The Loin King

Until now, my favourite mistranslated title story was the apocryphal one about The Pillow Book, which was rendered into Bengali by the pirates of College Street as Bolsterer Bishoy. Then Twilight Zone had a nice story about aliens coming in apparent peace with a book titled To Serve Man; at the last moment, just as Earth’s finest are stepping into the spaceship, a linguist comes running up with the translation–this is no declaration of altruism, but a cookbook. (On occasion, translation can be an improvement, as when Badhwar’s Sniffing Papa (yeah, right, cocaine for the necrophiliac) was rendered into the much pleasanter La Chambre des Perfumes.)

Then a kind soul pointed the Babu in the direction of this translation of the fine, upstanding, spunky novel penned by our very own Punjab da Puttar:

Now that translation is a fine instance of the alchemy of desire at work. Stirs the Babu’s heart. Not to mention his loins.

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