by Bhisham Sahni
About the book: Translated by the author 'Tamasdrove the point home that ordinary people want to live in peace' The Guardian Set in a small-town frontier province in 1947, just before Partition, Tamas tells the story of a sweeper named Nathu who is bribed and deceived by a local Muslim politician to kill a pig, ostensibly for a veterinarian. The following morning, the carcass is discovered on the steps of the mosque and the town, already tension-ridden, erupts. Enraged Muslims massacre scores of Hindus and Sikhs, who, in turn, kill every Muslim they can find. Finally, the area's British administrators call out the army to prevent further violence. The killings stop but nothing can erase the awful memories from the minds of the survivors, nor will the various communities ever trust one another again. The events described in Tamas are based on true accounts of the riots of 1947 that Sahni was a witness to in Rawalpindi, and this new and sensitive translation by the author himself resurrects chilling memories of the consequences of communalism which are of immense relevance even today.
by Kamleshwar,Ameena Kazi Ansari (Trans.)
About the book: Kamleshwar&Rsquo;S Kitne Pakistan Enjoys Cult Status As A Novel That Dared To Ask Crucial Questions About The Making And Writing Of History. With India&Rsquo;S Partition In 1947 As Its Reference Point, The Novel Presents A Limitless Canvas Against Which The Most Extraordinary Trial In The History Of Mankind Runs Its Course. Present In A Court That Transcends Space And Time Are Mughal Emperors Babar And Aurangzeb, Spanish Adventurer Hernando Cortez, Lord Mountbatten, Adolf Hitler And Saddam Hussein. Along With Political Leaders, Religious Zealots And Scheming Gods Of Mythology, They Stand Accused Of Creating Countless Fractured Nations, Leaving A Never-Ending Trail Of Hatred And Distrust. The Arbiter For Suffering Humanity Is An Unnamed Adeeb Or LittÉRateur Who Must Sift Through The Testimony Of Casualties From The Killing Fields Of Injustice At Home And Abroad, Ranging From Kurukshetra To Kargil, Hiroshima To Bosnia. As Recorded History Unravels To Reveal The Sinister Realities That Lie Beneath, The Scholar Finds Himself Travelling Back Through The Centuries Over Oceans Of Blood, So That He May Carry Forward For Posterity The Enduring Lessons Of Love, Compassion, Peace And Hope. Translated Into English For The First Time, This Boldly Provocative Saga Is A Triumph Of Poetic Imagination That Relentlessly Probes Our Underlying Assumptions Of History And Truth, Religion And Nationalism. &Nbsp;
by Dharamvir Bharati,Poonam Saxena (Tr.)
About the book: In the idyllic university town, young women daydreamed as they lay on the grass and gazed up at the clouds. Young men took morning walks at Alfred Park. Hot summer afternoons were for drinking sherbet and eating watermelons, and evenings were meant for reading poetry. It was also a time of stifling social mores, and love was an unattainable ideal seldom realized. Allahabad of the 1940s is the serene backdrop to the turbulence of Chander’s love for his professor’s daughter Sudha. Driven by his passionate belief in the transcending purity of their love, Chander persuades Sudha to marry another man, to devastating consequences. Unhinged by his separation from Sudha and consumed by a restless desire to make sense of love—Is it really about sex? Is the purity of love a lie?—Chander spirals into a destructive affair with the seductive Pammi. Immensely popular since its publication more half a century ago, Chander & Sudha continues to seduce readers with its potent mix of tender passion and heartbreaking tragedy.
by Dharamvir Bharati
About the book: Andha Yug is one of the most significant plays of modern India. Written immediately after the partition of the Indian subcontinent, the play is a profound meditation on the politics of violence and aggressive selfhood. The moral burden of the play is that every act of violence inevitably debases society as a whole. Alok Bhalla's translation captures the essential tension between the nightmare of self-enchantment, which the story of the Kauravas represents, and the ever-present possibility of finding a way out of the cycle of revenge into a redemptive ethicality. --amazon.com.
by Kaifi Azmi
About the book: A bilingual volume of some of Kaifi Azmiýs finest poetry: One of the finest Urdu poets of the subcontinent, Kaifi Azmi has borne witness to an entire era of social change. Born in 1918 in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, in a zamindar family, Azmi wrote his first poem at the age of eleven. He joined the Communist Party when he was nineteen, and wrote for the Party paper, Quami Jung. Subsequently, he moved to Bombay, and wrote his first lyric for the film Buzdil, directed by Shahid Latif, in 1948. A member of the Progressive Writersý movement, Azmi has been an active spokesperson for several workersý unions and works passionately to rectify social injustices even today. The richness of experience and maturity of perspective is captured in his poems, which reflect the many aspects of Azmiýman, lover, activist and poet. Some of his best verses are about the plight of the exploited, like the famous ýMakaaný which highlights a system where the poor, homeless footpath dwellers build palaces for the rich. At the other end of the spectrum are his love poems, including memorable lyrics for films that haunt the reader with their tenderness and contained passion. Azmiýs preoccupation with such disparate themes are indicative as much of his zest for life as his sincerity and honesty of experience. Brilliantly translated by Pavan K. Varma, this bilingual selection brings to a wider audience the wisdom and lyricism of Azmiýs poetry.
About the book: Ten classic stories from the master of Hindi literature Nearly a century after they were written, Premchand’s numerous short stories, novels and plays, written both in Hindi and Urdu, continue to be a mirror to Indian society and its traditions. A Winter’s Night and Other Stories brings together, for young readers, some of his most powerful short stories. This is a world inhabited by people like Halku, forced to spend the bitterly cold winter night in the open, without a blanket; Kaki, the old invalid aunt, ill-treated by her own relatives; and Shankar, reduced to being a bonded labour for the sake of a handful of wheat. Premchand describes their plights with unflinching honesty. Yet all is not hopeless in this world. There is also little Hamid, who buys tongs for his old grandmother rather than toys for himself; Ladli, who saves her share of puris for her blind aunt; and Big Brother, trying in vain to remember the strange names of English kings and queens. Greed, dishonesty, cruelty abound in this world, as do kindness, bravery and humour. These ten stories are an ideal introduction to Premchand and his concerns and ideas that remain relevant to this day.
About the book: Premchand's novella Nirmala, first published in 1928, is one of the most poignant novels in Hindi on the theme of the young adolescent yoked to an elderly husband. Clearly reformist in its agenda, this novel succeeds in exploring sensitive and even dangerous terrain. Alok Rai's English translation includes an Afterword which takes note of the novel's special context, placing it in perspective and making a contemporary reading of the work possible.