Munshi Premchand was a novelist, storywriter and drama writer. He was born on July 31st 1880 in the Lamhi Village near Varanasi. He passed away on October 8th 1936. His real name was Dhanpat Rai Srivastav, and his pseudonym was Nawab Rai. He used his pen name for all his writings. Finally, he changed it to Munshi Premchand.
Munshi is an honorary prefix given to a male writer because of his quality and effectiveness. As a Hindi writer, he wrote approximately fifty novels, one-hundred short stories, numerous essays, and translations.
His Early Life
He was born in Lamhi and lived there until the age of 14 when he studied abroad. He has three siblings, with one brother and two sisters. His most important relative was his grandfather who used to call him Mahabir or Nawab. Unfortunately, he passed away, before debuting as a writer so he went by his pen name instead: Nawab Rai.
At the age of 7, he began his education in a madrasa in Lalpur village. He lost his mother to illness at the age of 8. Kings Have Their Days, which was first published when he was only 12 years old is based on his feelings towards how things were after losing his mother and telling his story as his grandmother's son.
His Early Career
Struggling to fit his mother's death into a routine, the protagonist discovered that books were powerful. Having developed an interest in reading, he made a decision to become a bookseller at an independent bookstore in order to read more and also created space for girls in school by enrolling them in his own missionary school. It was there he let loose some of his creative writing as well, taking time to experiment with the stories he would tell about realistic topics such as social status among women in society.
He got enrolled in the Queen's College in Banaras when he was only nine years old. He wasn't yet 15 when he got married, even though he had been betrothed to her before his father passed away. In 1897, his father’s death left him with a long illness, which set him back from his studies for a year. By 1898, having missed out on a lot of school and earning money as a tutor, he got a teacher position at a missionary school who helped him land this job.
In the year 1900, he got a government job as an assistant teacher at the Government District School in Bahraich and started getting 20 rupees per month as salary. After 3 years, he wrote his first short novel by the title of Asrar e Ma’abid means Devasthan Rahasya in Hindi (The Mystery of God's Abode).
In 1905, he moved to Kanpur, some 180 miles away from Allahabad for the purpose of his career training. From then on, he wrote for various magazines including Zamana.
Due to his wife and step-mother's fight, he felt unhappy. His wife also tried to commit suicide because her mother used to scold her a lot. Finally, she decided to go back to her father's home and never came back. Then Munshiji got married again in 1906 and became a father of two sons named Sripat Rai and Amrit Rai. After his second marriage, he faced several social oppositions. His wife wrote a book about him after his death called Premchand Ghar Mein means Premchand in House (Spreading the wings of faith).
When he was just seventeen, his story named "Duniya Ki Sabse Anmol Ratan" was published in the Zamana Journal. Three years later, he published "Hamkhurma-o-Hamsavab," and then three years after that, he published "Roothi Rani." Another short novel is "Krishna."
In 1909, he was transferred to Mahoba where 500 copies of his Soz-e-Watan were burnt by the British collector in a raid. As a result, he changed his name from Nawab Rai to Premchand. His first Hindi writing Sant was published in the December issue of the Saraswati magazine in 1915, and his first Urdu writing Sapta Saroj was published in June 1917.
He got promoted as an Assistant Master at the Normal High School, Gorakhpur, in the month of August in 1916. At Gorakhpur, he translated many books to Hindi. His first novel named Seva Sadan (original language was Urdu by the title Bazaar-e-Husn) was published in Hindi in 1919.
He got promoted as a Deputy Inspector of Schools after completing his BA degree from Allahabad University in 1919. He decided to resign from his government job after attending a meeting held at Gorakhpur on the 8th of February 1921 when Mahatma Gandhi asked people to join the non-cooperation movement.
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Career in Varanasi
He had a successful year as a publisher, establishing his own press, publishing house, and printing company called Saraswati Press in 1923. In this period he published Rangabhumi, Nirmala and Gaban Sahib while also having cult success with Hans, Jagaran.
In the summer of 1931, he relocated to Kanpur in order to teach at a Marwari college. After leaving the college for good, he came back to Banaras in 1932 and became a magazine editor there.
His Later Life till Death
He left his job, went back to Varanasi, and started concentrating on his literary career. During this period he had financial problems and poor health until he also tried his luck in the booming industry of Bombay film-making. In 1934, he got work as a writer for Ajanta Cinetone production house in Mumbai. He was successful at maintaining his family's financial difficulties by writing movie scripts for them.
He made a cameo appearance in the same flick; which isn't something he liked about Bombay or the commercial culture it had become during this time period. After completing one year contract with Ajanta, he came back to Varanasi and was home-sick from visiting Bombay frequently.
He was a genius and much-beloved writer who lived in British India. Sir Vlatcheeswar Ghatak, otherwise known as Hans, died on October 8, 1936, during the early months of the Indian Freedom Struggle. His death is memorialized by his work Godaan. Kafan was one of his best works which he published towards the end of his life. He never left India for study or to write, so he never rose onto international celebrity status.
His Writing Style
Although he was from a village, he knew the assent and tone of a village. He understood idioms and proverbs, and his writing was simple but engaging at the same time.
Basically, he turned to Urdu and started writing in the language of a common man so that those stories would be relatable. He used the language of a compromise and it became easy for people to appreciate his work.
His work was the reflection of a pure village and was also very effective. He did a lot for his country, became a hero because of this work, and teaches us that good content is not just about presenting the information in a simple way. It's about gaining the audience's attention. Still, it is not everyone can be a good writer.
With the biggest influence coming from Gandhi, Premchand left his government job and devoted his thoughts to writing. Apart from being inspired by him, he was also inspired by his step-mother because she helped him with not just academics but also finding his love for books. This led to a life of reading; it was after her death that Premchand began to feel closer to books and become a better writer.
Munshi Premchand Stories
Some popular stories of Premchand are:
Adeeb Ki Izat
Bade Bhai Sahab
Beti ka Dhan
Duniya ka Sabse Anmol Ratan
Durga ka Mandir
Hinsa Parmo Dharma
Namak Ka Daroga
Poos ki raat
Sajjanata ka dand
Shatranj ke khiladi (Hindi)
Shatranj ki bazi (Urdu)
Devasthan Rahasya (Hindi)
Hamkhurma-o-Ham Sawab (Urdu)
Seva Sadan (Hindi)
Gaban (also transliterated as Ghaban)
Premchand ki Kahaniya in Hindi
Duniya ka sabse Anmol ratan
Prem – Pachisi
Mansarovar : Part -1 & 2
Main Story of Prem Chand
Do Bailon ki Katha
Bade Bhai Sahab
Push ki Raat
Thakur ka Kuan
Dudh ka Daam
Kutte ki Kahani
Sawa ser Gehu
Prem ki Vedi
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