Stories from Old Masters coming back to the second thing that I wanted to write about. I got this book at the nearby bookstore, from where I have often dug out interesting stuff. This time it was – “Lajwanti and Other Stories” by Mulk Raj Anand. I’d never read anything from him before but of course knew the name! So got the book by the appeal of the author’s name. On reading the book, I could immediately place him in the same genre as Premchand. Now I have read a lot of literature from Premchand and that is really “earthy” – so much that you can smell the soil of Indian villages from the words! But..Premchand wrote in Hindi – so you need to know the language to be able to understand the nuances. Now there comes Mulk Raj Anand – who pens down the day to day lives of the Indian people – with the same sensitivity as that of Premchand – but in English! And I must say that I could feel the same vibes in his stories as those in Premchand’s – despite them not being in the language of the people about whom the stories were!
          It’s quite interesting to know that he saw the India over a period of almost 100 years! He was born in 1905 and departed in 2004. So I believe he must have seen everything imaginable and unimaginable, for looking back, this century appears to be the going forward so rapidly that it almost seems like warp speed!
I think I should read his books in the chronological sequence – to see history through the eyes of someone who has lived through it!

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