Certainly one of the most popular writers in India, Premchand is one of the most celebrated writers who has his credentials as the earliest Hindustani writer too. Born and raised as Dhanpat Rai, first he tried with a pen name of Nawab Rai but finally, he decided to go with the name which later on went to become the legend – Premchand! He has been widely credited as Upanyas Samrat by writers for his tireless writing of novels. The chaotic person that he was, he has tried his hands well over many different literary genres. The pile of his literary works include more than dozen novels, more than two hundred and fifty short stories, several essays and also translations.
Premchand, the evergreen writer of India, came on the earth on 31 July 1850 in Lahmi, near Varanasi. His life was not like ordinary or casual person’s life; it wasn’t at all straightforward, and the quick deaths of his mother and grandmother had a great impact on him in a very fragile age. As a child, like most of us, he has had a deep interest in listening and reading the stories. At this very early age, he sought his respite in the writing of fiction and it changed the whole story of his life! The first novel by Premchand, Asrar e Ma’abid (DevasthanRahasya) The Secret of God’s Abode came out rather earlier. It tried to explore the priestly corruption and it got the buzz but did not succeed as expected. He often was a very sensitive observer of the human emotions as well as the surroundings and he picked up only the issues close to humane for his writings. In the second novel, Prema, Premchand raised the issues of widow marriages (remarriages) in those times.
Premchand was an active translator as well and he translated the works, rather classics in other languages, into the Hindi language when he began writing in Hindi. And then, his first novel, or the major novel in Hindi, Seva Sadan, came out in 1919. And the novel offered Premchand, the Hindi author, a very popular popularity. It tried to come out with the problems of common people in those times and unfortunately, his novels depict the problems even of the modern society. We don’t believe that Premchand was a mutual visionary; our country has been on the wrong side of the fortune! And after Seva Sadan, Premchand went for a ride of fame with his novels one after one.
Nirmala in 1925 and Pratigya in 1927 further pushed the reputation of Premchand to a new height. Readers were now expecting more and more from him and they got as well. Major creations by Premchand are as following:
Bade Ghar Ki Beti
Namak Ka Daroga
Shatranj Ke Khiladi
Premchand is certainly one of the major writers of modern India and he offered the readers a realistic fiction which came out with not only the problems but also possible solutions. He is often regarded as one of the pro-poor writers and rightly so, because most of his life, or complete life, in a simple manner.