Alms in the Name of a Blind Horse

by Gurdial Singh, Rana Nayar

  1. ISBN: 978-81-291-3731-9
  2. Pages: 186 pages
  3. Date: September 2016


Alms in the Name of a Blind Horse (Anhe Ghore Da Daan) is a modern classic that derives its title from an ancient myth associated with the Churning of the Ocean, in which Lord Vishnu had been less than fair in his dispensation to the Asuras, supposedly the progenitors of latter-day Dalits. Through this novel, Gurdial Singh emphasizes that just as the Asuras had to depend upon the arbitrary dispensation of the Lord, in the same way the modern Dalits have to depend on the mercy and compassion of the village overlords. On the day of the lunar and solar eclipse, they still go around asking for the alms in the name of the blind horse. The events of this novel are confined to one such day of lunar eclipse in the lives of its characters. Often it is believed that poor, landless and marginalized characters such as Melu, his bapu, his Chacha Partapa, etc. lead banal and uneventful lives, which are not even worthy of a description, let alone artistic treatment. Exploding this myth, Gurdial Singh has created this ‘whirlpool of a novella’ around unending spate of events that enmesh hapless lives of its characters, all in course of a single day.


Gurdial Singh is often hailed as the most important living Punjabi novelist and has been internationally honoured by the Punjabi-speaking diaspora. The National Book Trust has translated his Marhi Da Diva in all Indian languages and the Sahitya Akademi has similarly honoured his Adh Chanani Raat. He has also been translated into Russian and other foreign languages.

Rana Nayar is a translator of poetry and short fiction from Punjabi to English. He has more than forty volumes of poetry and translation works to his credit. He is also a theatre artist and has participated in a number of major full-length productions.

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