Professor Lal – A Bio


Professor Lal is honorary Professor of English in St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta. He was Special Professor of Indian Studies at Hofstra University, New York, 1962-63, and has lectured widely on Indian Literature in English, American and Australian Universities. He was a delegate from India to the P.E.N. International Writers Conference in New York in June 1966, and Visiting Professor in the University of Illinois for Spring Semester of 1968.

He transcreated the Brhadarankaya and Mahanarayana Upanishads on a Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship Award in 1969-70. He was a Visiting Professor of Comparative Literature, Hostfra University, spring 1971; Distinguished Visiting Professor and Consultant, Albion College, April to May 1972; Prentiss M. Brown Distinguished Visiting Professor, Albion College January to May 1973; Robert Norton Visiting Professor, Ohio University, September 1973 to June 1974; Visiting Professor of Indian Culture, Hartwick College, September-October 1975, Eli Lilly Visiting Professor, Berea College, February -May 1977; Honorary Doctorate of Letters, Western Maryland College, 1977. He is currently at work on a complete English sloka by sloka transcreation of the Mahabharata. Born in 1929, he married Shyamasree Devi in 1955 and has a son, Ananda, and a daughter Srimati. He is the recipient of the Padma Shri award in 1970. He was a delegate to the Asian Poets’ conference, Bangkok, 1988; Cambridge Literary Seminar, 1989; Harborfront Poetry Reading Series, Toronto, Canada, 1989.One Hundred cassettes (each of 60 minutes duration) of P.Lal reading his transcreation of Vyasa’s Mahabharata are available from Writers Workshop.

In 1999, P.Lal began a sloka by sloka reading of the transcreated-into-English epic to a small group every Sunday morning for an hour at the Library of Dharma and Culture in Kolkata to illustrate the importance of Vyasa’s work as an inspiring oral experience and not just a print culture masterpiece, the long term recitation project to continue till the more than hundred thousand slokas are exhausted.