The Indian English short story achieved an elevated position, a gang of literature during the Gandhian era. Most of the early writer hailed from South India and they choose the traditional subject for treatment in their stories. T.L. Natesan, who wrote under the pen-name of Sanker-Ram, deals mostly with the rustic life of Tamil Nadu. Though he captures rural scenes skillfully, his stories burdened with sentimentalism and didactic. A.S.P. Ayyar a novelist and a playwright is chiefly concerned with social reform. The most notable voice during the period was Manjori Iswaran. The author of ‘The naked shingles’, ‘Shiv Ratri’, ‘Richshawallah’, and ‘Painter tigers’ tries to catch the eternal in casual and invest a moment with an immensity of time. Many of his stories take a glimpse of human psychology and present a variety of situation and character but some of them are a pure story and crude tear-jerker.

The significant contribution to the short stories of this period came from three major novelist – Mulk Raj Anand, Raja Rao, and R.K. Narayan. R.K. Narayan dwells on the form of the fable, the parable and the folk-tale give the lyrical and satirical twist to them. Apart from being imaginative, these stories reveal his understanding of the complex social force at work in Modern India. Among his chief collection of short stories are ‘The lost child and other stories’, ‘The power of darkness and other stories’, and ‘Between tears and laughter’. R.K. Narayan stories appeared a decade after Anand with ‘Cyclone and Other Stories’, ‘Malgudi days’ and ‘An Astrologer’s day’. His characteristics note is his gentle irony. Ironic reverse throws light on human psychology and provides abundant suspense. But unlike his novels, Narayan’s short story misses the target transforming an irony into the meaningful vision of life. Among other short story writers of the period are K.A. Abbas, M.P. Sharma, and Humayun Kabir. 

In the post-independence era, the short story still continued to be mostly by-product of the novel workshop. Bhabani Bhattacharya two collection of short stories unravel Psychological interest while the rest is the story on character sketch. Khushwant Singh authored ‘The mark of Vishnu and other stories’, ‘Black Jasmine’ and some more. No one can miss the satirical strain which takes up several aspects of Modern Indian life. Manohar Malgonkar’s stories provide interesting pictures of the world of activism such as my life, hunting, mining, and filmmaking. Sometime writer seems to be more interested in giving a shape ending rather than dealing with the social problem. Arun Joshi’s ‘The Survivor’ covers a wide range asking bond published a number of collections of short stories. He portrayed his character with genuine compassion and many of them try to evoke the picture of supernatural thrill.

Among the women, short story writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala shows her understanding of life in joint families and the complexity of personal relationships. Her collections are – ‘Like Birds, like fishes’, ‘Out of India’, and ‘A Stronger Climate’. Anita Desai’s Games of Twilight and other short stories highlight her fascinations for the world. She has created a character with sharp sensibility. ‘The Exiles’ is a study of an old British couple who had stayed too long in the east.
Kamla Das in ‘A Doll for the child prostitute’ harps upon the sex-theme.

Thanks for Reading

Enjoyed this post? Share it with your networks.

Leave a Feedback!