In presenting this rendering of the popular oriental tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (Chora Chatvarimsi Katha) into the Sanskrit language, to the student-world, and to the reading public, Mr. Modak has given evidence of his mastery over the classical language of India and has vindicated the claim of Sanskrit as an instrument of expressing in an incisive manner the most modern as well as the most ancient ideas. In true oriental style, he has supplied the usual framework of the story- the fiction of a master inculcating a moral lesson upon his disciples by means of a story.
Another excellent feature – entirely an innovation of the author – is the introduction in proper places of epigrams and pithy sayings in verse form which give to the translation the appearance of an original work modelled on the pattern of the Hitopadesa or the Pancatantra. The Sanskrit language is unequalled in its power of concise metrical argument, and in its precision and adequacy as an instrument of expression. A lover of Sanskrit, therefore, will be delighted to read these pages which will not fail to give him the impression that he is not reading a translation at all, but an original tale in Sanskrit.
In the hands of Mr. Modak, the language becomes a wonderfully facile and fluid instrument of expressing the thought in the simplest and most natural way. The language is simple, flowing and chaste; and I make no doubt that the book will serve as an excellent Sanskrit text not only in the class but outside it. Even a student who has learnt just the bare elements of the language will be able to follow the story unaided – for if in places he will not understand the meaning of a word or an expression, yet the story interest will ensure that he journeys to the end.
(From the forward to the book by Shri N.G. Suru)