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MEG-14: Contemporary Indian Literature in English Translation

MEG-14: Contemporary Indian Literature in English Translation

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

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Assignment Code: MEG-14/TMA/2021-22

Course Code: MEG-14

Assignment Name: Contemporary Indian Literature in English Translation

Year: 2021-2022

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Attempt any five of the following:

Q1. Write a note on the significance of the title of the poem ‘Mother Serious.’

Ans) The title is self-explanatory. Here's an English title for a Telugu poetry on motherhood, which is a universal and timeless theme. The word ‘serious' is often used by Telugu speakers to describe a critically ill person's condition. Mother Serious refers to her health's critical state as well as the mother's extreme suffering. Aside from physical sorrow, the poet has forcefully and effectively depicted the old mother's emotional agony in her dying illness. The tropes blend together to create an enthralling effect. The ease with which a new idiom can be created is due to the passion underlying the expression. Mother Serious sounds like a telegraphic language formation.

The poem's speaker is an ailing old mother who has been bedridden for a long time, waiting for the inevitable. The speaker informs her son that she no longer wants to live, using the affectionate vocative "abbee." She promises to respond to his unasked query with an answer (an explanation).

She understands what everyone has been waiting for. Everyone had been waiting with bated breath. She detects a sad hollowness in their solicitous queries. Their inquisitiveness is matched by their desire for 'that': a reprieve from the long wait for her death. She doesn't say it out loud, but she does employ the potent tool of suggestion. Then she throws a jab at her son, saying that with his fingers on her back, she can't help but feel compelled. She tells him straight that the small quantity of water he forces down her throat isn't simply water, but the essential flow of life. She attracts his attention to the sluggish ooze that is dripping from her eyes.

At this time, an observer observes that the elderly lady does not appear to be making any decisions. Then she tells everyone to be quiet, so the old lady doesn't hear them.

In The Night of the Scorpion, a poet like Nissim Ezekiel use this tactic of introducing a reaction from the audience.

With every movement that the scorpion made

His poison moved in Mother’s blood, they said.

May the sum of evil

balanced in this unreal world

against the sum of good

become diminished by your pain

may the poison purify your flesh

of desire, and your spirit of ambition,

they said, and they sat around

- on the floor with my mother in the centre

the peace of understanding on each face.

The interior monologue of the mother, the central, helpless character in the poem goes on:

“No need to move

to open my eyes.

My ears like twin-boats

carry the weight of your words.

The usage of the phrase "boats" for ears is remarkably unique, implying the mother's mental burden. The mother is then reminded of how she breastfed him while he was still half asleep.

The first line is then repeated: I don't have the desire to live on any longer, abbee! (The lines you studied are in the translation you studied.)

Dear son, I have no desire to live any longer! as well as the 5th and 6th lines When she opens her eyes, she sees people scurrying about, and she wonders if she has ever seen so many different shapes.

Then comes another jab: the son asks his mother to identify the people standing around her in order to evaluate her level of consciousness. This irritates the mother, who points out that she is sinking, and her son has given her a 'brain teaser,' a task to answer, while she is sinking. As a result, she advises him to visit her pillow, which has absorbed all of her dreams, as well as her heart, which grins at her tears. All of her worries will be heaped up on a plate, as it were, by the pillow and the heart.

She wants her own son to understand how difficult it is for her to survive when she can't move any of her limbs and just her ears are alive.

The mother's inevitable collapse is hinted to in the last few sentences. The poem is profoundly authentic due to the complexity of the similes and metaphors employed so brilliantly.

Nirmala characterised poetry in an interview as "something which provokes thought and produces disturbance" (in the mind). The expressive devices go much beyond common speech figures. 'As soon (readily) as giving suck when the kid in slumber rolls over,' or 'ears like twin boats laden with the weight of words they deliver..." are both novel. There are many expressions like these that draw the reader's attention to the lines and leave a lasting impact.

Q2. Bring out the distinctive features of Amrit Rai's biography of Premchand.

