Sana R. Chaudhry’s Translation of Julien Columeau's ‘Pyaare Ustaad’ Wins 2022 Jawed Memorial Prize

The annual prize for Urdu-English translation was launched in the memory of Ali Jawad Zaidi.

New Delhi: The 2022 Jawed Memorial Prize for Urdu-English Translation has gone to ‘My Dear Teacher’, Sana R. Chaudhry’s translation of ‘Pyaare Ustaad’ written by Julien Columeau.

“The runner-up prize will be shared by Shama Askari for her translation of ‘Begum’ by Ibn e Sai’d and Sabyn Javeri for ‘The Busy Woman,’ a translation of ‘Masroof Aurat’ by Khalida Hussain,” a press release announcing the results said.

The prize was launched in 2017 in the memory of Ali Jawad Zaidi (1916-2004), an Urdu poet and polyphonic scholar. Zaidi wrote several books of poetry and prose, and received the Padmashri, the Ghalib Award, the Mir Anis award and several other awards.

“The Jawad Memorial Prize for Urdu-English translation was instituted to honour his literary legacy, and the fact that so much of his work served as a bridge between languages, cultures, histories. It is our hope and endeavour that the prize will serve to continue his life’s work in a small way,” the press release announcing the winners says.

For the 2022 edition, unpublished translations into English of an already published Urdu short story were invited as submissions.

This years jury members were Fatima Rizvi, a professor in the English department of Lucknow University, and Saif Mahmood, an advocate in the Supreme Court. “While commending the high quality of translation for both runners-up, the jury notes that the prize-winning entry is outstanding. ‘My Dear Teacher’ is an absolutely seamless rendering of a poignant, unsettling story, ‘Pyaare Ustad!’ It retains the flavour and the spirit of Urdu but for readers who do not know the Urdu text, this translation would appear as a fresh literary undertaking, confident in its turn of phrase even as it enriches the cultural milieu of English,” Rizvi and Mahmood said about the winner.

The winner, Chaudhry, is a researcher, writer and translator from Pakistan.

In 2021, the prize had been awarded jointly to Aalim Akhtar’s translation of Zakia Mashhadi’s Hari Bol and Bilal Tanweer’s translation of Keera (Parasite) by Bilal Hasan Manto.