INTRODUCTION: of Macaulay prepared in 1833 contributed for the


      Indian English literature has intersted a
pursuit read interest recently both in India and abroad. It refers to the body
of work by writers in India who write in the English language. It has come to
hold attention of  greater sense in world
literature. It is now realised that Indian English Literature and common wealth
literature are in no way subordinate to other literatures. The writers in
Australia, NewZealand, West Indies, South Africa, Canada, Nigeria and India
have contributed essentially to the modren English literature.

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     Fiction, having been the most powerful
form of literary assertion today, has acquired a eminent position in Indian
English literature. It is generally bring that the novel  is the most respectable way of expression of
experiences and ideas in the context of our time. The Indian fiction in English
has been bring world wide attention. One can wonder whether it is a part of the
Indian tradition or the European or the English tradition. The first Indian
English Novel was written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee who left it defective
and swiched over to Bengali in his mother tongue. The novel ‘Rajmohan’s Wife’ appeared in 1864 and
composed a history whose roots have gone deep enough by this day. It was  in 1792 that Charles Grant, one of the
Directions of the East India Company, had supplicated to make the english
language , but grant’s impercation could externalize only with the active
support of Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Lord Macaulay. The memorable ‘minute’ of Macaulay
prepared in 1833 contributed for the acceptance of English as the median of
guidence in schools and colleges.

     English was, as a result, introduced in
educational institutions and important officers and judicial courts,
dislocating the age-old customs and traditions of Sanskrit or Arabic study. It
was assumed to open up fresh passages of thought and culture, art and
literature, science and technology, and hence it was strongly backed by
advanced thinkers like Thakur Dwarka Nath Tagore, Keshub Chandra Sen, Raja Ram
Mohan Roy and the followers of the Brahmo Samaj.

     The exposition of Lord William Bentinck
dated 7th March, 1835, favouring ‘English education alone’ and ‘a
knowledge of English literature and science through the medium of the English
language’, fixed the fate of the native inherentences and offered a fresh
fillip to the growth and expansion of English in India. The exemplary work of
the Christian missionaries-Carey, Ward and Marshman, Lewis Rice, cotter, Brown,
F.E. Key, Nicol Macnicol, and a host of others proved imperative in
channellising the course of education and literature in this renascent country.
Of  the three facters directing forcefully
towards the precipitation of  a confusing
and melted situation, the perseverance of the christian missionaries finds a
merited description in one of  prof.
K.R.S. Iyengar’s  critical works on
Indo-English literature.        

     Post-independence Indian English fiction
retains the stregth which it had during the gandhian age. The tradition of
social realism rooted on a sound footing earlier is still protected by
novelists like Bhabani Bhattacharya. The fiction of B.Rajan clarifies the strains
of both realism and creativity notable development is the appearence of an
entire school of women novelists. the leading figures among them are Ruth
Prawer Jhabvala, Kamla Markandeya, Nayantara Sahgal and Anita Desai. By the end
of  the ‘sixties’and in the early
‘seventies’ newer voices are heared, the most astoinishing of them are Arun
Joshi and Chaman Nahal. 

     The beginning of the twentieth century
authenticated a gradual growth of  the
fictional form. One of the eloquent novelists of this time was Romesh Chundre
Dutt(1848-1909), who admired some impotant Government posts before reriring
into the service of Baroda state as its Dean for some time.He produced six
novels in Bengali, two social and four historical ones, out of which he
translated two into English: The Lake of
Palms(1902), and The Slave Girls of Agra(1909). Of these two novels, The Lake of palms is a tale of Indian
domestic life wherein the author makes a spirited plea for the re-marriage of
widow, Sudha, but only after tolerating a commodious trouble and
disappointment. The Slave Girl of Agra,
a historical romance, paints the of love, graft and jealousy during the Moghul
period. Both the novels of Romesh published in London have excellently woven
plots and depict their characters perceptibly.

     Chaman Nahal (1927) is a novelist of
painful Odysseys presented in different context. He has also four novels of his
credit My true Face (1973), Azadi (1975), Into Another Dawn (1977) and 
The English Queens (1879).
Nahal does not appear to bring either a new landscape or a freshness of
treatment to his subject.

