In this collection, Abbas brings forth through his stories his rich background in journalism and film-making. The stories here embrace varied themes and contexts, with protagonists from cities and villages. Abbas manages to capture the dilemmas of all his characters, be it a has- been Nawab, a nurse or an untouchable in a village. He addresses themes of superstition, caste and romance, each in his own unique and rich style of writing. He writes with equal felicity of a modest young proofreader in Mumbai vying for the attention of a European girl (‘The Umbrella’) and Chanda, an outcaste, old woman in a village (‘Sword of Shiva’). Often satirical and hard-hitting, the stories give the reader a glimpse into Abbas’s social conscience and perhaps his commitment to progressive causes.
This special edition comes with a PS section that has interviews with the author, a letter from Mulk Raj Anand, and other information that makes it a must-buy for connoisseurs of early Indian writing in English.
About the Author
Khwaja Ahmad Abbas (1914–87) was a prolific political commentator, short story writer, novelist, scriptwriter and a film-maker who preferred to call himself a communicator. He published seventy books in English, Urdu and Hindi, including an engaging autobiography, I Am Not an Island and two semi-autobiographical novels, Inquilab and The World Is My Village, detailing contemporary Indian history. His works have been translated into several Indian and foreign languages including Russian, German, Arabic, Italian and French. Abbas has received several state and national honours, including the Padma Shri in 1969.
Suresh Kohli is a poet, writer, translator, editor, literary critic and film historian with more than twenty-five published works to his name. He is also a short and documentary film-maker, who has made over a hundred films. He lives in Delhi.