Twelve Facts About One of the Greatest Authors India has Produced
- His real name was Dhanpat Rai Srivastava.
- His first pen name was Nawab Rai; Premchand came later.
- He is called Upanyas Samrat– Emperor of Novels.
- One of the characters who makes a repeated appearance in his novels is that of the stepmother.
- His first novel has disappeared.
- He married too young. The marriage soured quickly and he married a child widow later on. This was revolutionary at the time.
- Premchand initially wrote in Urdu- he began writing in Hindi later on in his career.
- Premchand was an enthusiastic reader of classics in other languages, and translated several of these works in Hindi.
- In 1923, he established a printing press and publishing house in Benares called Saraswati Press but he was unable to run the press owing to financial issues.
- Premchand did a cameo as the leader of laborers in the film Mazdoor that he wrote the script for- the film never hit the screens as some influential businessmen were against it.
- He wrote largely about social injustices, choosing themes like dowry, widow remarriage, corruption and the freedom struggle.
- In 1977, Satyajit Ray made a film based on Premchand’s short story Shatranj ke Khiladi, which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi. Watch the movie here.
Which Premchand story do you love?