Updated: July 31, 2016 4:58:51 pm
It is Munshi Premchand’s 136th birthday today. Google has dedicated a doodle to the great writer to mark the occasion. The doodle reflects a rural India, which influenced Premchand’s most works.
“His last and most famous novel, Godaan (1936), inspired today’s doodle, which shows Premchand (sometimes referred to as “Upanyas Samrat,” or, “emperor among novelists”) bringing his signature working-class characters to life. On what would have been his 136th birthday, the illustration pays tribute to the multitude of important stories he told,” Google says on its website.
Born Dhanpat Rai on July 31, 1880 at Lamhi village in Uttar Pradesh, Premchand started writing at the age of 13. He wrote nearly 300 short stories, novels and essays in his lifetime.
Premchand had been a teacher for many years before he quit his job to join the non-cooperation movement in the 1920s. He chose Hindi as his medium of work, but was proficient in Urdu and Persian too, and had also learnt English, though he had to discontinue studies after his father’s death.
Watch: Remembering Munshi Premchand On His 136th Birth Anniversary
He wrote very little about himself but his works draw a lot of influence from his personal life. His mother died when he was just eight and his father remarried. Premchand was married off at the age of 15, apparently to a woman older to him. After his father’s death in 1897, Premchand had to shoulder the responsibility of his entire family comprising his stepmother, wife and siblings at a very young age. It is said he never got along with his wife who eventually left him and went back to her father. Premchand did not try to bring her back and later married a child widow, Shivarani Devi, in 1906. He had to face a lot of opposition because of this step, but the marriage lasted and they had three children, Amrit Rai, Sripath Rai, Kamala Devi.
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