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River of Fire (Aag ka Darya): A Novel

River of Fire (Aag ka Darya): A Novel
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Item Code: NAD260
Author: Qurratulain Hyder
Publisher: Women Unlimited
Edition: 2011
ISBN: 81867060X
Pages: 435
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
weight of the book: 476 gms
Back of the Book

It was the season of beerbahutis and rain clouds, some time in the 4th century BC. In a cook grotto Gautam Nilambar, a final year student at the Forest University of Shravasti, chances upon Hari Syhankar, a Princeling yearning to be a Buddhist monk. He falls in love 3with the beautiful, sharp-witted champak. And thus begins a magnificent tale that flows through time, through Maghadhan Pataliputra, the kingdom of Ouch, the British Raj and into a Time of Independence. This fiery river of Time flows along the banks of their loves as they are recreated over the centuries through the ripples and the eddies keeping them together, keeping them apart. The Story comes full circle in post-Partition India when Hari Shankar and his friend Gautam Nilambar Dutt meet in a grotto in the forest of Shrvasti, and mourn the passing of their loves into meaninglessness, their friends which have left for Pakistan, and what remains of their country of which they were once so passionately proud.

What happens between then and now is history, full of the clangor of conflict, the deviousness of colonizers, the apathy of maharajas, and the irrelevance of religion in defining Indian ness.

Now available in English for the first time, this great novel, originally published in Urdu in 1959, is easily one of the most discussed in contemporary India, widely acclaimed as a literary landmark.


1The Time of the Peacocks 1
2The Greek Traveller 8
3TheSages’Grove 15
4Aryani, Goddess of the Woods 23
5The Autumn Moon 29
6Sudarshan Yakshini—Tree Sprite, Good to Behold 37
7Birdman of the Crossways 41
8The Theatre in Pataliputra 45
9The River 50
10The Marvels and Strange Tales of Hindustan 54
11The University Town of Jaunpur 63
12Hussain Shah Nayak 70
13“Champavati”: A Sufi Allegory 75
14The Cavalcade 79
15A Poet and a Musician 86
16Kamal Among the Patched-smock People 94
17Folk Singers of Bengal 99
18Cyril Ashley of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge 105
19The Abominable Customs of the Gentoos and Mussalmans 114
20The Confluence of Oceans 118
21Nabob Cyril Ashley and his Bibi 124
22AFaery Tale Kingdom 130
23Farewell to Camelot 139
24The Pagoda Tree 145
25TheWaterwayofTears 151
26The Queen and her Knights 157
27Bakht Khan, Lord Governor-General 165
28Champabai, Chowdhrain of Lucknow, (Photograph by Mashkoor-ud-Daulah, 1868) 172
29Sunset and Sunrise Over the Gomti 175
30The Bridge 180
31Shahzada Gulfam of Badshah Bagh 183
32A Spray of Roses 194
33Warren Hastings Bahadur’s Haveli 200
34The Maharajah’s Rolls Royce 205
35The Last Song of Vajid Ali Shah 208
36The Moon Garden 213
37OvertheWaves 221
38Inquilab, Zindabad! 224
39Gautam Nilamber of Santiniketan 237
40Quality Street 240
41InderSabha 244
42The Sage’s Grove 252
43The Forest of Arden 255
44Miss Champa Ahmed (Graduation Portrait by C. Mull, Hazrat Ganj, Lucknow) 263
45The Broken Tanpura of Sultan Hussain Shah Nayak of Jaunpur269
46The Hon’ble Cyril Ashley of Sidney Sussex College 276
47Young Indians in Mid-century England 283
48Lala Rukh 290
49The Revolutionaries 294
50The BBC Canteen 299
51John and Mary’s Painting Book 304
52The Boat-House 306
53The Trumpeter 311
54Queen Mary’s Funeral 315
55EndofanExile 317
56Light on the Hilltop 322
57LaPaloma 326
58Autumn Journal 328
59A Bunch of Heather Leaves 332
60The Garden Room 337
61‘The Laurels’ 345
62The Fugitive 348
63The Urn 353
64Windsong on the Heath 355
65Stateless 365
66Letter from Karachi 374
67The Road to Sylhet 379
68The Circuit House 382
69The Tea Planter 388
70The Pomegranate Tree 396
71The Elusive Bird of the Doon Valley 404
72Sudarshan Yakshini of the National Museum 410
73The Highway to Shravasti 420

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