Chaman Nahal is an award-winning Indian novelist. His works Azadi, a riveting narrative of the conflict-ridden effects of Partition in 1947 was considered as a very fine work of fiction. His triology - The Crown and the Loincloth ...
Chaman Nahal is an award-winning Indian novelist. His works Azadi, a riveting narrative of the conflict-ridden effects of Partition in 1947 was considered as a very fine work of fiction. His triology - The Crown and the Loincloth (1981), The Salt of Life (1990), and The Triumph of the Tricolour (1993), is again largely popular and speaks a lot about modern history and Gandhi’s thought process.
Chaman Nahal was born in Sialkot, (formerly in India, now in Pakistan). He educated at the University of Delhi and the University of Nottingham. Since 1949 he went about teaching in many universities across India. My True Faces, his first novel, was followed in 1975 by Azadi, which is regarded as his best. His other novels, which are noted for realistic writing with lot of emphasis on the Indian middle classes, include Into Another Dawn (1977) and The English Queens (1979).
Chaman Nahal's writings are known to talk about India without any touch of exoticism. So his works do not portray India as a land of maharajahs, tigers and snake charmers. However, in his novels he describes Delhi (in My True Faces and The English Queens) and the town of Sialkot as it is. Azadi is the best of the Indian-English novels written about the traumatic partition which accompanied Indian Independence in 1947. The Crown and the Loincloth and The Salt of Life portray Mahatma Gandhi as a rather complex character with many human failings.
Azadi won the Sahitya Akademi Award. It is a matter-of-account of a well-to-do Hindu grain merchant and his family. The novel begins in mid-1947 with the people of Sialkot learning about the partition, but they cannot digest the fact that they now have to move base. Kanshi Ram, the Hindu, Barkat Ali, the Mohammedan, and Teja Singh, the Sikh speak the same language and consider Sialkot their homeland. Attention to details and a knowledge of the life makes the novel a pleasure to read.
Nahal’s autobiography Silent Life talks about his life as a academic, globe-trotter and renowned Indian English fiction writer. This book is again rare as it does not glorify the subject but very objectively comments on the self and the world objectively.