Feb 11, 2013, 05.25 PM | Source: PTI



In a short scholastic career, he had earned the nickname In a short scholastic career, he had earned the nickname of Faster Fenay for always managing to stay one step ahead of his adversaries. Modak says the opportunity to translate one of Bhagwat's classics was at once a dream come true and a fairly daunting task. "Remakes or retellings are often looked at with one raised eyebrow and more than a hint of suspicion, as if the rendering in some way might violate something sacrosanct. I realise the same holds true for Faster Fenay and his hordes of fans, and the feeling isn't wholly comforting." "Yet the thought of being associated with the character and being able to introduce him to English readers easily outweighs the trepidation. The process has been fun and very fulfilling." He says in the 1970s, entire summer vacations were spent poring over and diving headlong into the adventures with as much zeal as the title character himself. Unsurprisingly, to this day, the original series with 20 titles remains in print and very much in demand. "Faster Fenay was created for a vernacular readership decades ago. Whatever changes or deviations in the narrative there are, have been made solely in an attempt to make him more relevant to a modern audience and in a language that reads very differently from the native Marathi." Bhagwat, who participated in the freedom struggle and was arrested and jailed for almost two years, devoted himself to translating the science fiction of Jules Verne and H G Wells into Marathi after independence. From 1950 to 1957 he published a very popular Marathi magazine for children, called Balmitra. Faster Fenay was later serialised on Doordarshan. According to Modak, Bhagwat was a master storyteller who had the ability to "yank the reader into the plot and let go only after the last page had been turned". PTI ZMN DBL ANS


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