Ans) Munshi Premchand is without a doubt Hindi literature's best novelist and short storey writer, and Amrit Rai's biography of his father is regarded as the first accurate, objective biography of the writer. It is considered a classic of Hindi biography and was the first full-fledged modern biography of any writer in Hindi.

It was first written in Hindi in 1962, and then translated into English by Harish Trivedi and released in 1982 in a shortened edition [the original has 640 pages]. You will be reading parts from this English translation. The chapters are 2, 12, 19, 25, and -33, in addition to the Introduction. These chapters address key issues in the writer's life and work, including his early addiction to reading and writing and his discovery of the power of the pen, his convictions as a writer, Gandhiji's influence, the writer as a kalam ka sipahi, and his views on language, particularly the growing divide between Hindi and Urdu and his efforts to bridge it.

Amrit Rai writes in a °lively, supple, and extremely idiomatic style,' according to the translator. I don't think I need to emphasise that the translation is excellent, but those of you who have access to the book in Hindi should read it to get the full flavour of 'the zest and relish' of the original. Those who read the original Hindi edition should keep in mind that the numbering of chapters in the Hindi version differs from the English translation.

Amrit Rai was an author who saw his biography as more of a "creative" work than a documentary. Dismissing the proposal that he titled the biography in his preface:

a novel in which the protagonist was a man named Premchand, but who was not a figment of his imagination but a real person..., and in which I was not free to kill him off or let him live, or to turn and twist him in any way I pleased, or invent events and episodes, but was firmly (or firmly!) tethered to a solid peg. But that wasn't a problem because | knew | wasn't completely free even when writing a fiction, because the narrator was still attached to the peg of life. to the peg of probability. Each act of creation comes with its own set of rules and regulations. But that doesn't take away from the pleasure of creation.... And I've had the same thrill in this work, in full measure.

According to Harish Trivedi, this statement "may account for many features of the biography that give it a distinct and unusual flavour: a non-linear chronology, the occasional digression or speculation, and the author's willingness to reflect and soliloquize on his own behalf as well as his subject's." In a nutshell, this is an unfettered exercise in the powers of an omniscient narrator'. The biography contains a lot of evidence supporting these characteristics.

Premchand: Kalam ka Sipahi was the biography's original Hindi title. "A Soldier with a Pen" would be the subtitle, literally translated. *The Pen as the Sword" was proposed by Harish Trivedi, but he and Amrit Rai both rejected it since it "sounded a little cheesy."

Whatever the reasons for the translation's current title, the original Hindi subtitle 'Kalam ka Sipahi' is extremely fitting. It alludes to a lot of things at once. If there is a central metaphor in the novel, it is the employment of the pen as a combat weapon. Many of its echoes and variants may be found in the text. Premchand did portray himself as a fighter, a fighter against the sins that plagued Indian culture as well as a fighter for independence. Premchand was "inveterately a man of the family and for the family," according to his biography.

He was clearly stirred by public events, but he also realised that writing was his strong suit. When he was thirteen, he found the power of his pen (chapter 2), and it was through his writings that he chose to give the best of himself in the cause of the country's freedom and future.

Amrit Rai's biography is notable for its neutrality, which is evident throughout the book. For example, he is harsh in his condemnation of Premchand's fixation with the concept of starting his own press. Premchand's finances were weak, but he chose to risk everything on a gamble that was unlikely to pay off. It's worth noting that the biographer makes no attempt to minimise the venture's folly.

"He might have easily continued writing his books, and his stories and articles would have earned him forty or fifty rupees per month...

No, there is such a thing as an obsession, after all! And this is an old preoccupation of his, one that has plagued him for years'. The irritation and exasperation of the biographer are palpable. Later: 'He could never be accused of diving with his eyes closed; rather, his distinction resided in the fact that he always dove with his eyes open!" Take note of the sardonic tone here. Then: *What a horrible mirage he'd been chasing his entire life!" (176) The term "cruel" encapsulates a great deal that is left unsaid. "Only a simpleton could have started a press in Premchand's circumstances," says the author (178). 'We all chase after some illusion or the other,' Amrit Rai admits, and Premchand's illusion was 'neither money nor authority nor any type of fake social reputation.' The character that emerges from this episode is one that is both highly engrossed in what he is doing and extremely human.

