Hunger: A Novel
Amritlal Nagar, Considered The Doyen Among Hindi Novelists Today, Wrote Bhookh (Hunger) Way Back In 1946, Provoked By The War Time Famine In Pre-Partition Bengal. Since Then, It Has Been Hailed By Readers And Critics Alike As A Modern Classic Of Hindi Literature. The Novel Is Centred Round Panchu Gopal Mukherjee, The Headmaster Of A Village School, Which He Himself Had Built And Maintained. It Is Through The Eyes, Feelings, Thoughts And Memories Of Mukherjee That The Horrors Of The Great Famine Are Delineated. The Village Is Getting Slowly Deserted With The Living Skeletons Slowly Migrating In All Directions And Slowly Dying On The Roadside. Hunger Is Ravishing The Land With Predatory Birds And Animals Gorging On Dead Bodies. Yet The Local Zamindar And The Leading Trader Are Least Affected. In Fact, They Are Thriving, Helping The War Effort And Co-Operating With Local Authorities. Mukherjee Himself Is Reduced To Penury, Wondering Whether To Sell Off The Few Ornaments Left In The House Or The Furniture Of His Beloved School. He Sees All Round Unbearable Sights His Brother Misbehaving With His Own Wife, The Carpenter S Widow Selling Her Body, The Zamindar Revelling In Drinks, A Food Riot Being Quenched By The Police, The Trader Arranging A Feast For Brahmins To Wipe Out His Sins And The Hungry Fighting With Dogs And Scraping The Food From The Discarded Banana Leaves. The Novel, Yet, Ends With Hope, When Mukherjee Picks Up A Newly Delivered Child, Whose Mother Has Fallen Dead And The Life Force Had Ejected The Child Out Of The Womb. He Wrenches The Umbilical Cord And Takes The Child Home, Where His Family Members Are Dead Or Dispersed. Only His Starving Wide-Eyed Wife Mangala Is There Intrigued But Happy By The New Arrival.
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anger asked Azim and Nuruddin Azim’s Baba Baba’s Babu’s bags Bakulphul became become Bengal boys Brahmins breath Calcutta Chheda Singh child Chunni crying Daroga Dayal Babu dead body death dhoti dogs door face famine father feeling fellow ﬁght ﬁll ﬁlled ﬁnd ﬁre ﬁrst ﬁve ﬂames ﬂesh ﬂoor Ganesh gave give God’s godown gone grain hands happy head heart hunger hungry I’ve Kanai Kanak Mangala Master Babu mind Mohanpur Monai mother Munir’s wife nawab Nyada paan Panchu felt Panchu looked Panchu thought Parvati Ma priest reﬂected reputation rice rupees saheb seers of rice selﬁsh sell Shibu Shibu’s wife smile sold Somen stared started starving stomach stood strength suddenly tears tell temple There’s things town Tulsi uncle Union Board voice Vrindavan walked wanted What’s woman women won’t worry You’re zamindar