Symbolism in "Twilight in Delhi" by Ahmed Ali
Ahmed Ali’s Twilight in Dehli of been regarded as masterpiece. His writing is immensely visual. He wants to recreate a world which is real, vivid and close to the actual traditional ways of old Delhi. Throughout the whole novel symbolical element ore used vehemently. His direct and indirect ways of using symbolism, is very unique in Pakistani literature. He wanted to go beyond sub-continental sounds and words, to convey the essence of traditional Indo-Muslims culture in which poetry plays a pivotal role. The poetry, use of Urdu words art of narration all seemed remarkable.
“Twilight in Delhi” a book which’s opening description has symbolic significance. It shows the down to earth life of Indians, the delay of Muslim civilization, the darkness in minds or in life which on a literal level is the product their own inefficiencies and mismanagement in handling Govt. or State.
“Night envelopes the city covering it like a blanket. In the dim starlight roofs and houses and by-lanes lie asleep wrapped in a restless slumber, breathing heavily as the heat become oppressive or shoots through the body like pain, in the courtyards, on the roofs, in the by-lanes, on the roads, men sleep on brave beds, balf naked, tired after the sore day’s labour. A few still walle on the other-wise deserted roads, hand in hand, talking; and some have jasmine garlands in their hands. The smell from the flowers escapes, scents a few yards of air around them and dies smothered by the narrow by lanes, from under the plants gutting out of shops, and luck the earthen cups out of which men had drunk milk and thrown away”
All deserted conditions of men and their surrounding shows nation miserable plight under the colonial forces rule,
Asgher longing for love.
Asgher character seemed disillusioned he was a typical Indian Muslim bachelor who were not sexual satiated and spend life with out any prior aim of life.his approach seemed un-realistic of the conclostions like in part 1 chapter 2 when he thought about Bilqeece Ahmed Ali’s ceates.
“His heart begins to beat and he follows her until he overtakes her, and arm in arm they go. But soon the road comes to an end, and in front there is a void, deep and dark and dim, As he looks its abynal depth his head beging to reel, and beads of perspiration came upon his brow. He turns to say is not there upon the brink of that void he finds himself alone, and are unknown fear grips his heart.
The character of Asgher symbolically represent the whole trading Muslim are generatin who desperately wanted something near because they in a hodge-podge of Indian and British culture. The disillusionment and not able to forsec the coming circumstances, and it also show uncertainity and nihilistir attitude from his part because he hadn’t the courage to make a charge.
Mir Nihal’s family represent the whole Muslim community in India.
As he want upstairs to release his pogroms he saw feather an the stairs and many more on the roof-when he looked inside the loft he found that there hand been massacre. He had forgotten to close the door last night and the cats had found their opportunity.
Mir Nihal’s family is an emboliment and a avid picture of the Indian Muslim, who had spend the same type of lining from many eneturies. Their skeptic approach, religiouns atmosphere belief an custom and traditions and supers titiors thinking all can be packed by Ahmed Ali in one family Death of Mir Nihal’s pigeons the chapter in which we came to know about death of Mir Nihal’s Pigeons; is highly symbolical. At was turning point in Mir Nihal’s life. A healthy tall and handsome person turned into the most weak person in the world. The whole episode symbolically fortell the defat of a certain traditional way of life; life which showed the static side of Muslim world life. The habit of keeping pigeons was old nobody thought about at this time so Mir Nihal had to adopt the change but he didn’t comprehend the reality or the modern standards.
This was also the most symbolic event of the novel that a cat kills many of Mir Nihal’s pigeons and Coppola (a famous critic who wrote many articles on twilight in Delhi) sees in it ‘a potent symbol Ali has used repeatedly in his short stories to represent cunning, stealth, and destruction. He also identifies the cat with the British who have succeeded in altering of not destroying these cherished ways of life by introducing new ideologies and mores; which Mir Nihal’s generation stands for.
Mir Nihal’s Paralysis
Mir Nihal’s Paralysis has highly symbolical meanings. It represents a parting away of old order or the end of the old orthodox beliefs. His desperation when came to know about his, sin he he bibuddin’s death he will not able to do; like in the last chapter Ahmed Ali relates about his paralyized condition
“His days were done and beauty had vanished from the earth. But life remained over which men had no command and must go on.
He was weary and tired, limp like a shaken hand. His world had fallen to pieces all around him, smothered by indifference and death. Yet he was still alive to mope like on owl, and count his days at the merey of time and fate.
He lay no the bed in a state of coma, too feeling less to sit up or think. The sun went down and hid his face. The rooks cawed and flew away”.
The whole gloomy picture of Mir Nihal’s paralyzed condition also shows his authority, or a rule’s end. His soul or inward condition is totally shattered, his dominating figure and his grandeur scattered or destroyed. He was more then nothing now.
Begum Nihal’s Blindness.
Begum Nihal’s Blindness also shows her lack of comprehension in maintaining or in making proper decisions. Her Blindness also shows the Blindness of that age’s women who can’t able to manage the matters.