River of Fire: Aag Ka Darya

River of Fire: Aag Ka Darya

Qurratulain Hyder / Sep 22, 2019

River of Fire Aag Ka Darya Never before available in English River of Fire originally published as Aag ka Darya in is without question the most important novel of th century Urdu literature An amazing sui generis boo

  • Title: River of Fire: Aag Ka Darya
  • Author: Qurratulain Hyder
  • ISBN: 9780811214186
  • Page: 165
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Never before available in English, River of Fire, originally published as Aag ka Darya in 1959, is without question the most important novel of 20th century Urdu literature An amazing, sui generis book, River of Fire spans two and a half millennia Set during four Indian epochs the classical, the medieval, the colonial, and the modern post national , the novel is a meditNever before available in English, River of Fire, originally published as Aag ka Darya in 1959, is without question the most important novel of 20th century Urdu literature An amazing, sui generis book, River of Fire spans two and a half millennia Set during four Indian epochs the classical, the medieval, the colonial, and the modern post national , the novel is a meditation on history and human nature, tracing four souls through time Each section is linked by characters who bear, in every period, the same names Gautam, Champa, Kamal, and Cyril Gautam appearing first as a student of mysticism at the Forest University of Shravasti in the 4th century B.C.E and Champa throughout embodying the enigmatic experience of Indian women begin and end the novel Muslim Kamal appears mid way through, as the Muslims did, and loses himself in the Indian landscape and Cyril, the Englishman, appears later still In different eras, different relations from among the four romance and war, possession and dispossession Yet together the characters reflect the oneness of human nature amidst the nationalist and religious upheavals of Indian history, Hyder argues for a culture that is inclusive.Interweaving parables, legends, dreams, diaries, and letters, Hyder s prose is lyrical and witty There is really no book like River of Fire Qurratulain Hyder was awarded the Bharatiya Gnanpith, India s highest literary award, in 1989, and here is her masterpiece, her broadest canvas and her finest art.

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      165 Qurratulain Hyder
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      Posted by:Qurratulain Hyder
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    About "Qurratulain Hyder"

      • Qurratulain Hyder

        Qurratulain Hyder was an influential Indian Urdu novelist and short story writer, an academic, and a journalist One of the most outstanding literary names in Urdu literature, she is best known for her magnum opus, Aag Ka Darya River of Fire , a novel first published in Urdu in 1959 from Lahore, Pakistan, that stretches from the 4th century BC to post partition of India Popularly known as Ainee Apa among her friends and admirers, she was the daughter of writer and a pioneer of Urdu short story writing Sajjad Haidar Yildarim 1880 1943 Her mother, Nazar Zahra, who wrote at first as Bint i Nazrul Baqar and later as Nazar Sajjad Hyder 1894 1967 , was also a novelist and protegee of Muhammadi Begam and her husband Syed Mumtaz Ali, who published her first novel.She received the 1967 Sahitya Akademi Award in Urdu for Patjhar Ki Awaz Short stories , 1989 Jnanpith Award for Akhir e Shab Ke Humsafar, and the highest award of the Sahitya Akademi, India s National Academy of Letters, the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship in 1994 She also received the Padma Bhushan from the Government of India in 2005.


    1. *I read the English version of this book, so my will review will be based on that only(I've heard that some changes were made in the English translation, as author herself translated the book)*This book is called the Hyder's magnum opus, it justified every bit of that claim. The book starts from the time of Gautama Buddha and ends after the independence of India, pausing at the many crucial epochs of history. Its a story that waves in time and Characters are woven in such a way that it holds you [...]

    2. One of the best books I’ve ever read by an Indian author! This is Qurratulain Hyder’s “transcreated” English version of her original Urdu magnum opus “Aag Ka Dariya”. Sweeping through over two thousand years of Indian history - from the Vedic times to post-independence - Hyder’s novel blurs the lines of religious differences while simultaneously glorifying the millennia of Hindustan’s rich heritage. Four characters of Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and Christian faith, reappear througho [...]

    3. If a novel forces you to stop now and then, and consider your own life and it's extensions and from where it got extended, then there should be no doubt about the eloquent depth of that novel. The story creeps inside you, bit by bit, until it permanently extends itself inside you. For me, such was the experience of reading Aag ka Darya. It demanded a great deal of effort to read it in Urdu, for like most forth generations of the post-colonial countries, our attachment with and command over our l [...]

    4. 4.5/5There are worlds for which time refused to slow for, so as revenge their literature refuses to slow for time. Stay as long as I do in the clash of the impolite conversation and the bowels of , and you'll lose your liking for stability, your need for knowing all. South Asia and the borders of the Middle East are not the only places where this is possible, so if you believe stretching myself too thin has made my recognitions glib when I making comparisons to The Discovery of India and The Sat [...]

    5. "3 it's not you,its me stars"It took me two long months to finish it and I tried,I really did.But I can't recall anything I read.I think I'll try rereading it in a few more years after improving my Urdu.

