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HINDI GRANTH KARYALAY
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LITERATURE BY MUNSHIPREMCHAND

Munshi Premchand lived from 1880 to 1936 and can justly lay claimto the title of the best Hindi fiction writer ever. He was born on 31July 1880 in a small village, Lamhi, near Varanasi. His parents namedhim Dhanpat Rai. He started writing at a young age. Initially, hewrote in Urdu. Later, he wrote only in Hindi.

Munshi Premchand was the son of a postal clerk. He lost his motherwhen he was very young. Just 7 years. And his at the age of 14, helost his father. With his father's demise, young Premchand took overthe responsibility of earning bread for the family. In the face ofgreat economic hardship, he matriculated. He then found employment asa schoolmaster in small village schools.

While working, Premchand continued his studies and completed hisF.A. (parallel to A-levels) and his B.A. He was keen on doing hisMasters in Literature, but circumstances in life prevented him fromdoing so.

In 1921, influenced by Mahatma Gandhi's call to leave Governmentjobs, Premchand resigned from his schoolmaster's job. He was in direeconomic straits. Yet, he gave up his 23 year old secure iflow-paying Government job. In this decision, his wife willinglysupported him.

For a few months after that, he worked for a private school inKanpur. He could not keep his job, because he was too principled andwas the victim of office politics. He resigned from there and leftfor Varanasi where he taught at the Kashi Vidyapitha for a fewmonths, and edited 'Maryada'. He then left for Lucknow where heedited 'Madhuri'. Both 'Maryada' and 'Madhuri' were literarymagazines with very low circulation and an uncertain future.

In a few years, he shifted back to Varanasi to launch his ownliterary magazine, 'Hans'. Sometime later, he launched 'Jagaran' aswell. But both magazines were loss-making enterprises. At a certainpoint in time Premchand was so heavily in debt because of editingthese magazines, he had to wind up operations and shift baggage toMumbai.

He had come to Mumbai to write for the Hindi film industry. Buthere he was constantly being asked to compromise on his storyline andthe integrity of his characters to suit the whims of film producers.Premchand refused to make such manipulations, which would hurt theflow of his story. Hence, deeply disappointed, he made his way backto Varanasi, still struggling against the onset of bankruptcy.

While in Mumbai, Premchand had fallen ill and soon after gettingback to Varanasi, he died of ascitis on 8 October, 1936.

He was given the highest accolade of his time, when he wasreferred to as "Upanyas Samrat". He wrote novels, short stories,essays and children's fiction. All that he wrote, has stood the testof time, and nearly seventy after his death, Premchand is still oneof India's best-read authors. His novels, in particular Godan,Nirmala and Ghaban; are hugely popular. His short stories, broughttogether under the title Mansarovar enjoy tremendous enthusiasmamongst readers until date.

Premchand has been translated in many languages, there are 100s ofPh.D.s awarded on his works every year. There is no University inIndia and abroad, where Hindi literature is taught and Premchand isnot an important part of the syllabus.

Premchand wrote in a very direct and simple style, and his wordsmade their own magic. His protagonists were always the people heobserved around him. His knowledge of the human psychology, and hisappreciation of the ironies of life made him a stellar writer.

In keeping with his clean-cut style and lucid manner, readingPremchand is a great pleasure! His prose is precise, his descriptionssuccinct.

Premchand lived in an era of great social turmoil for India. Hesaw traditional village independence being destroyed by thecolonisers. He saw how the traditional system of the Indian UndividedFamily was falling apart with the pressures of increasedcentralisation of jobs in urban centres. He also noted the fallout oflarge-scale urbanisation and the consequent materialistic andacquisitional tendencies it triggered off. His stories and novelfaithfully record and analyse these tendencies through the trials andtribulations of his protagonists.

Premchand observed keenly the psychology of a child, brought up inpoverty. In his short story Eidgah, the hero, a small boy from a poorfamily, goes with his relatively well-to-do friends. He has a verysmall amount of money to spare. Instead of blowing it on fun andtoys, he buys a "chimta" for his old grandmother, who used to burnher fingers on the hot iron "tava".

His novel "Godan" tells the story of a poor man, bound by thesociety, exploited by the privileged class and his soul-destroyingtravails. His protagonists are often exploited, but never unjustthemselves, and retain their humanity. The badi bahuria, in Bade GharKi Bahu, despite longing to eat a halfway decent meal, gives it tothe postman, who is actually the bearer of bad news. When the postmantries to decline, she says that she will eat some bathua saag andmanage.

Each novel, each story of Premchand reassures us that humanity isalive and well. That circumstances may be grim, but there is a godsomewhere, and things are not so bad as they may seem. Premchand seesgoodness in every human being, and hence describes people aptly. Themost mean and vicious character will suffer the occasional qualm ofconscience. And the most naive character is not without heroism. Theprotagonist of Ghaban is out to impress his newly wed wife. His taleof plight is told with understanding and empathy. The reader feels apart of Premchand's stories. All his fictional characters are real.They are living and breathing. Not just, blank ink on whitepaper.

So come, be a part of the experience. Read Munshi Premchand todiscover perceptive yet simple writing. Lucid style. Prose writing atits very best.

Had Premchand been born in America or Europe, he would havecertainly won the Nobel Prize for Literature and a knighthoodtoo!

I am proud to state that we had the privilege of being the firstpublishers of what is perhaps the greatest novel ever written inHindi - Godan.

