Universality of life in “Twilight in Delhi”
When we finish the book “Twilight in Delhi”, the center of our tragic sense is not only Delhi, but life itself. Discuss.
“Twilight in Delhi” is really Ahmed Ali’s masterpiece in which he tries to portray life by representing the family of Mir Nihal as a model. Although we see the tragic story of Mir Nihal by reading the novel yet it is not as simple as we read it in narrative form. The story of Mir Nihal is not only representing the Muslims of those era but every person living in the world under the domination of colonial forces. It serves the purpose of representing every nation or individual person’s decay of life. As a writer has limitations and techniques, by which has to depict life and Ahmed Ali done it very well. By reading “Twilight in Delhi”, it can be adjudged that it shares the theme of “Things Falls Apart”, in which the writers depicts their experience as well as state of affairs of the society. Bare reading of the novel shows that through Delhi, Ahmed Ali targeted every person, who is responsible, whether directly or indirectly, for the decay of their culture. As discussed supra, it is not only the life of an individual but the life of every person.
In start of the Novel, we see Mir Nihal as the dominant person in his family. A strong man of that society, who believes in values and do anything for their survival. He does not like his son because of his dress. The dress is not a headache for Mir Nihal but it symbolizes the western culture, which is difficult for Mir Nihal to be accepted in his cultural society. We can find Mir Nihal in every such civilization which is sharing the same type of situation, either in the past or in future. The writer being a depicter seeks to target every common man’s life facing the same situation. As we know that human nature is common everywhere and anyone face the similar nostalgia in the given circumstances as faced by Mir Nihal in his life. Mir Nihal does not want his son to marry with Bilqees as she was not of their cast but we know that with the passage of time he left his son to fulfill his wish.
On the other hand not only Mir Nihal but Bilqees represent the common girl of Muslim society. She is pure by heart but has no charm as compared to dancing girls like Baban Jan. Such like girls can be found in every society. Every character and every situation has a value and purpose to serve in the Novel. When we read the novel, we imagine that we are reading our own story. We share the same feelings and emotions as felt by Mir Nihal. Moreover, political awareness and situation discussed in the background of the novel also symbolizes for the decay of man’s life.
In the mid of the novel Mir Nihal faces paralyzed attack, which is definitely a symbol of paralyzed and torpid condition of Muslims of that era. Another symbol which is not only about Delhi but life itself is the symbol dead pigeons. It symbolized the dominant forces, which does not belongs to the instant culture. From the start of the novel to end, there is lot of difference in the life of Mir Nihal. In start the reader does not expect such a tragic removal of values of that era but at the end the situation becomes totally different and Mir Nihal, who was once a noble person, faces a miserable condition.
For what has been discussed above, it is crystal clear that writer does not write only the life of Delhi or a person but it is a tragic life shared by any such person who is living in such circumstances. Apparently it is the story of Mir Nihal and his city Delhi but every piece of literature has one thing in common and that is life. It is a life of every human being and at the end of the novel the reader feels that the center of our tragic sense is not only Delhi, but life itself.