Burmese translator of ‘Mera Naam Joker’ passes away

Nava Thakuria

Guwahati: Acclaimed Rakhine author Maung Paw Tun, who translated popular Hindi novel Mera Naam Joker of Khwaja Ahmad Abbas into Burmese language, passes away. The award winning writer-translator, who was suffering from colon cancer, breathed his last at 9:45 am on 13 August 2022 at his residence in Yangon city of Myanmar (also known as Burma and Brahmadesh).

Born as Khin Maung Soe on 14 May 1935 to the family of Maung Pu (father) and Aye Tha (mother) at Shwemyetwa village under Manaung township of Rakhine State in British Burma, Maung Paw Tun completed his secondary education in his native town and arrived in Yangon (formerly Rangoon) for matriculation and college education. He received a bachelor’s degree in history in 1973 and started working as a stenographer. Later he worked as an editor of magazines namely Pen, Cherry, and Cee-bwaa-yay.

He entered into the world of literature with the translation of Russian story Seven-Year-Old Girl in 1958. Maung Paw Tun translated at least 30 novels into the Burmese language. His first novel was Revolt on the Nile (published in 1974). He received the national awards for translation works namely Kan-taa-ya San-yay-aing (1997) and Kam-kya-ma Ah-kyin-thaa (2006). He was honoured with Myanmar national literature award for lifetime achievement in 2014.

Mentionable is that Kam-kya-ma Ah-kyin-thaa is the Burmese translation of Hindi novel Mera Naam Joker, based on which the 1970 blockbuster Hindi movie (with the same title) was produced. Directed by Raj Kapoor, the film has casts including Raj Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Simi Garewal, Kseniya Ryabinkina, Padmini, Manoj Kumar, Dharmendra, Dara Singh, Rajendra Kumar, etc. It was partly shot in Moscow with the participation of some Soviet Union actors.

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