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    Parabaas : পরবাস : বাংলা ভাষা, সাহিত্য ও সংস্কৃতি
  • পরবাস | Translations | Novel
  • Ichhamoti: Translation of a Novel By Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay [Parabaas Translation] : Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay
    translated from Bengali to English by Chhanda Chattopadhyay Bewtra


    Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay

    Translated from the original Bangla novel
    Ichhamoti (ইছামতী)

    Chhanda Chattopadhyay Bewtra


    Alphabetically: A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  W  Y  Z 



    aar--river catfish

    adosa--deep fried snack

    Advaita--(theo.) nondual, monistical, Absolute

    Aghran--8th month of the Bengali calendar, from mid-November to mid-December

    akanda--Calotropis procera. Milkweed

    alna--clothes hanger

    alta--red lac-dye esp. as used by Hindu women to paint the borders of their feet

    amaltas--Cassia fistula; Indian laburnum

    amin-- land surveyor; supervisor

    amlaki--Phyllanthus emblica-ambla, gooseberry

    amra--Spondias mombin

    anna--one-sixteenth of a rupee; 4 paisas

    Apsara--celestial nymph (myth.)

    Asharh--3th month of the Bengali calendar, of the rainy season, from mid-June through mid-July

    Ashwin--6th month of the Bengali calendar, of the autumn season, from mid-September through mid-October

    atimuktalata--kind of plant

    aush--Summer rice, harvested in autumn.

    Ayurveda--traditional Hindu science of medicine as taught in the Atharva-veda or other treatises (notably of Charak and Shushrut) B

    baba--daddy, father

    babla--Acacia nilotica, thorn acacia

    babu--honorific, often appended to one's name or title

    bachra--Urena lobata Linn.

    bagdi--a specific low caste Hindu; bagdini--a female belonging to the bagdi caste


    bakul--Mimesops elengi, medlar

    banchatka--wild Sagittaria sagittifolia

    Bangal--belonging to East Bengal, or currently Bangladesh; often used derogatively

    banmalati--Jasminum multiflorum, jasmine

    banmarich--Clematis cadmia Ham

    Bardi--oldest sister

    baro--senior, older, higher in status; often used as a prefix with other words

    baro gowale--kind of vine, fox grape(??); vitis lattifolia

    bel--wood apple, bilwa, Aegel marmelos

    Bhadra--fifth month of the Bengali calendar (from the middle of August to the middle of September)

    bherenda--Ricinus communis, castor bean

    bhetki--Lates calcarifer, barramundi, Asian sea bass

    bhori--a unit of weight equal to 180 grains or a little over 11 gms

    bigha--roughly 1/3 of an acre area; equals 20 kathas

    boinchi--flacourtia indica, Indian plum

    bon-kolmi--ipomoea striata, a avariety of morning glory

    bonyeburo--wild cotton

    bor--anklets, made with silver or gold

    bori--lentil dumpling

    boudidi, boudi (coll.)--elder brother's wife; sister-in-life; used socially also.

    bou-katha-kao--Indian cuckoo, Cuculus micropterus

    bund--artificial embankment, dyke, dam (ref. Hobson-Jobson)


    Chaitra--last, 12th month of the Bengali year; of the Spring season; from middle of March till middle of April

    chalta--Dilenia indica

    champak--Maghnolia champaka


    chatka-- Bauhinia; kachnar

    chhatak--1/16 ser; 1/4 poa

    chhatim--Alstonia scolaris, Devil tree

    chhi--verbal expression of disgust


    Chhordi--Youngest older sister

    chhoto--junior, younger, small, lower; often prefixed with other words

    chhoto gowale--kind of vine, fox grape(??); vitis lattifolia

    chital--Chitala chitala; Indian featherback

    chun--alkaline lime; calcium


    daal, dal--pulse; lentil; soup made of these

    dakshina--a fee or gift given to a priest or a Brahman or a teacher etc.

    dada--elder brother; often used socially to show respect

    danda--24 minutes

    darga--tomb of a muslim saint or pir

    dewan--chief revenue officer of a province

    Dhanwantari--(Hindu myth.) the name of the physican of heaven; (fig.) an unfailing physician

    dhundul--sponge gourd, Luffa cylindrica; Xylocarpus granatum

    didi, -di--elder sister; often used socially to show respect

    diksha--ritual initiation

    doel--magpie robin, Copsychus saularis

    doshbaichandi--kind of flowering plant

    drongo--Dicrurus sp.


