Books by P. Raja

“I think in the language of silence. I am sure you too do. My thoughts find a vehicle to reach you. Whether I think in English or in Tamil depends very much upon the letters of request I receive from editors of newspapers and journals. My books are only those flowers of mine collected for a shapely vase.”

The Stupid Guru and His foolish Disciples

Second edition by Busy Bee Books,
88, Poincare Street, Olandai-Keerapalayam,
Pondicherry-605 004;
pages: 64,    Price: Rs.60.   ISBN: 81-87619-10-4;

Veerama Munivar’s hilarious Tamil classic Paramartha Guruvin Kathai translated into English retaining the folk humour throughout. The Book also contains the translation of Veerama Munivar’s thought-provoking treatise in the form of conversation Vaman Charithram (The Sinner and the Saint).


…of course a childhood treasure, and after all these years and in an English version, I find it fascinating reading

Dr. K.R.Srinivasa Iyengar

P.Raja deserves our congratulations for giving us such an easy flowing translations of a bunch of tales that have stood the test of time. He has done well to present this story of Father Beschi also in this volume which is at once rib-ticklingly boisterous and profoundly thought-provoking. Truly, a volume for all generations.

(Dr. Prema Nandakumar in Mother India)

…With no intrinsic literary value as such in the story, what the translator has to do is to retain the humour with all its spontaneity and naturalness, catching the spirit rather than the letter behind the original, as the translator himself has rightly said. Raja can legitimately feel proud that he has done this with remarkable success.

(S.V. in The Indian Express)

…It is a story in colloquial Tamil, nicely put into English by P.Raja, carrying the atmosphere of hilarious Tamil humour of a sly and spicy variety. It has no particularly high literary value apart from the pleasure it gives. “Yet”, as Maggi Lidchi says in her introduction, “the guru and his disciples belong to the whole world because they express a sort of universal foolishness. It comes as close to nonsense humour as possible without falling over its precipice”.

(Shyam Sundar in Sri Aurobindo’s Action)

This is a good addition for light reading, full of irony and Tamil humour.

(Tirumalai in Yuva Bharati)

While The Stupid Guru may interest children and grown-ups, Vaman charitram (The Sinner and the Saint) will fascinate thinkers.

(Devil’s Advocate in New Times Observer)

P.Raja’s translation is racy, lively and delightful. The narrative flows almost independently of the original and translator’s flair for the apt word, precise phrase and tone suspends, momentarily at least, our awareness of the usual irritations of translation.

(Prof. K.R.Ramachandran Nair in Youth Age)

Mr.Raja’s success in retaining the folk flavour of the original is commendable. The characters have come alive in all their naivety and the situations recreated with all their lost-world charm.

(Manoj Das in The Mail)