The lyrical prose of writer, journalist and film director Khwaja Ahmad Abbas (1914-1987) easily lends itself to short stories. In Sardarji and Other Stories, a captivating collection, the protagonists of each tale are portrayed grappling with realities imposed upon them by an unrelenting historical churning that compels them to revisit their relationships with their cultural, spatial and psychological moorings.
Communal riots, poverty, abjection, love and longing, or renewed hopes and nascent dreams make this collection an incisive and moving portrayal of the human condition.
Khwaja Ahmad Abbas, born in Panipat, Haryana, wrote stories and novels in Urdu, Hindi and English, which have been translated into several Indian and foreign languages. As a screenwriter, his most famous films have been Naya Sansaar, Saat Hindustani, Jagte Raho, the Palme d’Or winner Neecha Nagar, and well-known Raj Kapoor movies like Awara, Shree 420, Mera Naam Joker and Bobby.
His column ‘Last Page’, holds the distinction of being one of the longest-running columns in the history of Indian journalism. Begun in 1935, in Bombay Chronicle, it was published by the Blitz after the Chronicle’s closure, until his death in 1987. In 1969, Abbas was awarded the Padma Shri by Government of India.