 

The Complete works of Munshi Premchand
---------------------------------------------------------------

Novels

GODAN (Hindi)
By Premchand
1st ed. Mumbai: Hindi Granth Ratnakar Karyalay, 1936
Hans Prakashan
1998 223 x 135 mm 320 pp
81-85954-02-X Hardback Rs. 140

RANGABHOOMI (Hindi)
By Premchand
1st ed. Lucknow: Ganga Pustakmala, 1924
Hans Prakashan
1999 224 x 140 mm 488 pp
Hardback Rs. 200

PREMASHRAM (Hindi)
By Premchand
Hans Prakashan
1997 223 x 140 mm 424 pp
Hardback Rs. 160

KARMABHOOMI (Hindi)
By Premchand
Hans Prakashan
1998 220 x 145 mm 400 pp
Hardback Rs. 140

MANGALACHARAN (Hindi)
By Premchand
Hans Prakashan
2002 220 x 140 mm 345 pp
Hardback Rs. 140

GHABAN (Hindi)
By Premchand
Hans Prakashan
2002 215 x 130 mm 286 pp
Hardback Rs. 120

SEVASADAN (Hindi)
By Premchand
Hans Prakashan
2003 220 x 140 mm 246 pp
Hardback Rs. 100

AHANKAR (Hindi)
By Premchand
Hans Prakashan
2000 180 x 120 mm 188 pp
Hardback Rs. 60

VARDAN (Hindi)
By Premchand
Hans Prakashan
1994 180 x 120 mm 159 pp
Hardback Rs. 60

MANGALASOOTRA (Hindi)
Two novels, 'Mangalasootra' and 'Mahajani Sabhyata'
By Premchand
Hans Prakashan
1991 180 x 120 mm 188 pp
Hardback Rs. 40

NIRMALA (Hindi)
By Premchand
Hans Prakashan
2001 180 x 120 mm 176 pp
Paperback Rs. 40

PRATIGYA (Hindi)
By Premchand
Hans Prakashan
1997 180 x 120 mm 144 pp
Hardback Rs. 40

 

Short Stories

MANSAROVAR (Hindi)
Short Stories by Premchand in 8 Volumes
2001 180 x 120 mm approx. 3000 pp in 8 volumes
Hardback Rs. 800 for the set

QAFAN (Hindi)
Short Stories by Premchand
Hans Prakashan
1994 180 x 120 mm 135 pp
Hardback Rs. 80

GUPT DHAN (Hindi)
Short Stories by Premchand in 2 Volumes
2002 220 x 140 mm 524 pp in 2 Volumes
Hardback Rs. 200 for the set

KISHOR SAHITYA MALA (Hindi)
Stories for teenagers in 10 Volumes by Premchand
Hans Prakashan
2000 180 x 120 mm approx. 950 pp in 10 Volumes
Paperback Rs. 200 for the set

RAM CHARCHA (Hindi)
Based on the Ramayan
By Premchand
Hans Prakashan
Paperback Rs. 25

PREMCHAND : SACHITRA JIVAN PARICHAY (Hindi)
Pictoral Biography for students
Hans Prakashan
Paperback Rs. 30.00

DURGADAS (Hindi)
By Premchand
Hans Prakashan
Paperback Rs. 20

QALAM KA SIPAHI (Hindi)
Authorised Biography of Premchand
Hans Prakashan
Hardcover Rs. 250

MUNSHI PREMCHAND KI SAMPOORNA KAHANIYAN (In 2 Volumes)
By Premchand
Lokbharti
2002 215 x 140 mm 1732 pp in 2 Volumes
Paperback Rs. 400.00 for the set

ILLUSTRATED BAL SAHITYA BY PREMCHAND
----------------------------------------------------------------------

BUDHI KAKI (Hindi)
Short story by Premchand
2003 216 x 140 mm 40 pp
Paperback Rs. 20

PANCH PARAMESHVAR (Hindi)
Short story by Premchand
2003 216 x 140 mm 32 pp
Paperback Rs. 20

JUNGLE KI KAHANIYAN (Hindi)
Short story by Premchand
2003 216 x 140 mm 32 pp
Paperback Rs. 20

MERI KAHANI (Hindi)
Short story by Premchand
2003 216 x 140 mm 24 pp
Paperback Rs. 15

PARIKSHA & EIDGAH (Hindi)
Short stories by Premchand
2003 216 x 140 mm 32 pp
Paperback Rs. 15

DO BAILON KI KATHA (Hindi)
Short story by Premchand
2003 216 x 140 mm 32 pp
Paperback Rs. 15

GULLI DANDA (Hindi)
Short story by Premchand
2003 216 x 140 mm 32 pp
Paperback Rs. 15

RAM KATHA (Hindi)
Short story by Premchand
2003 216 x 140 mm 32 pp
Paperback Rs. 15

SHATRANJ KE KHILADI (Hindi)
Short story by Premchand
2003 216 x 140 mm 32 pp
Paperback Rs. 15

RAM LILA (Hindi)
Short story by Premchand
2003 216 x 140 mm 32 pp
Paperback Rs. 15

SABSE BADA TIRTHA (Hindi)
Short story by Premchand
2003 216 x 140 mm 24 pp
Paperback Rs. 15

MANDIR (Hindi)
Short story by Premchand
2003 216 x 140 mm 24 pp
Paperback Rs. 15

EID KA TYOHAR (aka EIDGAH) (Hindi)
Short story by Premchand
2003 216 x 140 mm 24 pp
Paperback Rs. 15

SHIKARI RAJKUMAR (Hindi)
Short story by Premchand
2003 216 x 140 mm 32 pp
Paperback Rs. 15

 

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