However, life in the small village of Shahpur in undivided Punjab has remained largely unchanged. The menfolk look to the wealthy and worldly-wise Shahji and his benevolent younger brother Kashi for support and advice, while it is Shahji's wife's home and hearth that is the centre of all celebrations for the women. Local disputes, trade, politics, a trickling of news from the Lahore newspaper are all discussed every evening at the Shahs' haveli. But as the Ghadar Movement gains momentum elsewhere in India and abroad, bringing into focus the excesses of the British, the simple village of Shahpur cannot help looking inward. Discontent has set in.
Krishna Sobti's magnum opus brilliantly captures the story of India through a village where people of many faiths coexisted peacefully, living off the land. In telling the intricately woven personal and collective histories of a wide set of characters, she imbues each with a unique voice, simultaneously enriching the text with an idiom particular to the land. First published in Hindi in 1979, this is a magnificent portrait of the Indian subcontinent on the brink of its cataclysmic division.
Neer Kanwal Mani has translated a variety of literary and non-literary sezt.s. Her twelve books in translation include the comic Du-Rex ke we for United Nations Development Programme, four books from The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis, two novels by Paulo Coelho along with folk narratives and oral epics for IGNCA, New Delhi. She translated Kerstin Ekman's Blackwater as a part of Indo-Swedish Writers Union Project in 2001-02.
An Associate Professor in English, Neer has been engaging modems in literature, critical theory and translation for twenty-six wars. To many, her approach is life-altering; her methods, thought-prcwoldrig and multi-layered.
Mazumdar is an editor and occasional translator based out of Koilata with an interest in literary translation, long walks and cycling.
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