    Eesh--kind of medicinal plant


    fakir--holy men (sufi)

    falar--vegeterean meal of fruit and milk


    gamchha--thin cotton towel

    ganda--4 karas

    gaoa--made of cow milk

    garan--?? kind of tree

    ghat--a landing-stage (as on the bank of a river, pond etc.)

    ghee--clarified butter; gaoa-ghee--ghee made of cow milk

    ghentu--Clerodendrum infortunatum Hill glory

    ghetkol--Typhonium trilobatum, arum trobate

    gneyo-->> kind of plant

    gulancha--moonseed, Tinosp[ora, cordifolia

    gung shalik--Acridotheres ginginyanus, bank myna

    gur--molasses, date palm jaggery

    guru, gurudev--spiritual or honored teacher or guide


    halhali--medicianl plant

    hookah--a single or multistemmed instrument for smoking flavored tobacco

    hutum pencha--Tuto alba. Barn owl


    itey--?? kind of fish


    jackfruit--Artocarpus heterophyllus, kanthal

    Jaistha (coll. Jashti)--2nd (Summer) month of the Bengali calendar; from middle of May to middle of June

    jalpipi--Jacana, Metopidius indicus


    jasham--kind of ornament

    jhau--Casuarina species

    jhinge--ridge gourd

    jiuli--Lannea grandis; odina wodier

    joggidumur--cluster fig, Ficus racemosa


    kaash--Saccarum spontaneum, flowering grass

    kabbadi--an Indian outdoor game

    kabiraj--physician who follows the (Hindu) Ayurvedic system of treatment

    kadam--Nauclea kadamba

    kadma--??(Pg 305)

    kakjangha--Acanthaceae sp.

    kalkasunde--coffeeweed, Cassia occidentalis

    kalmi--Ipomoea aquatica

    kanchan--Orchid tree, Phanera variegata

    kanchra daam--Jussiaea repens

    kaora--a specific low (Hindu) caste

    kara--small cowrie

    karanja--Miletia piñata karkun--steward or caretaker of a landed estate

    katha--as a volume measure, roughly equals about two and a helf ser of rice; as an area measure, approx. one-twentieth of a bigha

    Kartik--7th month of the Bengali calendar; from middle of October to middle of November.

    keya--also known as ketaki, screw-pine, Pandanus tectorius

    khaira--Chatoessus manminna; kind of fish

    kheer--sweetened and condensed milk. used to make varieties of sweet-meats and moulds.

    khoi--popped rice

    khol--dried patties made of husk of mustard, sesame seeds, etc.

    khoro hans--woodduck, the only duck on trees

    kneyejhnaka, kakjangha--Leea acqueata

    koi--Anabas testubineus, climbing perch

    koshakushi--copper utensils for worship ritual

    krosh--2 miles

    kshetpapra--medicianl plant

    kshetpatra--Oldelandia corymbosa

    kulin--a noble caste; the males used to marry many women

    kumure--kind of vine

    kunch--Abras precatorius, Ratti

    kusha--a kind of holy grass used in worship rituals


    langal--wooden tiller

    lathi--stick or bludgeon, often made of bamboo and sometimes bound at short intervals with iron rings, forming a formidable weapon (ref. Hobson-Jobson)

    lathial--skilled figheter with lathis

    lau--bottle gourd, Lageneria vulgaris


    madar--crown flower, calotropis gigantean

    Magh--10th (and winter) month of the Bengali calendar; from middle of January to middle of February

    martaman -- a variety of banana originally grown in Martaban maund--40 sers. approx. 80 lbs

    Maya--Illusion, which hides the true nature of Reality

    mauth--a conical temple shaped confection made of sugar

    mem, memsahib--white (European) woman

    Mimangsa--one of the six systems of Philosophies, deals with Critical Investigation

    mouri--Fennel seed

    muchi--cobbler (caste)

    murki--popped rice coated with molasses


    nagkeshar--cannonball tree, monkey pots; Couroupita guianensis

    nak-joale--certain vine

    nalimul--medicinal vine

    naru--sweetened coconut ball

    natkan--Annatto, Bixa orellana

    natakanta-- Caesalpina crista

    nayeb-- administrator; official in charge of rent collection of a zamindar.

