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Banarasidas ARDHAKATHANAK

Banarasidas ARDHAKATHANAK

A Half Story

Rohini Chowdhury
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Poet; philosopher and merchant; Banarasidas had no precedent in literature or tradition that might have inspired him to write his life’s story or guided him in his task. His motivation to write his story was simple: ‘Let me tell my story to all.’ Completed in the winter of 1641; in Agra; Ardhakathanak is the first autobiography in an Indian language.
Banarsidas charms us with his transparency and frankness; revealing as much of himself as possible. And he punctuates the fast-flowing narrative of his life every now and then to muse on the nature of human existence. The result is an astonishing account that is more modern than medieval in tone; and free of formulaic conventions and stylized ornamentation.
At the end of his ‘half story’; Banarasi becomes as intimate to us as an old friend. We know the ups and downs of his life almost as well as we know our own and we come to identify with his intellectual and spiritual struggles; and perhaps even share them.

Imprint: India Penguin Classics

Published: Apr/2009

ISBN: 9780143100546

Length : 360 Pages

MRP : ₹399.00

Banarasidas ARDHAKATHANAK

A Half Story

Rohini Chowdhury

Poet; philosopher and merchant; Banarasidas had no precedent in literature or tradition that might have inspired him to write his life’s story or guided him in his task. His motivation to write his story was simple: ‘Let me tell my story to all.’ Completed in the winter of 1641; in Agra; Ardhakathanak is the first autobiography in an Indian language.
Banarsidas charms us with his transparency and frankness; revealing as much of himself as possible. And he punctuates the fast-flowing narrative of his life every now and then to muse on the nature of human existence. The result is an astonishing account that is more modern than medieval in tone; and free of formulaic conventions and stylized ornamentation.
At the end of his ‘half story’; Banarasi becomes as intimate to us as an old friend. We know the ups and downs of his life almost as well as we know our own and we come to identify with his intellectual and spiritual struggles; and perhaps even share them.

Select Preferred Format

Rohini Chowdhury

Rohini Chowdhury writes for both children and adults and has more than twenty books and several short stories to her credit. Her published writing is in both Hindi and English, and covers a wide spectrum of literary genres including translations, novels, short fiction, comics and non- fiction. Her most recent publication is the translation of the seventeenth- century Braj Bhasha text Ardhakathanak, widely regarded as the first autobiography in an Indian language, into modern Hindi and into English. Her forthcoming works include an exploration of mathematics in India from ancient times to the modern, and a translation of the Hindi novel Tyagpatra by Jainendra, into English.

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