Book I :
Book II :
Samskara: U.R. Anantha Muthy
Book III :
Tamas: Bhisham Sahni
Book IV :
Book V :
Book VI :
Book VII :
Tughlaq : Grish Karand
Book VIII :
The first Block called Background
Studies aims to
prepare you to study the course Contemporary Indian
Literature in English Translation. Unit 1 Concept of Indian
your interest in what unites literatures written in various Indian Languages.
Thereafter, in Unit 2 we have delineated how the concept of Indian Literature
was reinvigorated during the colonial period and further how it shaped up after
independence Unit 3 Comparative Studies in Indian Literatures shows the relevance of the
comparative method to study Indian Literatures. Finally, Unit 4 English
Translation of Indian Literatures touches upon various issues related to translation
from the source language to the target language.
Concept of Indian Literature
Concept of Indian Literature: Modern Period
Studies in Indian Literature
Translation of Indian Literature
This Block deals with U.R. Anantha
Murthy's epoch making Kannada novel Samskara (1965) translated by the doyen
of translators, A.K. Ramanujan. It discusses modern
man's quest of his true se1f in terms of themes like asceticism and eroticism,
and Brahminism and Anti Brahmanism, which are cast in
the form of an allegory.
Unit 1 gives you background
information about Kannada language and literature, and Kannada novel in
particular and converges on U.R. Anantha
Murthy as a writer. Unit 2 offers help with the narrative in detail. Unit
3 discusses the
allegorical form of the novel and its themes. The final Unit
characters and with the information on the critical attention the novel has
received and closes with a discussion on the contemporary relevance- of the
The Writer and his Literary
Samskara : Form and
Samskara : Characters,
Title, Literary Criticism and Contemporary Relevance
The course Contemporary Indian Literature in
English Translation exposes you to the literatures written in Regional
Languages and available in English translation. In Block 3 we are discussing Tamas, one of the greatest novel ever written in Hindi on the theme of partition.
Partition, as you know has been a cataclysmic event in the destiny of India
with far reaching consequences that continue to affect our lives even today.
Five units make up Block 3. In
the first unit
we introduce you to the author Bhisham Sahni and Tamas as a partition novel. The second unit provides you chapter wise
summaries of Part I, 2 and 3. The third unit contains aspects of the narrative
and the theme and language of Tamas. The
fourth unit is on characters and characterization and finally the fifth unit
overviews the novel also high lighting literary criticism on Tamas and Tamas as a TV serial.
You must however get hold of a copy of the novel and read it.
You could then
come to this Block and read the novel again with the help of summaries.
Here is a typical conversation that a teacher often
has with students.
Teacher: Have you read the novel? Student: Yes, sir,
I have read it.
Teacher: You mean you have read a summary of the
novel? Student: Yes, sir, I have read only a summary of it. Teacher: And you
have read the summary of it in Hindi? Student: Yes, sir, I have read the
summary in Hindi.
Teacher: And you have not read the summary of it in
English? Student: No, sir, I haven't.
This is how the conversation usually goes. Some
students tend to assume that reading a summary of the novel is equivalent to
reading the novel itself. This of course is fallacious. There is no other way
but to read the novel.
We hope that having read the novel you find reading
the Block enjoyable and an interesting experience. We have also provided you
with a list of novels and short stories in Hindi and Punjabi in English
translation dealing with the theme of partition. We hope that this will further
motivate you to read more on partition literature.
Writer and the Partition
to Know the Text
Sense of the Narrative
Short Stories come to you in two Blocks. Block 4 and
Block 5. In this Block we introduce you to five of the best short story writers
in the field. Each of them is a great writer with an established reputation.
Unit deals with Mahaswta
Devi's Bengali story, Salt. The next Unit is concerned with Basheer's Malayalam story, Birthday.
Hindi story. Birds forms the subject of the third unit. The next unit deals
with Ismat Chaughtai's Urdu
story, Tiny's Granny. The last unit studies Gopinath Mohantys Oriya story, Tadpa.