Q3. Discuss The Compromise by Vijaydan Detha as an allegory.

Ans) The first thing to recognise in The Compromise by Vijaydan Detha is that, despite its appearance, this is not a descriptive storey. Its purpose is not to enlighten the reader about unusual events. It's a metaphorical tale. Ordinary situations that appear weird have a different meaning. The protagonist is dealing with his inner voice, which he refers to as his conscience. It's a descriptive record, not a storey, as long as he's engaged in this manner. After the story's conclusion, when the compromise is reached, the dilemma is solved, and the duality is resolved, the storey takes shape. When does non-duality become a reality? Then, hale, and healthy, Aaskaran eats, drinks, and makes his lakhs, free of his cares. He has hushed his atma, which is pure and gleaming like a mirror. He extracts the sense of good and wrong that had been bothering and threatening him. So, what does he do now? What kind of good and evil, doable, and undoable deeds does he carry out? The author makes no mention of these. And the storey is told in all the things he doesn't say. All we know is that he has become a thanedar and has amassed a large fortune. As a result, we might argue that the storey is made by, or because of, the last sentence.

The storey begins with a series of simple, description-based situations. The storey is told by the storyteller's "I." He relates the storey of a man who is socially unacceptable. He's a peculiar individual. People dislike him because he is prone to doing things that are out of the ordinary. When the "T" informs his listeners about himself, he appears to agree with them. But the story's final statement makes it plain that only the atypical, the nonstandard, are correct: it makes it clear that the usual, standard people have become dehumanised, and that dehumanisation has become socially acceptable. Similarly, the atypical man grows more typical and indistinguishable from the others with time.

Until now, it appears that the first-person narrator is the primary character, rather than Aaskaran. We believe he is merely an example of hilarious idiocy. The author feels the same way about him and depicts him as such in the novel. Gradually, when the "I" talks about Aaskaran with growing familiarity, he — the "I" — vanishes. In every storey, though, there are always two characters. Previously, the two were Aaskaran and the "I," but now Aaskaran is separated into two selves who are conversing with one another. The debate becomes a conflict, and as a result of this conflict, bizarre and idiotic changes begin to occur in the mirror image. But, eventually, the two selves come to an agreement. This is where we are now. You have the impression that the storey is almost finished, that there is nothing more to say. The mirror shatter with a violent jerk, and the storey is done!

With Aaskaran's foolish and funny actions as he sits in intimate conversation with himself in the mirror, the drama takes a new turn. The storyteller had been with him up to this point. He is no longer required. Aaskaran is solemn and solemn. The man on the street is yelling at the man on the inside. With equal gravity and solemnity, the guy inside defends himself. One individual with two personalities. The author is torn between the two. This circumstance gradually reveals a human truth. The conflict between the two selves becomes more intense. Strange things happen in this tense environment, as we already mentioned.

The picture in the mirror has the ears of a donkey or the face of a goat. This is unbelievable. But it is also real in a symbolic sense. The ears of donkeys and the faces of goats are not made up. The real and the surreal merge to the point where the unreal appears to be real. At times, the unreal appears to be the actual real, the solid, physical real. The - ostensibly real is just that: ostensibly real. If the storey had been strictly realistic, the picture in the mirror would not have had the ears of a donkey or the face of a goat. Because of this improbability, the storey is gripping and compelling. This technique brings out Vijaydan Detha's best qualities as a storyteller.

The interaction between "the self" and "the image" continues. In the dialogue's early stages, a conflict is depicted between the self as an obedient being, devoted to his parents' do's and don'ts, and the self-succumbing to the pulls of the senses. It appears that traditional morality is battling the liberal urges of today's worldview. As the storey progresses, the self in the mirror is able to break free from the grip of the other self. He develops into a fully realised character who must either be accepted or destroyed.