    neem--Azadirachta indica

    Nikiri--certain community of Muslim fishermen

    nimphal--fruit (phal) of neem

    Nyaya--one of the six systems of Philosophies, deals with Logic


    okra--?? kind of shrub

    ombol--sweet and sour item taken near the end of a meal


    paan--Piper betle, betel leaf

    paanta bhaat--rice (bhaat) cooked overnight and steeped in water

    pakhi--area measure of land

    palash--flame-of-the-forest; Butea monosperma

    panchali--a class of Bengali poems celebrating the glory of a deity and often set to music

    pankalas--aquatic weed with small white flowers

    pata--kind of ornament, worn around the waist

    patali--brittle made of molasses

    patpati--kind of creeper

    Paush--9th (Winter) month of the Bengali calendar; from middle of December to middle of January

    pir--muslim saint

    pituli--Trewia Nudiflora Linn.

    poa--1/4 of a ser

    prasad--food-offering to a deity; (remains of) food-offering from a venerable person

    punarnava--spreading hogweed, Boerhavia, diffusa

    puon--Indian mahogany, Toona ciliata


    radhalata--madhabi late, Combretum indicum, honeysuckle

    rarha--Mallotus phillippinensis

    ratti--Abrus precatorius; rosary pea rerhi--Ricinus communis, Castor sp.

    rui--Labeo rohita, carp family

    ryot--a tenant of a piece of agricultural land


    saal--Shorea robustaa. A North Indian tree that yields hard, durable timber and dammar resin

    sabri--a superior variety of banana

    sajimati--Fuller's earth

    salaam--salutation, obeisance, a salute

    sala-jal--?? fishing net (made of wicker?) Pg 310

    sandesh--sweetmeat made of cheese

    sandhyamoni--Mirabilis jalapa, 4'0 clock flower


    ser-- approx. 2 lbs; 1 ser= 4 poas

    setho--Professional guide for travelers

    shamkut--kind(??) of bird

    Shashthi--sixth day of the Moon; first day of the Durga Puja. sheora--Streblas asper. Sandpaper tree

    shimul--Bombax ceiba, kapok tree

    shirish--Albizia saman, raintree

    shiuli--night jasmine, Nyctanthes arbor-tristis

    shnara--Cupressus sempervirens Linn.

    Shraban--4th month of the Bengali calendar, of the rainy season, from mid-July till mid-August

    Shrotriyo--a (non-Kulin) sub-caste of Brahmins

    shukto, shuktuni--a type of vegetable curry

    shyamlata--Ichnocarpus frutescens; black creeper

    silli--Lesser whistling duck, Dendrocygna javanica

    sinni, coll. corruption of shirni--an oblation of mashed ripe bananas and sweets offered to deities

    snuyo--kind of flower

    sondal--Cassia fistula, amaltas; golden shower tree

    sundari--?? kind of tree/p>

    suchikavaran--treatment involving very minute dose (that is contained on top of a needle [suchika]) of ayurvedic medicine concocted with snake poison and other things

    Swati--a star, Arcturus/p>


    tamoguna--one of the three primordial qualities of living beings, darkness or Ignorance

    tapoban--secluded forest for meditation

    tappa--a variety of semi-classical vocal music

    Tarkashastra--Science of Dialectics

    techoko--lit. with three eyes, kind of small fish that appears to have an additional eye

    telakusha--Coccinia grandis, ivy gourd

    thakur--respected brahmin, father-in-law, deity, god

    thakurjhi--a father-in-law's daughter, or husband's sister

    thelo--coconut shell water container for hookah.

    til--an iota; sesame (seed)

    tithpalla--Roylea elegans Wall.

    tittiraj--amoora rohituka; Aphanamixis polystachya

    topa pana--water lettuce, pistia stratiotes


    uluti--ulu (? Imperata arundinacea Cyrill?)

    Uttar-Bhadrapath-- a star in the Andromeda galaxy


    Vedanta--the theological treatise, the Upanishads

    Published in Parabaas, May '17 - Jan '20

    The original novel "ichhamoti" (ইছামতী) by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay was his last novel. It was serialized in 'Abhyudoy' (অভ্যুদয়) first and then published in book form by 'Mitraloy' (মিত্রালয়, পৌষ ১৩৫০) on January 15, 1950 when the author was still alive.

    Translated by Chhanda Chattopadhyay Bewtra. Chhanda (Chatterjee) Bewtra was born in Purulia, West Bengal but... (more)

    Illustrated by Atanu Deb. Atanu is currently teaching in a University in Orissa, India.

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