A Day in the Life of Ghulam Sarwar and Other Stories

4.7/5 - (4 votes)


Author: Vijay Prakash Singh
Pages: 108
Year of Publication: 2014
Price: Rs 250
978-93-5045-089-5 (9789350450895)

About the Author:
Vijay Prakash Singh is a Professor in the Department of English and Modern European Languages, Lucknow University. He has taught at Lucknow Christian College, Mayo College Ajmer and DDU University, Gorakhpur. Dr Singh’s area of special interest and research has been classical and contemporary fiction as well as travel writing. He is currently an Associate at the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla. He has published research papers and reviews in journals like South Asian Review, The Commonwealth Review and The Indo-American Review, as well as in several anthologies. He has recently published Mountain Travelogues on the Himalayas and Tibet, a research survey of major travel narratives, which has been favourably reviewed in the Himalayan Journal and Outlook Traveller. Dr Singh is a Tibetophile and an inveterate traveller; the recurring site of his travels is the Himalayas. He has an abiding interest and faith in Buddhist teaching. A Day in the Life of Ghulam Sarwar and Other Stories is his first collection of short stories.


“Outside, the sulphur lamps lit up a long and bare road. It was getting dark and there was a chill in the air. The police jeep had just gone by making repeated announcements that nobody should be seen in the bazaar. The “shoot-at-sight” orders had come into effect.

There was a silence taut with tension. No honking of cars or rickshaw bells ringing. No cries of children, no blaring of film songs, no hawking vendors. The sounds within doors were accentuated: the din of TV, the clang of utensils being washed, the movement of fans, hushed conversations, the clash of cymbals during puja…

Mansi stirred her cup of tea while peering out through a half-closed window. All day she had been suffering from a chronic cough. She sipped tulsi-flavoured tea. She began counting the days. It was now seven days since the full moon and the riots had broken out two days before the purnima. Nine days of curfew; nine days of being closed in, of peering out from windows, nine days of despair, fear of the catastrophic. She kept her cup on the window sill and watched the eerie road outside. It was a road that took her back to 1947, to the riots of Calcutta; to the night-long cries of animosity and rampant bloodthirst, wailing of women, lurid flashes of fire and the stony eyes of the dead. She had thought those were the last riots she would have to see, since out of the blood of those riots a new country had taken birth. But even though new borders had been drawn, old hatreds remained and grew. Now as she looked at the empty road she felt only death could relieve her of a repetition of that macabre dance of death. But one did not have a choice. Meanwhile there was this business of getting on with it.”

[Extract taken from “Curfew”]

A Day in the Life of Ghulam Sarwar / 9
Curfew / 17
The Mango Orchard / 25
The House of Sufia Begum / 30
Flight / 47
Life in the Metro / 57
Rain / 63
A Shawl for My Daughter / 69
Baori, The Crazy One / 73
Shireen / 80
Dawn / 85
Lawaris Begum / 90
A Village of Happiness / 92
Lal Baradari / 98

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *