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Banarasidas ARDHAKATHANAK (A Half Story)

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: Penguin Classics

Published: Apr/2009

ISBN: 9780143100546

Length : 360 Pages

MRP : ₹399

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

R ohini Chowdhury writes for both children and adults. She has more than twenty books and several short stories to her credit, and has published in both Hindi and English. Her writing covers various literary genres including translations, novels, short fiction, comics, and non-fiction. Her most recent publication for children is Gautam Buddha: The Lord of Wisdom, published by Puffin India. Her most recent translation is that of the widely acclaimed Hindi novel Tyagpatra by Jainendra, into English. H Her literary interests include translation, mythology, folklore, mathematics and history. R ohini also runs a story website for children at www.longlongtimeago.com. B efore moving into writing Rohini was a strategy consultant for five years. S She holds a PGDM from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and a First Class Honours degree in Economics from Jadavpur University, Kolkata.

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