Showing posts from February, 2020

Currimbhoy: A Great Indian Playwright

The history of Indian drama is very old.  Its origin  can be traced back to the Vedic Period.  It is popular as the fifth  Veda .  The Indian English drama made genuine progress in the early post-independence period. Asif Currimbhoy made a significant contribution in its development. He liberated it from the static tradition of Tagore and Aurobindo and laid a strong foundation for Indian drama. Asif Currimbhoy is an Indian playwright. He is one of the most prolific playwrights of the Post-Independence period. As a playwright he has no equal. He is known as India's first authentic voice in the theatre. He is one modern Indian playwright who has shown great interest in producing drama. His love for Shakespearean drama has influenced his body of work. Asif Currimbhoy had a background of a reputed family of Khoja Muslims. His father was an industrialist and his mother was a dedicated social worker. His wife, Suraiya, called him a Karma Yogi. He was acquainted wit

An Astrologer’s Day: A Critical Appreciation

R.K. Narayan, the winner of Sahitya Academy Award, is one of the most famous Indian writers in Indian English writing. He achieved international acclaim as a prolific and perfect storyteller. He wrote several stories which fascinated the readers throughout the world. An Astrologer’s Day is one of them. This is the first beautiful short story in Narayan's anthology called Malgudi Days. The narrator narrates the past story of the astrologer. Circumstances compel him to leave his small village stealthily without any previous plan. This creates curiosity in the minds of the reader. What has happened in his past? One day when the astrologer starts to pack up at the end of the day, an unusual client appears in the scene to consult the astrologer. The story takes a new turn when he compels the astrologer to answer his specific questions. The astrologer succeeds in bargaining and the interesting part of the story begins. The stranger is a smoker who uses the match stick to light his che

A Doll's House: A critical Commentary

Ibsen is one of the greatest dramatists of English literature. He is the first man to show that high tragedy can be written about ordinary people in ordinary everyday prose. His contribution to the theatre is memorable. His A Doll's House is a beautiful drama. A Doll's House is a problem play or thesis play. Here Ibsen presents the problem and leaves the solution to the readers. The problem is - what is the position of woman in relation to her husband and her home? The play focuses our attention on the conjugal life of a middle class couple. It shows the sad consequences of the subordination of a married woman to the control of her husband. It again shows the method to get out of that predicament. Thus marriage is the major theme of this play. Ibsen is in favour of Nora, the heroine of the play. She wins our sympathy also. Thus it can be said that A Doll's House is a feminist play.  Ibsen is popular as a dramatist of social realities.He was interested in women's inde

Premchand: A Great Storyteller

Munshi Premchand, the pioneer of modern Hindi and Urdu social fiction, has been the epitome of Hindi literature. He is always compared with Charles Dickens, Gorky and Tolstoy. He, the most renowned authors of the early 20th century in India, was a versatile writer of short stories, novels, dramas and essays. He translated a number of literary works of other languages into Hindi. Born at Lamahi near Banaras in a lower middle class family, Premchand learnt his early lessons in a madarsa. No doubt, his whole life was full of struggle. He made an active participation in the freedom movement of India. In response to Gandhi’s call he quit his job of Deputy Inspector and after that he devoted himself to writing. Premchand, a fantastic story writer, wrote more than three hundred stories. Experience of life is the soul of these stories and they are pure classic. These short stories mirror the society and encompass everything in the universe. Premchand’s first story Duniya ka Sabse Anmol Rat

Where the Mind is Without Fear: Tagore

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high Where knowledge is free Where the world has not been broken up into fragments By narrow domestic walls Where words come out from the depth of truth Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit Where the mind is led forward by thee Into ever-widening thought and action Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

The King and the Foolish Monkey (Panchatantra - Part I)

Once upon a time, there was a king who kept a monkey as a pet. The monkey served the king in whatever way he could. He had a free run of the royal household because he was the king’s pet. One hot day the monkey sat fanning by the side of the king who was sleeping. He noticed a fly on the chest of the king and tried to swish it away. The fly would go away for the moment and come back again to sit on the king's chest. The monkey could take it no longer and decided to teach the fly a lesson. He looked for a dagger to kill it and when he found it brought it down with all force on the fly. The fly flew away but the king died as result of the dagger blow delivered by the monkey. Karataka said, “Therefore, the lesson is that a king who cares for his life should not have a fool as his servant.’ He went on to relate a second story to show how shrewd people save the lives of others. Once upon a time a Brahmin lived in a big city and as a result of his misdeeds in his previous birth he be

The Foolish Crane and the Mongoose (Panchatantra - Part I)

A big banyan tree was home to a number of cranes in a forest. In the hollow of that tree lived a cobra, which used to feed on the young cranes which did not yet learn to fly. When the mother crane saw the cobra killing her offspring, she began crying. Seeing the sorrowing crane, a crab asked her what made her cry. The crane told the crab, “Every day, the cobra living in this tree is killing my children. I am not able to contain my grief. Please show me some way to get rid of this cobra.” The crab then thought, “These cranes are our born enemies. I shall give her advice that is misleading and suicidal. That will see the end of all these cranes. Elders have always said that if you want to wipe out your enemy your words should be soft like butter and your heart like a stone. Then the crab told the crane, “Uncle, strew pieces of meat from the mongoose's burrow to the hollow of the cobra. The mongoose will follow the trail of meat to the cobra burrow and will kill it.” The crane did

