What makes this translation especially noteworthy is that this is a verse translation, and not just another prose translation – but a verse translation that is fluid and far more enjoyable to read and easier to understand than any prose translation. When you read the verses, the sequences of sounds fall into a regular metrical pattern. Prof. Nair has skillfully turned the intrinsic rhythmic characteristics of English into an intensified and comforting regularity – so that, as you read the verses, you can go on experiencing the soothingly-steady beats of the regular rhythm and enjoying the feelings of order, peace and quiet.
The subject-matter that the Bhagavad Gita deals with is a special subject, one that is close to everyone’s heart, and Prof. Nair has appropriately chosen the language of the heart to present it in translation. And the use of poetic language, powered by a regular metrical rhythm, makes the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita lodge in your mind quickly and easily and makes them become truly memorable.
The Bhagavad Gita’s teachings were teachings that Lord Krishna delivered in spoken language to Arjuna. And spoken language, at bottom, is verse, and not prose. So the Bhagavad Gita’s text is something that is to be recited or said aloud – or at least read aloud – and not something of a nature that is to be read silently or skimmed for sense. And Prof. Nair has made every effort to make his Bhagavad Gita a Bhagavad Gita that you can recite – or read aloud – with great ease.
The poetic metre in which Prof. Nair has composed the verses makes rhythmic delivery easy. And the insistently steady rhythm gives the language of this Bhagavad Gita an onward momentum and makes it keep on moving forward – like the waves of the ocean. This feature alone can compel you to go on chanting the lines – or to go on reading them – participating in the ruling rhythm.
And because this is a Bhagavad Gita that can be recited or read aloud effortlessly, this is also a Bhagavad Gita that is meant to be heard and enjoyed. So Prof. Nair has paid great care and attention to choose words that are pleasing to the ears and to combine them in such a way that the verses produce, in the readers and listeners alike, a glorious feeling of beauty and harmony, and bring strong images and memories – and a quiet joy – to their minds.
To help those who are not used to reciting poems in English, Prof. Nair has even introduced the use of a new symbol (the degree sign) for a very brief pause for the first time, and he has used it in certain key places in certain lines where such a brief pause is desirable.