Aleph to publish The Greatest Punjabi Stories Ever Told by Selected and edited by Renuka Singh and Balbir Madhopuri

Pic Credit: Aleph


The Greatest Punjabi Stories Ever Told features some of the best short fiction to emerge from Punjab over the last century. Covering four generations of Punjabi writers, the anthology includes celebrated storytellers such as Gurbaksh Singh, Balwant Gargi, Sant Singh Sekhon, and Amrita Pritam as well as accomplished contemporary writers like Ajmer Sidhu, Sarghi, and Jatinder Singh Hans.

The themes covered in these stories are diverse and wide-ranging. Ajeet Cour’s ‘Green Sparrows’ and Ram Sarup Ankhi’s ‘That Woman!’ plunge into the breakdown of family relationships. Kartar Singh Duggal’s ‘Majha Is Not Dead’, Sukhwant Kaur Mann’s ‘The Survivors’, and Gulzar Singh Sandhu’s ‘Hopes Shattered’ probe urban and rural lives in the region. Mohinder Singh Sarna’s ‘Savage Harvest’, Sujaan Singh’s ‘Sunrise at Last’, and Gurdev Singh Rupana’s ‘The Wind’ explore the Partition and its violent aftermath—events that shaped modern Punjab. Stories such as Nanak Singh’s ‘Bowl of Milk’, Gurbachan Singh Bhullar’s ‘I Am Not Ghaznavi’, Bachint Kaur’s ‘Eradicator of Suffering’, and Sukirat’s ‘Home’ probe the human psyche in times of crisis. Patriotism, martyrdom, and state repression are also explored: Gurmukh Singh Musafir’s ‘Daughter of the Rebel’ is the story of an ailing girl who fights for the freedom of the country in her own way; Kulwant Singh Virk’s ‘The Proverbial Bullock’ shows how martyrdom is always around the corner for our soldiers; and Kesra Ram’s ‘Whither My Native Land’ brings to the fore the brutality encountered by migrant workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Taken together, the thirty stories in this anthology capture the essence of Punjabiyat—what it means to be Punjabi—and present a unique portrait of the land and its people.


Renuka Singh is a sociologist and retired as a professor from the Centre for the Study of Social Systems, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She has been working in the field of gender studies, diaspora, and Buddhist studies for over four decades and has travelled extensively, delivering lectures at various seminars and universities abroad. She has been associated with the Women’s Studies Centre, Delhi University, Centre for Social Research, and was a research fellow at the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research on Women at Oxford University. She was also a Senior UGC Fellow and is currently the director of the Tushita Mahayana Meditation Centre, New Delhi, and the chairperson of Punjabi Sahit Sabha, New Delhi. She has authored and edited several books that have been translated into many languages. Some of these titles are The Womb of Mind, Women Reborn, The Path to Tranquillity, The Transformed Mind, Many Ways to Nirvana, The Path of the Buddha, Becoming Buddha, Dalai Lama’s Little Book of Buddhism, Dual Identity: Indian Diaspora and Other Essays, Boundless As the Sky, Dalai Lama’s Little Book of Mysticism, and The Little Book of Encouragement

Balbir Madhopuri is an eminent Punjabi writer and translator. His writings generally focus on the lives of the oppressed and depressed classes, especially Dalits. His experiments with truth began at a young age when he worked as a child labourer and agricultural worker. His autobiography Chhangiya Rukh in Punjabi was published in 2002 by Navyug Publishers. Its English translation was published in 2010 by Oxford University Press. As of 2023, Polish and Russian translations of his autobiography are due to be published. He has authored eleven books, translated forty-five books, and edited the same number in Punjabi. He has been the recipient of many awards. His novel Mitti Bol Paye (2020) won the prestigious International Dhahan Punjabi Literature Prize, 2021. He retired from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, GOI, as Deputy Director in 2015. Presently, he is the Director of Punjabi Bhawan, and editor of Samkali Sahit, a Punjabi quarterly of Punjabi Sahit Sabha.

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