Krishan Chander ke Afsane – Review

On the 18th of December, Gyaan Adab hosted Krishan Chander ke Afsaane. This Guldasta-e-Urdu initiative included dramatic readings of two of Chander’s short stories. The poignant stories, Jamun Ka Ped and Kaalu Bhangi are commentaries on the lack of human compassion, and the Indian caste system respectively. The event was curated by our trustee Nasima Merchant, the stories were performed by Kanchan Tripathi and Sanjay Saksena, and Farook Merchant provided a critical analysis of the stories.

Krishan Chander was a prolific Urdu and Hindi writer of short stories. He has penned over 20 novels, and has 30 collections of short stories to his name. He also wrote Urdu radio plays commercially, but began his Hindi writing career after the partition in 1947. This change allowed him to write screenplays for Bollywood movies. This supplemented the income he made as a writer of satirical stories. He is popularly known for his novel Ek Gadhe Ki Sarguzasht (Autobiography of a Donkey). The success of this novel led it to be translated into over 16 Indian languages, and English too.

The first story, Jamun Ke Ped was narrated by Mr. Sanjay Saksens. This story has been praised as a testament to Chander’s continued relevance. The story attacks corruption and governmental bureaucracy to a point where the reader questions the existence of human compassion. The increasing apathy of the characters in the story reflects a situation and a time that is frequently seen even today.

Caption: Sanjay Saksena presents Jamun Ke Ped

Next, Mrs. Kanchan Tripathi narrated Kaalu Bhangi – a tale that looks at the simple life of the protagonist Kaalu. He is a sweeper whose life seems to be uninteresting in the eyes of the author, only to find deeper insights and learnings rooted in this lifestyle of simplicity.

This programme, and the discussion that ensued would not have been possible without the contribution of trustees Nasima Merchant and Farook Merchant. They ensure to present thought-provoking events surrounding Urdu and Hindi literature every month. Stay tuned to our website and social media pages to stay updated about our upcoming events.

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