Está en la página 1de 4

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 in direct 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 a rt 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 leve l 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
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 de sperately 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, religio uns 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 turni ng 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.
Cat episode.
This was also the most symbolic event of the novel that a cat kills many o f 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
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.

Art of Characterisation - Ahmed Ali

“Twilight in Delhi” by Ahmed Ali is a unique piece of literature in the History of Third World Literature. Ahmed
Ali has used descriptive method to show the characters in the novel’s plot development, every character is close to the
actual condition of Delhi, his realistic mode of expression in describing the relation of plot and character is
remarkable. The opening section of the novel and its first chapter seems as a prologue to city’s actual condition and its
Mainly the whole is based on historical facts and figures of the India in 1857 till the early part of twentieth
century. Apart from this novel it is a story of a character Mir Nihal. Mir Nihal seems as a protagonist of the novel,
showed every habit and attitude which the Muslims had in that condition. His son Asgher is another Major character
of the novel, seems a part from Mir Nihal’s view of life. He adopts the new trends and ways. Which British has
introduced in this society. But at root he is the same as the Muslim generation ignorant, frustrated, confused, not able
to get a particular direction or we can say “a directionless new generation”.
Ahmed Ali also shows complete picture of female society Female characters like Begum Nihal Dilchain,
Babban jan, Begum Shahbaz, Bilqeece, and Zohra; all of them are the part and parcel of this man made community.
They have their own ways of living which the outside world not able to comprehend and they themselves are also not
able to comprehend that how they spend their frustrated life.
It seems that Ali tried his level best to maintain a connection between the characters and the historical events.
Because every character closely by resembled with the actual condition. The events of the 14 September 1857 which are
described in the twilight of Delhi, have close relation with them. There are also many historical events which are
portrayed in this novel like Mir Nihal and Begam Nihal’s remembering about the pathetic conditions of British tyrany.
So if we look at Ali’s art of characterization on big canvass then we can say; he has used direct indirect way of
describing the characters. Every character, from its appearance to his way of life, is remarkably close to reality. So it
can said that Ahmed Ali brilliantly portrayed the whole condition of Delhi and her inhabitants and his art
of characterization shows his sagacity and brilliance of thought.

“Waiting for Godot” is an existentialist play because it has clear tints of existentialism in it. If we study
the term existentialism we would come to know that it is a philosophical doctrine which lays stress on
the existence with his concrete experience and solidities. However, “Waiting for Godot” is an
existentialist play for it embodies Christian existentialism. Christian existentialism stress the idea that:
I God only, man may find freedom for tension.
For Christian, existentialism religious leads to God, whereas according to the Atheistic Existentialism,
it is based on the idea of Jean Paul Sartre and Martin Heidegger who state that:
Man is alone in a godless universe.
The comparative study of both philosophies helps us to prove “Waiting for Godot” as a Christian
existentialistic play.

We know that man is confronting the problem of his existence as a being. He is striving for his survival
and to control the bridle of the pacing time. He is struggling to save his “individuality” and this very
idea leads to the philosophy of existentialism.

The word “Existentialism” stands for one’s “awareness” of one’s “beingness”. It stands for a vital
principal of life. “Waiting for Godot” resembles the existentialist literature because it deals not only
with existence or identity but also with the momentary and the internal time. The time mentioned in
“Waiting for Godot” is related to man’s mental condition. For instance, the major problem for the
tramps is to make time pass in such a way that they are least bothered by it. Vladimir and Estragon
constantly complain of the slowness of time passing and do their best to hurry it with their futile
diversions. Estragon says:
Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it’s awful.
But we know that outside the natural time, its consequences flow on. For example, the tree has grown
five or six leaves. Pozzo has grown blind and Lucky dumb. Here Estragon remarks:
They all change, only we not.
It should be noted that waiting the natural course of time, they think they would believe themselves
from all of their problems without doing any effort. They might die naturally and save the effort of
hanging themselves.

There is a distinction between the momentary and eternal time for it deals with the question of
existence and identity. This difference can also be seen in this play. In “Waiting for Godot” physical
time is sometimes taken seriously and sometimes it is ridiculed or condemned. Estragon once succeeds
in confusing Vladimir about the passage of time as well as about the day of week. In the same sentence
the tramps speak of a million years ago and in the nineties. We have no reason to be certain that the
second description is anyone factual than the first.
Doubts about time make the tramps doubtful about their existence and identity. One tramp claims to
be of the part, it is doubted by the other. Their own identity and existence in time is also questionable.
One day seems to have elapsed between the first act and the second, yet it becomes extremely difficult
to differentiate this day with the previous by any important physical evidence.

The play “Waiting for Godot” has all the traits of existentialism both Vladimir and Estragon represent
the man in general who is facing the problems of his existence in this world. They are interdependent
like all other man. Hope for salvation is the subject of play and is the problem faced by the whole
human race. Representing the man in general, the two tramps realize the futility of their exercise and
we note that they are merely filling up the hours with the pointless activity. Hence their ‘waiting’ is
mechanical and deals with problem of existentialism.

To conclude we say that the whole picture shows a pretty hopelessness. Neither time nor existence,
neither reality nor memory or the past have any meaning or significance. Acts are meaningless, time
does not flow consecutively, memory seems deceptive, existence is an impression or perhaps a dream
and happiness is extremely and affliction is crystal clear through the situation of two tramps. They are
on the point of becoming hollow philosophies of existence but demand no other equipment in an
audience than the bond of common perception