A Life Incomplete
All that sustains Kuldeep Singh through his dark days in jail, where he is serving a term for participating in anti-British agitations, are thoughts of his beautiful wife and the dream of going home. But he returns to find that his wife has died, leaving behind their infant child. As his world collapses around him, he negotiates the divergent pulls exerted by people around him: a holy man who advocates renunciation; his childhood friend Saroj, who has always loved him; and the tempestuous Prakash who hides an unsavoury past.
Sahitya Akademi Award-winning author Nanak Singh (1897 - 1971) draws on personal experiences to create this compelling portrait of Punjab in the 1920s. Originally published in Punjabi in 1940, Adh Khidya Phul is an intense meditation on the choices people make and the consequences these may have. The author’s engagement with social issues like superstition and blind faith, religious bigotry, casteism and the emancipation of women seems as fresh and relevant today as it did when he wrote this book.
Fluently translated by Navdeep Suri, A Life Incomplete introduces a stalwart of Punjabi literature to a new readership.