Hindi literature is a reservoir of beautiful stories that we have possibly ignored forever.
However, it is high time you add a few amazing pieces of writing to your reading list – and these classics are perfect to start your journey into the world of Hindi literature.
1. Yama by Mahadevi Verma
Mahadevi Verma, dubbed a “modern day Meera,” was one of the four founding writers of Hindi literature’s Neo romantic period. Yama is a collection of some of her best poetry, and it revolves around stunning animal imagery. It is also the book for which she was awarded the Gyanpeeth Award.
2. Nirmala by Premchand
Premchand’s novels are difficult to choose because they all bring to light unpleasant realities of life, presented with his typical sardonic twist. Nirmala, on the other hand, stands out as one of his finest works, as it tells the storey of a child bride and her very senior husband. His descriptive language and complex character portrayals make for a thought provoking read.
3. Kamayani by Jaishankar Prasad
Jaishankar Prasad’s writings are known for their usage of Sanskrit terminology, but never Urdu ones. Kamayani is a complicated epic poem about the creation of the first man on Earth, but it’s well worth the effort because of the detailed descriptions and philosophical implications.
4. Chandrakanta Santati by Babu Devakinandan Khatri
This storey is a fantastic pleasure for fans of fiction and imagination. As any fan of magical fiction knows, the details can make or break a mystical work, and it is precisely these nuances that Babu Devakinandan Khatri nails in Chandrakanta Santati. It can be read independently, but it is also part of a trilogy.
5. Madhushala by Harivansh Rai Bachchan
Madhushala is unquestionably one of the most wellknown works in Hindi literature, and with good reason. This volume of 135 quatrains is known for its contribution to Neo romanticism and is full of exquisite metaphors. Despite the fact that the poem appears to be about booze, it is actually about life and its intricacies. A version recited by his son, actor Amitabh Bachchan, is also available.
6. Gunahon Ka Devta by Dharamveer Bharti
One of the most well known love stories in Hindi literature, this moving tale is presented in such a way that the reader can’t help but empathise with the protagonists’ feelings. The unfulfilled love tale of Chander and Sudha is as raw as it is poignant. This is a must read for romance and literature fans alike.
7. Kashi Ka Assi by Kashi Nath Singh
This tale, set in Varanasi, one of India’s holiest cities, is anything but religious. It’s a realistic novel set in a place where people converse on ghats rather than cafes, where folks are more honest than cautious, and where societal changes are subtle but not ignorant. For fans of humour and culture, the novel on which the film Mohalla Assi is based is a must-read.
8. Rashmirathi by Ramdhari Singh Dinkar
Dinkar, one of the most well known Hindi authors, wrote extensively on the Hindu mythological epic Mahabharata. Rashmirathi, which means “rider of the sun’s chariot,” is a poem about Karna. The poem takes a distinct look to the saga, emphasising Karna’s misfortunes.
9. Maila Aanchal by Phanishwar Nath Renu
Maila Aanchal, widely regarded as one of the best examples of a regional book, perfectly portrays the distinctiveness of the location in which it is set—a village in Bihar. Because the characters’ behavioural patterns, superstitions, and other beliefs are firmly anchored in the place in which they live, the location plays just as important a role in the development of the storey as the characters do.
10. Tamas by Bhisham Sahni
Bhisham Sahni’s work, which won the Sahitya Akademi prize in 1975, is a brilliantly descriptive tale that provokes a variety of emotions with every line! Tamas – which means darkness – is the narrative of a little hamlet caught in the midst of violent riots set against the backdrop of partition.