When the two's tension reaches this level, the self turns around and cuts the cord with his mirror image, the value-bound, scrupulous being who pursues him from the mirror. He shatters the mirror, smashing his better self in the process. At this time, the storey should have come to a close. However, it goes one step farther. With his mirror image removed, the self is free to act on urges such as bribery, corruption, and get-rich-quick schemes. It's unclear exactly what he does, but his wealth is in the millions. There were checks, constraints, and morality as long as the image in the mirror was present. Now that the image is no longer visible, his conscience has been quiet, indicating that he has achieved an agreement with himself. His deterioration is complete.

Q4. Write a note on the contemporary relevance of Tughlaq.

Ans) Girish Karnad has highlighted various aspects of the play, including its "present relevance," scene organisation, and influences on him. In a 1971 interview with Rajinder Paul for Enact, he said this. Later that year, for the OUP collection of three plays by Karnad, he wrote a brief preface to the piece. U.R. Ananthamurthy gushed about the play: It featured a "interesting storey, intricate plot, scope for spectacle, and uses theatrical clichés like the comedic pair Aziz and Aazam (the Akara and Makara of Natak performances), to which theatre audiences respond easily," according to the review. Ananthamurthy, like Girish Karnad, considers the play to be a political metaphor, but his main interest is in what he calls "the ambiguities of Tughlaq's character." He also brought up the play's 'prayer' element, demonstrating how the act is constructed on opposites - 'the ideal and the real, divine inspiration and clever intrigue.' He observes that the irony in Aziz's emergence as a divine prophet of peace after murdering Ghiyas-ud-din is terribly tragic.

The drama contains 'insights into the universal reality concerning the relationship that exists or takes shape between Power and Man,' according to G.H. Nayak in his piece Karnad's Tughlaq. Tughlaq has been likened as a drama set in the West. M.N .Naik parallels and contrasts it to Camus' Caligula in his article "The Limits of Human Power." Tughlaq and Arthur Miller's drama The Ride Down Mount Morgan have been compared as political allegories by Ashis Sengupta.

Tughlaq was utilised by Aparna Dharwadker to "trace the intricate textual and cultural consequences of postcolonial historical fictions."

'Being and Role-Playing: Reading Girish Karnad's Tughlaq in Indian Literature, Jan-Feb 2003,' has also been written by Ashis Sengupta.

Dr. K.A. Ashok Pai, a psychiatrist with whom Girish Karnad co-created the television "serial" "Antaral," has emphasised the depth of psychiatric understanding of Karnad's characters' behaviour in his plays. According to him, Karnad's plays have the potential to be interpreted as psychoanalytical study of human behaviour. He uses Yayati, Hayavadana, Tughlaq, and his 2005 play A Heap of Broken Images as examples. 'It was only when I wrote my third play that | became conscious that certain themes recurred in my play or (since I didn't invent the plots) certain themes seemed to stimulate me — themes with the "Double" as the central motif,' he said when Dr Pai asked him if he agreed with the view that the fragmented image seems to be his metaphor for the human personality during an interview. Tughlaq is a case study of split personality, according to Dr Pai, "showing the deepest dualities of human nature."

A dissenting voice has also been heard. S.L. Bhyrappa, a well-known Kannada novelist, has accused Karnad of lying about history in order to gain favour with the establishment. In the Kannada daily Vijaya Karnataka, there appears to have been a debate regarding his portrayal of Tippu Sultan in his play The Dreams of Tippu Sultan. However, nothing has come of it. Tughlaq has received appreciation from critics and audiences alike.

Q7. Analyse the mode of characterization the narrator prefers in Tamas.

Ans) A few points concerning characters and characteristics are in place here: One must consider Bhisham Sahni's personalities and characterization in the context of his goal. The ostensible goal is to show a full image of a district town in a Muslim-majority region on the eve of partition, as well as a peek of the communal holocaust that partition was and the forces that perpetrated it. Assuming that is his general goal, he will have to introduce us to a diverse cast of individuals, including Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs. Nathu, Bakshiji, Jarnail, Shah Nawaz, Lala Lakshmi Narain, Dev Datt, Murad Ali, Harnam Singh, his son Iqbal, and daughter Jasbir, and Rajo and her son Ramzan are among those who have died. There are a slew of other characters as well. There's also an American Christian missionary, as well as Deputy Commissioner Richard and his wife Liza. Our acquaintance with them is inevitably brief, but some of these characters are more familiar to us than others.