    6. “All things, O priests, are on fire. The eye, O priests, is on fire; forms are on fire, eye-consciousness is on fire. . . the ear is on fire; sounds are on fire, the body is on fire; things tangible are on fire. . . the mind is on fire; ideas are on fire. . . with the fire of passion, with the fire of hatred, with the fire of infatuation, with birth, old age, death, sorrow, lamentation, misery, grief and despair are they on fire. . . fire. . . fire. . . The body is like a house which is on fir [...]

    7. One of the most beautiful books I've ever read. Hope I can some day gather the strength to read it in Urdu.

    8. The characters are weaker than I expected. The historical breadth of this novel is so large that four hundred pages is really not enough to do justice to the generations that populate it: history overwhelms the psychology of the main characters. They come across as players on a vast stage, not as people. Although motivations and imagination are explored throughout, I never found much satisfaction in them.On this account I give the benefit of the doubt to the author, given the novel's reputation [...]

    9. When I started to read it, it was being felt very boring as it had a lot Sanskrit words, terms and philosophies. So it wasn't easy to keep reading for an illiterate guy like me.I didn't stop reading and I gradually I got hold of it when I reached in mid of it.My head kept shivering and my spine felt a wave when I finally finished.I just want to rip my shirt and want to start dirge that I really don't know history where am I standing right now. I am holding a hammer in my hand and I am imagining [...]

    10. This is a philosophically enriched novel with few original and extraordinary point of view on the Partition of India and Israel's ideology. It raises many fundamental questions as well. The only minus point of this book is its 'difficulty'. It took a lot of patience and effort to continue reading this piece of Urdu literature. Those who want to read this extra ordinary novel must keep in mind that this novel is going to require a re-read.

    11. Ghaas ki bheeni khushbu,pathron ki khunki aur mitti ki quwat us ne apney talwon ke neeche mehsoos ki. us ne bazoo phela kar hawa ko chua aur aahista aahista dohrana shorow kia: Zameen! teri paharian,barfani pahar aur jangal muskura rahey hain. main teri satah par khara hoon,main magloob nahin hua,mujhe koi gazand nahin puhuncha mujhe zakham nahin lagey. main salim hoon,mujhe koi khatam nahin kar saka(Aag ka dariya se iqtibas)

    12. "We have all betrayed one another."The story of India's Lost Generations does get a little lost in translation. Seems a bit haphazard and jagged at times too. But the book's scope is still truly magnificent. The book seems more poignant in light of BJP's win in UP today (March 11) since a large chunk of the book too deals with UP. The fanatical idealism gives way to melancholic reality and I guess that's where I connect we connect with the characters. The plot's very confusing, but for the chara [...]

    13. I just finished Urdu version of this book, but the so called Urdu version is actually in Hindi which i did not understand and thats why i did not understand most of the sentences, parables etc.The parts which i understand i did enjoy them, especially the first period in which the author talks about the time and people of India and forest university of of Shravasti in the 4th century B.C.E and its student Gautam who appear in the same spirit along with other characters in later decades. I will li [...]

    14. I can easily imagine Qurratulain Hyder rejoicing with culmination at having written Aag Ka Darya. Undoubtedly a masterpiece, now I know why it's often considered as the greatest Urdu novel ever. Immaculate research, absorbing characters and beautiful Urdu prose are what make Aag Ka Darya the phenomenon it is. Covering four eras of India's history spread over some two thousand years, the novel plays amazingly along the merciless passing of time. The flowing river which she uses as an emblem of th [...]

    15. i really wanted to like this book, and i really enjoyed the first segment---but then, maybe because I was always kind of sleepy while reading, I got really confused at the transition from one segment to the next and I had no idea what was going on. So I gave up and went to sleep. And the next night I still didn't understand. so I recommend this for people more alert than myself. maybe if the book had some "for dummies" features, like section breaks announcing massive changes in time and space, t [...]

    16. The novel covers two thousand years of Indian history and culture in fictional form. But I am afraid I enjoyed it because my educational background is in history of art and religions of India. It may not be as delightful for a person with no background in this field. However, I feel certain Qurratulain Hyder's original novel, Aag Ka Darya in Urdu would be much more pleasurable and profound.

    17. Aag Ka Duriya (River of Fire) is a landmark novel that explores the vast sweep of time and history. It tells a story that moves from the fourth century BC to the post-Independence period in India and Pakistan, pausing at the many crucial epochs of history. Aamer Hussein in The Times Literary Supplement wrote that  'River of Fire'  is to Urdu fiction what 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' is to Hispanic literature. 

    18. An Urdu classic and filled with beautiful symbology, but at times it was frustratingly slow and at others it seemed to cut out just as it got good or skip so many pieces that I wasn't able to follow. Close to no character development early on.

    19. That invincibility when you know you control all, you can conquer all. When you read it, it grows on you and long after you are done reading it for the first time, even in your sub conscience, it keeps growing on you layer by layer

    20. Ainee aapa's thoughts reverberate heavily during my village visits. The cusp of urdu and brij bhasha is remarkable.

    21. Frankly speaking, I had to push myself through first 10-20 pages but after that the book held me so tight that it has become All time favorite of mine.

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