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Topi Shukla

Rahi Masoom Reza (Author)
Synopsis Set in Aligarh in the early 1960s, after the dust of partition has ostensibly settled, Topi Shukla is an intriguing story of two friends-one Hindu and the other Muslim. Through the characters of people like Topi and Iffan, the novel looks at the lives of ordinary people trying to survive in a society that insists on a brutal conformity of behaviour. It is about individuals whose spirits are paralysed because they cannot conform, and about history's inability to teach mankind any worthwhile lessons. Language plays an important part in this narrative, operating almost as a character in its own right. Topi, as a Hindi bull in the Urdu China shop, invokes the historical stand-off between the two languages. The novel also explores the culture and psyche of Uttar Pradesh with its very Muslim Aligarh, its very Hindu Benares, and their exotic confluence in Lucknow. Although it is set in the India of the 1960s, the communal tensions and issues portrayed in the novel make it just as relevant to the troubled times we face today. This fascinating novel will be of tremendous interest to the general reader, as well as to students of literature in translation, partition fiction, and social history. The novel's engagement with intertextuality and metafiction will add to its interest for readers keen on literary theory.
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About the author

Rahi Masoom Reza

Dr Rahi Masoom Reza was born in 1927 in Ghazipur district in Uttar Pradesh. He was educated in Ghazipur and later at the Aligarh Muslim University where he took a Ph.D. A brilliant student of Urdu, Hindi and Sanskrit, Dr Reza subsequently taught at the AMU and was a proponent of Urdu in the Devanagari script. He later moved to Bombay and became a successful screenplay writer and wrote the screenplays and dialogue for over 300 films including B.R. Chopra’s television series, Mahabharat. Dr Reza died on 15 March 1992 in Bombay.

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Bibliographic information

Title Topi Shukla
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195670892
length xiii+132p., 23cm.