For example, we are more familiar with Nathu than with any other character. We are also familiar with Richard and his wife Liza; yet, regardless of our familiarity with them or their distinctiveness, most of these characters tend to be representative figures. Despite his uniqueness, Nathu represents the poor and impoverished, who are abused by strong individuals for their own gain. His abrupt removal demonstrates how powerful individuals can have people like him removed after their usefulness has expired. The ruling class is represented by Richard. Harndm Singh was one of the many peasants "knocking around in search of shelter," as the text puts it.

These more or less fleeting objective glances of personalities, on the other hand, restrict readers from getting to know them better and identifying with the sympathetic characters among them. Because of the brevity, there is a large gap between the character and the reader, making him more of a distant observer than a participant. Apart from Nathu, the only character with whom we identify is maybe Harnam Singh, although even with him we are only with him for two chapters. The author wants the audience to look at each scene, each character, and each speech objectively and critically. He despises all forms of craziness. However, this coldness takes away a lot of the warmth from the storey.

In addition, I believe that the writer has attempted to demolish some prejudices that we have in our heads by depicting characters. The dividing lines between Hindus and Sikhs, as well as Muslims, became strong and evident with the onset of communal fervour. Mutual mistrust was at an all-time high. Lala Lakshmi Narain, like many others, maintained the prejudice that Muslims were untrustworthy. However, Bhisham Sahni provides evidence to the contrary. Harnam Singh's interaction with a Muslim mother, Rajo, her husband, and their obsessive kid is the best example that comes to mind. First, Karim Khan, a Muslim, arrives to warn them to leave their home immediately. Rajo is the wife of Ehsan Ali and the mother of Ramzan, both of whom have gone on a looting spree, but when she is faced with a completely different circumstance, she hesitates for a moment before crossing the religious divide. Her humanity shines through, and she agrees to take in Harnam Singh and his wife.

The same scenario occurs when Rajo's husband Ehsan Ali arrives and begs them to go, only to ask them to stay when they are ready to depart. But the greatest illustration of human compassion triumphing over religious bigotry occurs when Ramzan cannot bring himself to kill the fugitive Harnam Singh in his own home, despite raising his pickaxe to strike. When Harnam Singh and Banto leave, Rajo accompanies them for a portion of the journey and returns their rifle and jewellery. Shah Nawaz is another person who defies stereotypes. He is a devout Muslim League member, and during the riots, his blue Buick can be seen driving through villages, allegedly transporting weaponry and ammunition to Muslims fighting Hindus, yet the same individual is a close friend of Raghu Nath's and assists him when he is in need. He also retrieves his friend's wife's jewellery from their previous residence. Sheikh Nur Elahi and Lala Lakshmi Narain were classmates, and despite the narrator's description of them as "fanatics," Nur Elahi helps to move his cotton bales to a safe location during the rioting.

'Dramatize, dramatise,' Henry James said in a well-known proverb. 'The art of fiction does not begin until the novelist thinks of his storey as a matter to be shown, to be so exhibited that it will tell itself,' Percy Lubbock said after him. (Italics are mine.) As a result, dramatising or exhibiting is critical. Because the work does not centre on any one person or family, there are no lengthy character assessments. The writer must be able to tell as well as show. The emphasis is always on demonstrating and dramatising. When we first meet Shah Nawaz, he is transporting Lala Lakshmi Narain and her family to safety, and the first sentence describes him as "a trusted friend among friends." His further actions back up this aspect of his personality. However, the kick he gives Milkhi displays his staunch prejudiced Muslim side, which the author wants us to deduce from his actions. Bhisham Sahni's greatest strength is that he is content to depict the scenario or character in motion while limiting his personal thoughts or remarks to a minimal. The novel's seeming simplicity may lure you in, but it also throws a tremendous deal of duty on the reader to read with an awake mind and draw inferences, as well as see analogies and contrasts.

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