There is something to be said for the firm approach when it comes to parenting. I remember the days when I was around 8 or 9 years old, being ‘forced’ to go to Punjabi class. All these years later, looking back now not only do I understand why it was important then that I learnt Punjabi, but I also am thankful that my parents for taking this firm approach.
The biggest obstacle I’ve found to the progress of my reading of Punjabi has been the lack of good stories that one can relate to (specially if you are young). The standard stock seems to consist of stories of the clever lumbri (fox) and of the crow.
Enter Nanak Singh into my life (better late than never). Very soon, I started reading his short stories not just to practice my Punjabi reading, but because I enjoyed them. What a good read! Thoroughly recommended. Pehaps you can get your local library to stock his books.
Born 4th July 1897, Nanak Singh was one of the best selling novelist in India for thirty to forty years. He wrote over 50 books including novels and collection of short stories. He is considered the pioneer novelist in Punjabi.
Recognized with many awards, including Punjab's highest literary award in 1960. his great historical novel Ik Mian Do Talwaran (One Sheath and Two Swords, 1959) won him India’s highest literary honour, the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1962.
His novel Pavitar Paapi (Saintly Sinner) written in 1942 became immensely popular and won him literary acclaim. It was translated into Hindi and several other Indian languages and was adapted into a smash hit movie in 1968.
Natasha Tolstoy, granddaughter of the World Renowned Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, translated Nanak Singh's novel "Chitta Lahu" (White Blood) into Russian. She visited Nanak Singh in Amritsar to present the first copy of the translated novel to him.
Nanak Singh passed away in 1971.
Nanak Singh with Sobha Singh
Read more at 10/10/05