A direct descendant (from the maternal side) of Vishnubhatji Godse, Sukhmani Roy works as Head, Dept. of English at Smt P N Doshi Womens'College, Ghatkopar, Mumbai. Her fine translations of Kamal Desai's two Marathi novels published by Stree, Culcutta under the title: 'The Dark Sun & The Woman who Wore a Hat'(1999) won wide critical acclaim. Her translation of Kabir's 'Saakhis'into Marathi (Padmagandha, 2010), too bear witness to her skills for literary translation. Besides these she has sporadically published short-stories, poems and literary articles in Marathi; and has also translated into English short stories of other Indian women writers. Sukhmani Roy's areas of research and interest are feminism and post-modernism. Her articles in these fields have been published in international publications. She had a short stint as Hindi Officer at HIL, Rasayani and has been working as a free lance copywriter in Marathi.
Travails of 1857 is a unique literary masterpiece of great socio-historic significance that portrays the eyewitness saga of the trials and tribulations of 1857 from an observant, informed Indian perspective. The extent of Vishnubhatji’s direct involvement in it remains under wraps but the strange combination of compelling candidness and vague disjointedness off the narrative invites the readers to read between the lines and explore the unspelt-out aspects of the saga.
Praise for the book:
Sukhmani Roy’s translation of this landmark Marathi text is informed by her familiarity with the many conceptual issues raised by translation theorists in recent times.
Travails of 1857 is extensively footnoted to bring out the nuances of Brahmin modes of living in 19th century Western India. The detailed history of Varsai and the Godse family gives us a social context in which to place the travelogue. Sukhmani claims that she has sacrificed stylistic smoothness for precision, alluding to the enormous difficulty of translating cultural references.
Clearly her translation is all the more rigorous because of the layering she has done, which gives newcomers to the famous ‘Majha Pravas’ additional social and cultural texture to enhance the reading experience.