Mahasweta Devi : Salt
[Noon: Bengali] Translation: Sarmishta Dutta Gupta
Vaikom Muhammad Basheer :
Birthday [Janmadinam : Malayalam] Translation: The
Nirmal Verma : Birds
[Parinde : Hindi] Translation: Jai Ratan
Ismat Chughtai : Tiny's Granny [Nanhi
Ki Naani : Urdu]
Translation: Ralph Russell
Gopinath Mohanty : Tadpa [Tadpa :
Oriya] Translation: Sitakant Mahapatra
In this second Block on short stories, we present
four well-known writers Indira Goswami
from Assamese, Motilal Jotwani from Sindhi whom we
unfortunately lost only in January this year, Afsar
Ahmad from Bengali and Vijaya Dan Detha
Unit I deals with Indira Goswami's Assammese story, The Empty Chest. The second unit discusses
Motilal Jotwani's Sindhi story, Very
Lonely, She. Unit
three is concerned with Afsar Ahmad's Bengali story, Headmaster,
Prawn, Chanachur. And the last unit deals with Vijaydan
Detha's The Compromise which is the cast in the
form of the allegory. Together these stories give us an idea of the important
concerns that press upon the consciousness of our writers.
"Writing is in my
blood, in my veins. If I stop writing I will die of suffocation." Dr Goswami.
Indira Goswami (Mamoni Raisom Goswami) The Empty Chest [Udang Bakach
: Assamese] Translation : Prodipta Birgohain
: Very Lonely, She [Akeli Akeli Hoo-A:
Sindhi] Translation: Dr. Nandlal Jotwani
Afsar Ahmed: Headmaster, Prawn, Chanachur [Arthaheen Katha Balar Nirbharta : Bengali] Translation : Chandana
Vijaydan Detha : The
: Rajasthani] Translation: Shyam Mathur
Block 6 is a comprehensive block that introduces you
to Indian Poetry from the Northeast to Gujarati poetry in the west and Kashmiri
poetry from the north to Malayalam poetry in the south.
Unit 1 discusses Nongkynrih's
Requiem (Khasi), Chandra Kanta Murasingh's The Stone Speaks in the
Forest (Kokborok) and Yumlembam Ibomcha's The Last Dream (Manipuri).
Unit 2 deals with excerpts from Haribhajan
Singh's Tree and the Sage (Panjabi) and Raghuvir
Sahay's The Stare (Hindi).
Unit 3 is concerned with Dina Nath
Nadim's The Moon (Kashrniri)
. Sachdev's The
Moment of Courage (Dogri).
Unit 4 discusses K. Nirmala's
Mother Serious and Vimala's Kitchen, both feminist poems in
Telugu and K. Ayyappa Paniker's
I Met Wait Whitman Yesterday: An Interview (Malayalam).
Unit 5 is concerned with excerpts from Ramakanta Rath's long poem Sri
and Shakti Chattopadhyay's Just
Once Try (Bengal
Unit 6 discusses Sitanshu Yashashchandra's Orpheus (Gujarati) and Namdeo Dhasal's A
Notebook of Poems and
K.S. Nongkynrih : Requiem [Kbasi]
Translation: The Poet
Chandra Kanta Murasingh : The
Stone Speaks in the Forest [Kokborok]
Translation: B.S. Rajkumar '
Singh: The Last Dream [Manipuri]
Translation: Udayan Ghosh
Haribhajan Singh : Tree and the Sage [Rukh Te Rishi : Punjabi] Translation: J.S. Rahi and Rita Chaudhry
: The Stare [Taktaki : Hindi]
Translation: The Poet
Dina Nath Nadim : The Moon
[Zoon : Kashmiri] Translation: J.L. Kaul
: The Moment of Courage [Dogri]
: Mother Serious [Telugu]
Translation: K. Damodar Rao
Vimala : Kitchen [Telugu]
Translation: V.V.B. Rama Rao
K. Ayyappa Paniker : I Met
Wait Whitman Yesterday: An Interview [Njaan Innale Wait Whitmaane Kandu - Oru Interview, Malayalam]
Translation: A.J. Thomas
Ramakanta Rath : Sri Radha [Oriya] Translation : The
Shakti Chattopadhyay: Just Once Try [Akbar Tumi : Bengali]
: Orpheus [Gujarati]
Translation: The Poet
: A Notebook of Poems and Autobiography [Kavitechi
Vahi; Atmacharithra :
Translation: Santosh Bhoomkar
'The past isn't gone. It's here
The Fire and the Rain (1994)
This Block will introduce you to Girish
Kamad's play Tughlaq, an acknowledged classic of modern Indian drama and through
this play to the fascinating world of post-independence Indian drama and
theatre. Girish Kamad is
one of the top contemporary Indian playwrights who along with other dramatists
like Dharma Vir Bharati , Mohan Rakesh
and Vijay Tendulkar has been in the forefront of the
effort to bring a modern Indian theatre into being.
