15 votes
Accepted

What circumstances is Bachchan referring to in this poem?

Please note: Since there is no source available which states on which year exactly this poem was written, it becomes difficult to predict what exact situation poet might be referring to. But ...
Karan Desai's user avatar
12 votes
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Why has this Premchand story been translated as both "Catastrophe" and "A Positive Change"?

The Hindi title "विध्वंस" (transliterated as "Vidhwans") means "catastrophe" or "destruction". I am not too familiar with Urdu, but Google Translate says that &...
Namaskaram's user avatar
7 votes
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Story about two brothers playing *gulli-danda*

It's a short story by Uday Prakash called "Aparadh" and it appears in a Class 5 Hindi textbook called Garima. You'll find it here. I found it by doing a Google search in Hindi for gulli ...
user392289's user avatar
7 votes
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What did it mean for Pandit Udaybhan Pandey to own the entire village?

It is likely that the Pandit was a member of the Zamindari aristocratic class. Historically they were administrators rather than outright owners of land, but were co-opted by the British regime as ...
Spagirl's user avatar
  • 18.9k
7 votes
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What is Devdas syndrome?

As far as I can tell, this seems not to be quite a formal, well-defined term. Rather, it's the use of an iconic cultural touchstone as shorthand for issues and tropes that come up often - and, just as ...
Standback's user avatar
  • 3,088
7 votes

What circumstances is Bachchan referring to in this poem?

I appreciate both the question raised and the clarificatory reply provided by Karan Desai. Having been a student of Hindi Literature I would like to provide as full a reply as possible. Harivansh ...
Suresh Ramaswamy's user avatar
6 votes
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What does Gulzar actually mean by saying that Earth can hide a river inside?

The soil in the poet’s garden is permeable, so that water quickly disappears into the spaces between the grains. Moreover, the poet has heard that in karst landscapes where soluble rock like limestone ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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5 votes
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Why was Bhungi poor in spite of having an apparently thriving business?

You've pretty much explained this. The key point is that while she has a business that is in demand, all her customers are also poor. This is shown by the fact that they pay partly for her services in ...
DJClayworth's user avatar
5 votes

Why was 50 considered old in Premchand's day?

While another answer had addressed statistical matters of overall life expectancy at birth, with a presumption of that rural areas having and expectancy below average, I think there are other things ...
Spagirl's user avatar
  • 18.9k
4 votes

Why does the painter make the shawl red in "Chadariya Jhini re Jhini"?

tl;dr The shawl is red because red is the color of passion. The soul embodied in the human body is trapped by emotion, passion, desire, and action, symbolized by the red shawl. Deets In Indian ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 25.4k
4 votes
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Which Premchand stories are written in Hindi and which in Urdu?

Detailed publication information regarding Premchand's short stories—along with valuable comments on the differences between the Urdu and Hindi versions—is available in the "Notes" at the ...
Namaskaram's user avatar
3 votes

Who are all these writers referred to by Premchand?

This gets easier when you strip out the honorific titles, Maulana, Pandit, Mirza, Maulvi and Hazrat. Sharar, Sarshar, Ruswa and Hussain I think you have correctly identified. 'Mohamad Ali of Hardoi' ...
Spagirl's user avatar
  • 18.9k
3 votes
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What is the name of that book which talks of a friend of Krishna called Chhandak?

The series you are thinking of is probably कृष्ण की आत्मकथा (kR^iShNa kii aatmakathaa, The Autobiography of Krishna) by Manu Sharma. The series has eight volumes, but it does include a character ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 25.4k
3 votes
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Why was 50 considered old in Premchand's day?

The simple answer is this link to a chart of life expectancy in India over time. As you can see, life expectancy was around 20-25 for the entire period of Premchand's life. It is likely that ...
DJClayworth's user avatar
2 votes
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Why is a sorrowing heart called "Sultan" and a stone heart called "burial site" in this verse of Saint Kabir?

Here's a translation that I think captures the literal sense better: Don't call (the pain of) separation bad; it is king. A body that doesn't suffer (the pain of) separation is always a graveyard. &...
verbose's user avatar
  • 25.4k
1 vote

What does Gulzar actually mean by saying that Earth can hide a river inside?

What Gulzar means is that - if we give it any liquid like water it will gulp it down. If you give the earth any liquid from a jug or bucket it will gulp it down like it’s stomach never fills. He ...
Vaidehi's user avatar
  • 11

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