All William Shakespeare's plays translated into Punjabi over 20 years All William Shakespeare's plays translated into Punjabi over 20 years - Telegraph A retired English professor in India has finished translating all 38 of William Shakespeare's plays into Punjabi after 20 years, being paid just 50p a day. Last month Surjit Hans, an 82-year-old former Heathrow postman finished the last translation of the works â€“ Henry VIII â€“ to complete his project. He began work on the project in 1993 after retiring from his post at Punjabi University Patiala by translating Othello. He had developed a love of Shakespeare as a student at Hoshiarpur's Punjab University in 1953 where he was taught by Professor Dinah Stock who staged the bard's plays. He had played the role of Seyton in her Macbeth in 1953 and later Laertes in Hamlet. He translated and staged Macbeth in Punjabi, a dialect of Hindi and Urdu, in 1954 and joined the Royal Shakespeare Company club when he moved to Southall in 1965 before returning to India in 1972. His Macbeth translation inspired him to press ahead with all Shakespeare's plays after his retirement in 1993. Some of the bard's comedies and tragedies appeal more to Punjabis â€“ often caricatured in India as boisterous and flashy, the subcontinent's Essex man â€“ than others, he said. He believes the complicated relationships and different types of love in the comedy As you like it and the abuse and persecution of the elderly King Lear would resonate most with a Punjabi audience, he said. "Because of the unfortunate way we treat the elderly, they are thrown out of their homes by poor families," he explained. Translating Richard III was "painful" to him, he said, because it's one of his least favourite Shakespearean plays, though he believes its theme of sibling rivaly would strike a chord with Punjabis:"It reminds people here of the civil war between the sons of Shah Jahan â€“ Aurangzeb and Dara Shikoh," he said. Aurangzeb, an Islamic fundamentalist, locked up his liberal father, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, and served him the head of his defeated brother Dara Shikoh on a plate. He said while most interest in Shakespeare in India is confined to the country's English-speaking elite, he believes there will be a great demand for his works from ordinary Punjabis who do not speak English. "There is quite a number who do now know English, and to my mind they deserve Shakespeare," he said.