Kochi: “Achu’s Diary” was released on October 28, 2022, in Kochi in a modest programme. The book is like the record of the memories and feelings of Achu, a ten-year-old boy living in the USA with his parents. He narrates them in short messages, episodes and nostalgic events to his grandpa, a silent listener. Achu dreams of India, his motherland. He equally cherishes and respects the USA, his foster land.
Achu writes to his grandpa about the places he visits in the USA, his schools mates, his affectionate parents, his younger brother Pachu and so on. He also writes the nostalgic memories of the vacation he spends with his grandparents when he comes to Bharat occasionally. He reminiscences Thrissur Pooram, Madambu Kunjikkuttan (his grandpa’s friend, author and also an expert in elephant science), elephants, grandparents’ Nalukettu (a square-shaped house with a courtyard at the centre, Paradevatha (family deity), serpent temple, pond, etc. etc.
The translation was a challenge due to two specific reasons. Firstly, the language had to be fine-tuned to suit that of a 9 to 10 years old boy. For a professional writer, it is a difficult manoeuvre, a climb-down from the point he has reached as a result of years-long efforts. Secondly, every page consists of a lot of traditional terminologies in connection with traditional houses, families, etc. A lot of them are related to customs and rituals prevailing in traditional Namboothiri families of Kerala. To find out apt English terminologies for them was an arduous job.
Messages from Hon’ble Governor of Goa Adv. P.S. Sreedharan Pillai, nice words from Dr. Shashi Tharoor MP, veteran Malayalam writers like Sumangala, Madambu Kunjikkuttan, Arch Bishop Mar Mathew Moolakkatt, music composer M. Jayachandran, famous management consultant Dr. B.J. Meledom, several youths from USA, prominent personalities like industrialist N. Vinaya Hegde, National Research Professor Dr. M.S. Valliathan and Dr. T.M.A. Foundation Secretary T. Ashok Pai do give good amount of satisfaction to the translator.
The cover is a beautiful mural picture by Kumari Hema Neelamana. The book is blessed with caricatures by legendary artist Sri Namboothiri. Sri. C.G. Rajagopal welcomed the gathering.
Sister Vineetha CSST released the book by presenting the first copy to Sri. A.R. Krishnadas who was in the news for snapping pictures of the Andromeda Galaxy, which is 2.5 million light years off Earth. He achieved this using a Canon EOS Mark 3 and snapping the pictures from his housetop. Sree Ramakrishna Sevashramam Trustee Kuttikrishnan presented the trophy to Krishnadas.
Sr. Vineetha spoke on “How Do Youths Contribute To The Nation”. Krishnadas spoke about his achievement.
Swami Purandaranandaji Maharaj distributed the educational endowments. Sri. K. Baburaj of Omkar Publishers said that proceeds from the sales of copies of “Achu’s Diary” would be handed over to Sree Ramakrishna Sevashramam, Kaloor, Kochi, for distributing scholarships to deserving students. Sevashramam Trustee Sri. C.S. Muraleedharan spoke on the occasion.
Author Sri. Aniyan Thalayattumpilli spoke on the book. Sri. T. Satisan explained the challenges he had to tide counter during the translation into English. The august audience gathered for the programme consisted of Kochi’s ‘Who is Who’.