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In February, I ordered some books from a seller in India. Those books arrived in November; at least some of them arrived. I had ordered two Assamese translations and one in Bengali. What I received was one Assamese and one Bengali. The Assamese book, S┤va»ralaka Ha'mchara rahasya ka»hini» #3 was easy to extract the bibliographic information from because the information was in both Assamese and English. Yogese Dasa, Sonesvara, and Candra Gosvami were the translators and Saraighat Prakashan published the book in 2005 in the city of Guwahati. The book contained three stories, SixN., Bery., and Norw. The difficulties started with the Bengali book.
Sabyasachi Roy translated this book, Mara Gelen Sherlock Holmes. I know this because that was the only thing written in English in the book. Previously, I knew someone at Syracuse University that helped me translate Bengali but he graduated and moved on, thus I have lost contact. Using my knowledge of Bengali numerals, I was able to figure out that the book was published in 2004 (? ? ? ?) and I was also able to understand the names of a few stories. I still needed to know the city of publication, the publisher’s name, and the rest of the stories.
There is an Indian grocery story a few blocks from my house and I went there with my Bengali book. I asked the clerk if anyone there could read Bengali and this incredible look came over her. She assured me that neither she nor anyone there could help me. I thought her reaction a bit curious so I departed. My next stop was the IndoPak restaurant/grocery store a few miles away. Once again, no one there could read Bengali but another customer explained the reason to me. He told me that Bengali was an older language and used an older script much closer to Sanskrit. He suggested that I read something by Bengal’s most famous poet whose name eludes me. He did not think reading Sherlock Holmes was a good method for me to learn Bengali. Even though I explained why I want Bengali help and do not feel he quite understood my reasoning.
When I returned home, I did an Internet search and found the email address of the Dallas Bengali Society. I sent them an email, explaining my simple needs and within the hour, I had everything I needed. In addition, they offered help whenever any future needs arose. Sayyaki Goswami is the name of the publisher and is in Calcutta. What I found most interesting were the story titles. Even though they gave an exact translation, I still needed to use a little abstract knowledge of the Canon to understand the Canonical story. I have listed the exact translation below so let’s see if you can figure out what they mean.
1. The Quest for Sherlock Holmes
Anyone interested in the correct answers can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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