Indians on Literature Nobel haunt

New Delhi: Seasoned Malayalam poet K Satchidanandan, who has been writing for over 40 years, says there is a wealth of writing in Indian languages that has not yet been discovered outside the country due to which it loses out on big literary prizes such as the Nobel.

Satchidanandan along with Vijaydan Detha, an octogenarian short story writer hailing from Rajasthan figure among probables for this year`s Nobel Prize for Literature, that is likely to be announced on Thursday, October 6.

British online site Ladbrokes has tipped Detha and Satchidanandan along with Swedish poet Tomas Transtroemer, Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami, Australia`s Les Murray, Kenya`s Ngugi wa Thiong`o, Somalia`s Nuruddin Farah, Hungary`s Peter Nadas, Korean poet Ko Un and China`s Bei Dao as probable contestants shortlisted by the highly secretive Prize.

"I think writers in India are versatile in the languages and consider some of them even better that many writers around the world and I would not think of it as strange if an Indian does bag the Nobel," Satchidanandan told PTI from Kochi where he is currently attending a Sahitya Akademi poetry workshop. The site is putting the odds on France-based Syrian poet Adonis who writes in Arabic to bag this year`s 10 mn Swedish crown (USD 1.46 million) closely watched Nobel Literature.

"Adonis is a poet that I have always admired, he is an important voice in Arabic poetry. Another poet Transtroemer of Sweden is one of the finest poets also the Chinese poet Bei Dao I know personally," says Satchidanandan.

Detha, popularly known as Bijji draws from the local folklore and dialects of Rajasthan and has over 800 short stories to his credit and his stories and novels have been adapted for plays and films including Habib Tanvir`s "Charandas Chor" and Amol Palekar`s "Paheli".