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Review

Fool Bahadur is a delightful sketch of a mofussil in late-colonial times, warts and all. Set in Bihar Sharif, the novella takes us to the underbelly of the locale--a place rife with endless intrigues and dark foolish ambitions. Dressed immaculately as a critical insider, Jaynath Pati puts a fictional spin to his own experiences as a law-officer, decrying the heartless bearings of patriarchy, laying bare the illusions of feudalism, and satirizing the corruption bred at large by colonial paraphernalia. In that sense, Phool Bahadur sits easily in the tradition of Balmukund Gupta, Fakir Mohan Senapati, and later, of Shrilal Shukla. Abhay K's apt translation, richly complimented by an exhaustive introduction, makes our first major foray into Magahi literature thoroughly wondrous and stimulating.--Gautam Choubey

Sharp and satirical, the English translation of Fool bahadur by Abhay K. is a compulsive read that remains contemporary even after the passage of almost a century. The caustic portrayal of Mofussil life remains as relevant now as it was then.--Namita Gokhale

About the Author

Jayanath Pati (1890–1939) was born in Sadipur village of Nawada subdivision of Gaya district, Bihar. After completing his intermediate (10+2), he cleared the exam to become a mukhtar (a lawyer knowledgeable in British laws during the colonial Raj in India) and set up a successful practice in Nawada. He was well versed in Urdu
and Persian and knew Sanskrit, English, Bangla and Latin. His first novel, Sunita (1927), was about a woman who is married to an elderly man, the manuscript of which seems to be lost. His second novel, Fool Bahadur, was published on April Fool’s Day in 1928 followed by his third novel, Gadahnit, in the same year.



Abhay K. from Nalanda, Bihar, is a poet, editor, translator, and the author of several poetry collections. His poems have appeared in over 100 literary magazines including Poetry Salzburg Review and Asia Literary Review, among others. His ‘Earth Anthem’ has been translated into over 150 languages and his translations of Kalidasa’s Meghaduta and Ritusamhara from the Sanskrit won him the KLF Poetry Book of the Year Award (2020–21). He received the SAARC Literary Award 2013 and was invited to record his poems at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., in 2018. His forthcoming poetry collection is titled In Light of Africa.
9780143463719
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Fool Bahadur

Fool Bahadur

ISBN: 9780143463719
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Details
  • ISBN: 9780143463719
  • Author: Jayanath Pati
  • Publisher: Penguin Modern Classics
  • Pages: 112
  • Format: Paperback
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Book Description

Review

Fool Bahadur is a delightful sketch of a mofussil in late-colonial times, warts and all. Set in Bihar Sharif, the novella takes us to the underbelly of the locale--a place rife with endless intrigues and dark foolish ambitions. Dressed immaculately as a critical insider, Jaynath Pati puts a fictional spin to his own experiences as a law-officer, decrying the heartless bearings of patriarchy, laying bare the illusions of feudalism, and satirizing the corruption bred at large by colonial paraphernalia. In that sense, Phool Bahadur sits easily in the tradition of Balmukund Gupta, Fakir Mohan Senapati, and later, of Shrilal Shukla. Abhay K's apt translation, richly complimented by an exhaustive introduction, makes our first major foray into Magahi literature thoroughly wondrous and stimulating.--Gautam Choubey

Sharp and satirical, the English translation of Fool bahadur by Abhay K. is a compulsive read that remains contemporary even after the passage of almost a century. The caustic portrayal of Mofussil life remains as relevant now as it was then.--Namita Gokhale

About the Author

Jayanath Pati (1890–1939) was born in Sadipur village of Nawada subdivision of Gaya district, Bihar. After completing his intermediate (10+2), he cleared the exam to become a mukhtar (a lawyer knowledgeable in British laws during the colonial Raj in India) and set up a successful practice in Nawada. He was well versed in Urdu
and Persian and knew Sanskrit, English, Bangla and Latin. His first novel, Sunita (1927), was about a woman who is married to an elderly man, the manuscript of which seems to be lost. His second novel, Fool Bahadur, was published on April Fool’s Day in 1928 followed by his third novel, Gadahnit, in the same year.



Abhay K. from Nalanda, Bihar, is a poet, editor, translator, and the author of several poetry collections. His poems have appeared in over 100 literary magazines including Poetry Salzburg Review and Asia Literary Review, among others. His ‘Earth Anthem’ has been translated into over 150 languages and his translations of Kalidasa’s Meghaduta and Ritusamhara from the Sanskrit won him the KLF Poetry Book of the Year Award (2020–21). He received the SAARC Literary Award 2013 and was invited to record his poems at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., in 2018. His forthcoming poetry collection is titled In Light of Africa.

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