The Block will contain four Units as follows:
Unit 1 Introducing Contemporary Indian Theatre is meant to provide you with
background information on post-independence drama in India that will enable you
to place the plays of Girish Kamad
in their context and also enable you to read Tughlaq with understanding and enjoyment.
Unit 2 Introducing the Author and the Play will focus on the
multi-faceted achievements of Girish Kamad and then converge on Tughlaq and help you to come to grips with the play with the help of a
scene-by-scene commentary on it.
Unit 3 Structure, Theme and Motifs will carry forward the
discussion of Tughlaq and pay. particular
attention to the structure, theme of power and the motifs used in the play.
Unit 4 Characters and Critical Opinions on Tughlaq as Text and in Performance will deal with characters
and wind up the discussion with
some attention to critical assessment of the play as a written text and in
performance over the years
Introducing Contemporary Indian
Introducing the Author and the
: Structure, Themes and Motifs
Characters and Critical
Comments on the Play
This Block will introduce you to important varieties
of non-fictional prose in contemporary Indian writing in translation. The
varieties represented here are: biography, autobiography, pen-sketch and travel
The pieces chosen for your study are: Amrit Rai's biography of Munshi Premchand entitled: Premchand:
Kalam ka Sipahi (Hindi), Bama's
autobiography called Karukku (Tamil), aadat
Hasan Manto's pen-sketch of
Ismat Chughtai called Ismat (Urdu), and Umaprasad Mukhopadhyaya's account of his travels to the lake and peak
of Manimahesh in Chamba
District in Himachal Pradesh.
Amrit Rai's biography,
though written by a on,
gives an objective account of one of the greatest writers of modern India and
is highly readable. The autobiography by Bama
disturbs us deeply as it reveals what it means to be a poor Dalit
woman even today. Manto's Ismat is a delightful piece in
which one great writer writes intimately about another
both as a person and a writer. Finally, Umaprasad Mukhopadhyaya's travel account tells u of the treasures
that lie waiting to be explored in our own country.
The excerpts from the longer texts have been kept
conveniently short so that you can read them with enjoyment and also have time
to reflect on what you have read.
The different genres of non-fictional prose on offer
here have always been popular and are increasingly coming to be seen to be a
legitimate part of literature. They are all excellent examples of the creative
use of the written word and they all come to you in first-rate translations. So
Premchand : His Life and Times [Kalam Ka Sipahi: Biography, Hindi] Translation : Harish Trivedi
Bama (Faustina Mary Fatima Rani) : Karukku [Karukku :Autobiography, Tamil] Translation: Laxmi Holmstrom
Saadat Hasan Manto:
On Ismat [Ismat Chughtai Pen-Sketch,
Urdu]. Translation: Shobhana Bhattacharji
Umaprasad Mukhopadhyaya: Manimahesh [Manimahesh: Travel
Writing, Bengali] Translation: Sanjukta Das Gupta
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