American poet T S Eliot, and his translator, retired banker Arun Sharma, share a love for words and accounting.
T S Eliot often drew from Indian scriptures, such as the Bhagvad Gita for his famous Four Quartets. Now, a Mumbai based retired banker has decided to overturn the paradigm. Arun Sharma, 61, has translated three of the modernist American poet's most famous works in Hindi.Titled T S Eliot Ki Teen Utkrisht Kavitayen, the translations have won a stamp of approval of the United Kingdom based T S Eliot Society, of which Sharma is a member.
Journalist Khushwant Singh had some good words to say of the new work: "It catches the cadence and meaning of Eliot's lines to perfection."
For Sharma, capturing the cadence was easy, given the connect he feels he has with the early 20th century poet.
"I feel close to Eliot because he was also an accountant in the Colonial and Foreign Department of Lloyd's Bank —a strange day job that gave him time to pen verse in the evenings. For someone like me who just retired from National Bank for agriculture and Rural Development, Eliot played a muse," said Sharma, who took four months to translate Four Quartets, Gerontion and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.