The Decay of a whole way of life and culture in “Twilight in Delhi”
Ahmed Ali was probably well aware with the rules of nature as it is said that change is the law of nature. Thus, he, keeping in mind the said code, portrayed the picture of life in a single story by representing the character of Mir Nihal. The novel has its own symbolic representation, which can never be denied especially for a person whose predecessors have undergone from such like terrible changes, discussed in the novel. The story of every Muslim, living in sub-continent is not different from the tale of Mir Nihal and because of such like experiences by our ancestors, we feel this novel as fresh today as it was in that era. First of all the point which is worthwhile to mention here is the decay of a whole life, signified in the novel by the story of a Muslim family. If a question to be asked by anyone that what is life? The simple answer is; the theme of this novel. Every artist tries his best to describe the meaning of life and Ahmed Ali is not different from any of them. He is one of those artists, who do not see life apparently but do their best to feel it.
As we know that the novel starts when it was the downfall of Mughal Empires and British were to conquest the whole subcontinent. Ahmed Ali, through the character of Mir Nihal, illustrates the social norms of Muslim society. They have their culture, their values, their own beliefs, their social norms, which came to end with the colonialism of British. The title of the novel itself is significant, which symbolically means that Muslim culture was going to fade after a while.Every nation, has his own beliefs apart from the religion and thus they represent their way of spending life. Similarly, Muslim of those era were also not different from it. They have also the same things owned by everyone. have also their own fading view of life. .
The character of Mir Nihal is very important to discuss here. He is prominent character of the novel as well as a personrepresenting every Muslim family, living in Delhi. In the start, we see Mir Nihal as a young person of strong values and with the passage of novel, his life also passes and eventually he meets his own downfall. Ahmed Ali, in this novel has compressed the process of life by giving us a single family, which in fact is the family, living everywhere in the world. Literature is accepted by every religion just because it is the reflection of life. In the same way, “Twilight in Delhi is also the story of every man, your or small, teen or mature, every family, living in any corner of the world. They symbolic depiction of every character is remarkable in decay of life. Life tells us to keep going, without halting anywhere on the way. We see Mir Nihal as young man, who does not listen to anyone but with time he losses everything in his life and eventually we find him finishing his life in an ordinary manner. Apart from Mir Nihal, Asghar is the symbolic representation of new generation. On one hand if Mir Nihal has moral value and strong emotions then on the other hand, Asghar is totally different from it. In this way, while describing a simple story, explains the decay of everyone’s life.
Our culture has been vanished with the passage of time. We did not take it granted and in the same way the time proved that it waits for none. Although history repeats itself yet time is the thing which can never be returned as the water of a river could not returned back. We may have knowledge about the facts of life but we cannot measure someone’s emotions and feelings. The discussion of emotions and feelings in necessary here because these things are closely related to the culture of society. The culture is not only an approach to live a life but it is. That is why it is said that if a nation cannot defend his culture, he cannot survive.