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About

 
 
 
 

Rohini Chowdhury is a children’s writer and an established literary translator. Her published writing is in Hindi and English and covers a wide spectrum of literary genres including translations, novels, short fiction, comics, and non-fiction. Her literary interests include mythology, folklore, mathematics and history. She is published by Penguin Random House India, Scholastic India, and Rupa Publications.

Rohini’s primary languages as a literary translator are pre-modern (Braj Bhasha and Avadhi) and modern (Khari Boli) Hindi, and English. Her translations include the seventeenth-century Braj Bhasha text Ardhakathanak , widely regarded as the first autobiography in an Indian language, into modern Hindi and into English.

Born and educated in Kolkata, India, Rohini now lives and writes in London, UK. She is widely travelled and brings in the nuances of the cultures of Asia, Africa and the West in her writings.

 
 

longlongtimeago.com

 

In addition to her work as a writer and literary translator, Rohini is also interested in the preservation of folk literature and traditional stories. In 2002, she started longlongtimeago.com , with the objective of collecting and making available in one place as many such stories as possible. 

The website began as a story resource for children and their parents, and accordingly she wrote and retold traditional stories so that they were suitable in both style and content for young children. Over time, she has gathered other stories as well: tales from history, or those behind great scientific discoveries, stories of exploration, stories of celebration. Today the site is not only for young children, but for all lovers of story, old and young.

As Rohini explains: "The website is still growing and evolving and is  likely to always remain a work in progress. It is also very much a labour of love."

 

Notables

 
  • Rohini’s first short story, Kosi , published in the Penguin India anthology The Weretiger , was runner-up in the New Writer Prose and Poetry Competition, UK, 2001.

  • She co-edited the short story collection, Behind the Shadows (Amazon Kindle, October 2012), with South African writer, Zukiswa Wanner. Zukiswa and Rohini read through almost two hundred short stories submitted by writers across Asia and Africa to select the 21 stories that make up the anthology. The collection includes Penguin-shortlisted author Isabella Morris, Caine Prize-shortlisted writer Lauri Kubuitsile, and Singaporean Young Artist Award recipient author and poet, Felix Cheong.

  • She was one of the judges for the Scholastic Writing Awards (SWA), 2014.
    SWA is an annual literary short-story competition across India, for children between the ages of 10 and 15.  The stories are judged in the elimination round by schoolteachers, and in the final round by established authors.

  • Rohini’s biography of Dr. Verghese Kurien (Verghese Kurien: The Milkman of India ; Scholastic) was shortlisted in the Best Book: Non-Fiction category of The Hindu-Young World-Goodbooks Awards for children’s books from India in 2016.

  • Her translation of the Sanskrit classic, Panchatantra , was amongst the Amazon Editor’s Picks for Children for summer, 2017.

  • Rohini’s first book, The Three Princes of Persia , published by Puffin India in 2005, was translated into Tamil by Sasikala Babu under the title Persiavin Moonru Ilavarasargal: Ulaga Ithigasangalil Kuzhanthaigal  (published January 2018, by Tamil publishers Ethir Veliyedu).
 

Film Script - Granny's Monster Machines

 

Rohini scripted a short, bilingual Bengali-English animation film, Granny’s Monster Machines , with co-writer Rezaul Kabir. The film was created as part of Pop Up Fusion, an animation project launched by Pop Up Festival of Stories to encourage bilingualism in school children in London.

As translator and storyteller with the project team, Rohini worked with actor and theatre professional Rezaul Kabir to conduct several Bengali-English workshop sessions with a group of primary school children and their parents. Drawing upon the rich traditions of Bengali folklore, and using storytelling and theatre techniques, Rohini and Rez helped the children and their parents to create and develop an original story for the purpose of animation. Rohini also wrote the English script for the animation, and together with Rez, facilitated its translation into Bengali by the workshop participants; both the English and the Bengali scripts were used in the final animation, the former as subtitles, and the latter as ‘voiceover’.

The film was runner up as the Best Youth Film in the Lab Film Festival, London, 2013.

Read more about the project and the making of the film:  Unexpected Bridges, by Rohini Chowdhury

Watch the film here:
Granny's Monster Machines

A Pop Up Fusion project 
In association with and Chocolate Films, Little Angel Theatre and House of Illustration 
April 2013

 

Professional associations and memberships

 

  1. Society of Authors, UK
  2. Translators’ Association, UK
  3. Children's Writers and Illustrators Group, UK
  4. American Literary Translators Association
  5. Mooshik, India – founding member