How a Sparrow Came to Grief (Panchatantra - Part I)

 A pair of sparrows made their home on a branch of a big tree and lived happily there.Soon it was winter and it began to rain heavily. Frequent gusts of wind made the cold unbearable. At this time, a monkey completely drenched in the rain and shivering from cold, came scurrying to the tree for cover. Seeing the condition of the monkey, the female sparrow said, “Gentleman, with your feet and hands you seem to be a human being. Why didn't you build a house for yourself?' Angered by this uncalled for advice, the monkey said, “you stupid, why do not you shut up and mind your business?' The monkey told himself, “My, what impudence! This bit of a creature has the cheek to offer me advice. Makes fun of me. Unnecessary prattle. I must teach her a lesson. Why shouldn't I kill her?” Turning to the female, the monkey said, “How does it help you to worry about my plight? Haven't you heard this saying of the elders that you should offer advice to those who seek it and cherish

Suchimukha and the Monkey (Panchatantra - Part I)

A gang of monkeys made their home in a mountain slope. When winter came, it brought not only severe cold but also heavy rains. Unable to stand the cold, the monkeys collected red berries wildly growing in the mountain slope. They gathered around the berries and began blowing air at them thinking they were embers. Watching their vain effort in amusement, Suchimukha, a bird, told them, “You fools, they are not embers but red berries. Why do you waste your energy on them? This will not save you from cold. Go and look for a shelter in a cave or a place free from wind. The clouds are thick and there will be no immediate relief from rain.” An old member of the monkey gang angrily told the bird, “Why do you poke your nose in our affairs? Go away. Haven't the elders said that he who cherishes his welfare should not talk to a gambler or an inefficient workman. So is the person a fool who talks to an idiot or a pleasure seeker.” Disregarding the old monkey's anger and not giving

The Elephant and the Sparrow (Panchatantra - Part I)

Two sparrows, husband and wife, built a nest on a banyan tree where the female sparrow laid eggs. One afternoon a wild elephant came to the tree seeking shelter from the sun. Unable to bear the heat, the tusker suddenly went berserk and snapped a big branch of the tree, crushing the sparrow's eggs in the nest. The sparrow pair somehow escaped the fury of the elephant but the wife began crying for her eggs. A woodpecker, a close friend of the sparrow, heard her crying and moved by her grief asked her, “Why are you crying, my friend? Wise men do not grieve what is lost or what is dead or what is past. That is the difference between a learned person and an unlettered man.” The female sparrow said, “The wicked elephant has destroyed my off spring. If you are a true friend of mine suggest a way to kill him. In my view, he who harms a person in trouble or he who ridicules a person in sorrow deserves to be punished and he who punishes such a person has no rebirth.” “What you say is right,

Tale of the Three Fish (Panchatantra - Part I)

Three fish lived in a pond. Their names were Anagatavidhata, Pratyutpannamati and Yadbhavishya. Some fishermen passing by the pond wondered, “Hey, we have never seen this pond. It seems to be full of fish. It is now evening. Let us come at dawn tomorrow and bag as many fish as we can.” Hearing the fisherman, Anagatavidhata (the one who foresees a danger in time) called a meeting of all the fish and told them, “Haven't you heard what the fishermen were saying? We must move out of this pond tonight itself. As the wise men have said weak men should flee when a strong man invades or seek refuge in a fort. There is no alternative.” Unable to convince him, the other two fish left the pond. Coming the next day, the fishermen took a big catch of fish in the pond. Yadbhavishya was one among them. The female pheasant resumed, “That is why I told you that those who foresee the problem and those who deal with the problem when it arises are always victors and those who trust their luck are t

The Bird Pair and the Sea (Panchatantra - Part I)

 Once upon a time, a pair of pheasants lived close to the Sea. They spent their time happily singing and dancing on the branches of the trees by the Sea. One day the female pheasant told her husband that she was expecting their baby and he must look for a safe place to lay the eggs. The husband said, “My dear, this Seaside is enchanting and it is better you lay eggs here only.” The wife said, “When it is full moon, the Sea tide can wash away even wild elephants. Let us go elsewhere.” Amused, the husband said, “What you say is true. But the Sea has no power to harm us. Haven't you heard that there is no fool who could stop the flight of a bird or a fool who would enter fire recklessly. Will anyone be brash enough to challenge Yama (the Lord of Death) to take his life if he can? You can lay your eggs here only.” Listening to this dialogue, the Sea thought, “How vain is this bird which is as small as a worm! Let me drown these eggs and see what he can do.” After laying eggs, the fe

The Camel, the Jackal and the Crow (Panchatantra - Part I)

In a far off forest, there lived a lion named Madotkata served by a leopard, a jackal and a crow. One day they sighted Kradanaka, a camel who lost his way. Thinking the camel they saw was an unusual animal, the lion asked his assistants to find out if he was a wild animal or domestic animal. The crow said that the camel was a domestic animal fit to be killed and eaten. Refusing to eat Kradanaka, the lion said: “I shall not kill someone who came seeking hospitality. According to our elders, you cannot kill even an enemy who came trusting you. He who kills so commits the sin of killing hundred Brahmins. Assure him of safety and bring him to me.” The three assistants brought the camel to the presence of the lion. On the lion asking the camel to relate his story, Kradanaka told him how he was part of a trade caravan and how he had lost his way. The lion told the camel, “Kradanaka, why do you go back to your village and become once again a beast of burden? Remain with us without