआना (ऑस्ट्रेलियन पशु) का पीछा करने में और चिड़ियों के पीछे भागने में उसे अच्छा लगता था। उसे लगता था कि जंगल अद्भुत और आनंद दायक जगह है, और रोमांचक बातों से भरपूर है। उसने एक बड़े कंगारू का पीछा करना शुरू किया, जिसका नाम ताना था। ताना बहुत बड़ा और ताकतवर कंगारू था। जब ताना ने पलाना को देखा तो निश्चय किया कि वह पालना को एक सबक सिखाएगा। ताना पेड़ों के पीछे छिप गया जब पलाना बहुत पास आ गया तो वह पेड़ों के पीछे से कूदा और पलाना को पकड़ लिया। वह पलाना के ऊपर अपने पिछले बड़े पैरों से कूदने लगा और उसे अपनी पूंछ से मारने लगा। पलाना अपने आपको ताना कंगारू से बचा नहीं सका वह मदद के लिए चिल्लाने लगा।

“मेरी मदद करो! मेरी मदद करो! ताना ने मुझे पकड़ लिया है! कोई मेरी मदद करो!”

उसकी चीखें जंगल में गूंजने लगीं और उसे एक छोटे पिल्ले ने सुना। जो लेनोआ नाम के पोसम (एक ऑस्ट्रेलियन पशु) का पीछा कर रहा था जब पिल्ले ने चीख सुनी, तो वह रुक गया और ध्यान से सुनने लगा। अपनी सुनने की तेज शक्ति से उसे पता चल गया कि लड़का कहाँ था। वह उसे बचाने के लिए दौड़ने लगा। जब वह ताना और पलाना की दिशा में दौड़ा, उसे पलाना के चिल्लाने की आवाज़ ज्यादा तेज सुनाई दी

“मेरी मदद करो! मेरी मदद करो! कोई मेरी मदद करो!”

जब पिल्ला जंगल में पहुंचा, उसने देखा कि ताना कंगारू अपने पिछले पैरों और पंजों से पलाना को मार रहा है। पिल्ला लड़ाई में कूद पड़ा। वह ताना कंगारू के ऊपर कूदा, ताना कंगारू ने उसे ज़मीन पर गिरा दिया और उसे कुचल कर मारने की कोशिश की। पिल्ले ने हार नहीं मानी और उसकी पूंछ को पकड़ लिया, व उसकी पूंछ के चारों तरफ घूमते-घूमते उसकी गर्दन तक पहुँच गया। उसने ताना कंगारू के गर्दन को जोर से पकड लिया और अपनी पूरी ताकत से उस पर लटक गया। ताना ने लड़के को पकड़े-पकड़े ही पिल्ले से लड़ने की कोशिश की। मगर ताना कंगारू कमजोर पड़ने लगा और उसने सोचा कि पहले पिल्ले को पकड़ना होगा। लेकिन वह अपने आपको पिल्ले से न छुड़ा सका। उसे लगा कि उसकी सारी ताकत ख़त्म हो रही है और अंत में, ताना कंगारू ने हार मान ली और जंगल में भाग गया।

अब पलाना और पिल्ला दोनों ज़मीन पर गिर पड़े, और वहां लेटे-लेटे ही सो गए। बाद में, कुछ आदिवासियों ने पलाना को देखा और पहचान लिया कि वह महान देवता मोइनी का बेटा था। उन्होंने पलाना और पिल्ले को उठाया और उन्हें अपने डेरे में ले गए । जब वे सोकर उठे, उन्हें खाना व पानी दिया गया।

शाम को महान देवता मोइनी आकाश से नीचे आये और छोटे पलाना से कहा कि उन्हें उस पर गर्व है और इस बात पर गर्व है कि वे उसके जैसे बहादुर बच्चे के पिता हैं। कुछ समय बाद पलाना ताकत लगाकर उठा   और नन्हे पिल्ले के पास गया,जो घायल और खून में लथपथ, वहीं पास में लेटा था। बहुत धीरे से, उसने पिल्ले को उठाया और गोद में ले लिया। उसने पिल्ले की थकी हुई पीली आँखों में देखा और कहा,

“सचमुच, तुम बहादुरों से भी ज्यादा बहादुर हो और तुम एक पिल्ले की तरह नहीं, बल्कि वरावना-कनीना की तरह लड़े, जो एक भयानक, साहसी भूत है ।”
पलाना नीचे झुका और उसने थोड़ा सा अपना खून लिया और अपनी आध्यात्मिक शक्ति के साथ उसे आग की राख में मिला दिया, और इस राख से, पिल्ले की पीठ पर और उसकी पूंछ पर भी कई धारियां बना दीं। उस दिन, तस्मानिया के बाघ का जन्म हुआ और आज भी वरावना-कनीना भूत को तस्मानिया के ऊपर आकाश में देखा जा सकता है।


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