     Nayantara Sahgal(1927) is  regarded as an interpreter of the political
novel, but it appears that politics is only one of her two major
concerns.Besides political theme her fiction is also absorbed with the modern
Indian woman’s search for sexual freedom and self-realization. She fails to
establish a clear abstract relationship between the political distress outside
and private affliction of broken marriages break into most of her novels of a unified
effort of her five novels A Time To be
Happy(1958),This Time of Morning (1968),Storm in Chandigath(1969) are

     Anita Desai was born in Mussorie in 1937,
of a Bengali father and a german mother. The mixed parentage might be a reason
for the choice of English as the medium for self-expression. The modern sensibility
that seeks assertion through Anita Desai’ novels is that of the average
middleclass Indian a product of the multicultural, multilingual, multireligious
Indian society. Her own mixed parentage, her early education in a Christian
missionary school in Delhi itself an alloy of Muslim, British and Hindu
cultures must have made the author particularly sensitive to the conglomeration
of cultures woven into the very texture of Indian life. Her later status as a
expatriate Indian must have acuminated her sensibility towards the emotional
and cultural anxiety of the modern India. Desai’s protagonists, mostly centered
in the cities, turn out to be drifting, alienated products of a mixed heritage.

     Dislocation or uncentredness-geographic,
emotional or cultural can be seen to be the basis affliction underlying the
sense of alienation and rootlessness setting in on Anita Desai’s characters.

     Anita Desai’s novel’s are Cry the Peacock (1963), Voices in the City, Where Shall We Go This
Summer? (1975), Fire on the Mountain (1975), In Custody, Baumgartner’s Bombay and Clear
Light of Day (1980), Bye-Bye
Blackbird (1971), Village by the Sea (1982).

     Arun Joshi was born in 1939 in Varanasi
where he lived until he was seven. Afterwards his family spent the next few
years in Lahore, then, with Partition, went back to Indian Punjab. After
secondary school, he got a scholarship to the U.S. where he went and got a
degree from the University of Kansas in Engineering and Industrial Mangement.
Later he did his Master from M.I.T. While in the U.S. he worked in a mental
hospital, where his uncle was a psychiatrist, and negotiate with chronic
schizophrenics, an experience which left a deep consequence on his mind and
which is partly revived in Billy Biswas, possibly his most famous fictional
character. Back in India, where he had always felt he associated, he got a job
on the management staff of an Indian company, before trying the experience of
founding small companies of his own, producing diesel engines, machine-tools,
foundry products and automative parts. Incidentally, we may add that many of
the elements confronted to far compose the background of his first novel. At
the same time he became the administrator of a philanthropic institution,
accommodating research and training regarding the homan side of industry, from
labour to degree staff. It may sound odd, but the curriculum of this dynamic
industrialist is the same as that of an outstanding novelist who turned to
creative writing as a hobby; it should come as no amazement therefore that his
ability to switch from one world to another diamentrically opposed one returns
in many of his fictional works, until reaching the status of leitmotif in Som
Bhaskar’s circumtances. In the 1993 dry season before the advent of the storm,
all of a sudden Arun Joshi died in the bed room of his Delhi house, following a
distructive cardiac arrest,  of the
complications following an asthmatic crisis , asthma being an affliction he
shared with two of his main characters- Sindi Oberoi and Ratan Rathor.

     Arun Joshi lived a seclusive life and
generally avoided publicity. He got his work published resfrictedly by Orient Paperbacks. Even though
multi-national publishers like Penguin had entered the publishing space in
India, Arun Joshi hurt with Orient all his life. He wrote
novels and short stories, there are The Foreigner( 1968),The Strange Case of Billy Biswas(1971),The
Apprentice(1974),The Last Labyrinth(1981),The City and the River(1990),The
Survivor and Other Stories(1975),The Only American From Our Village,The Homecoming.

     They are singularized by certain
existentialist problems and the resultant anger, agony, psychic quest and the
like. In his novels, Joshi has very dextrously handled some
serious,thought-tormenting themes in an unpretentions manner such as
rootlessness, detachment, quest for better alternatives in this affectations
world and self-realization, highlighting our glorious cultural ancestry and
imperishable moral values. He is outstanding novelist of the human predicament.

     In the first novel, The Foreigner,
the father, Mr.Khhemka, sends Babu to America to study engineering. But Babu
does not do well there and fails. The fear of an overwhelming father
disheartness him. He has no dreams of his own. He cannot marry a nice and noble
girl because she is of American origin. Mr. Khemka because angry when  he comes to know that Babu has married June a
fact which ultimately leads to the unnatural death of Babu.     

     Joshi’s second novel, The Strange Case of Billy Biswas, is indeed a astonishing “strange”
novel which stands as a class by itself. In this novel, Joshi discovers the
futility and deficiency of our civilized society which alienates many like
Billy: but only few have the guts to flee from it. This novel inspects the deep
significance of primitive life as a much better and  healthier alternative to our civilized though
imperfect society what our “phoney society” fails to give us is given by
essented life. One experiences real mental and spiritual tranquillity,
condolence and content only when one comes into closer contact with essential

     Joshi’s third novel, The Apprentice, is indeed an dominating novel which is also
obviously recollected of another novel of Albert Camus’ The Fall.Technically The
Apprentice,is undoubtedly inspired by The
Fall. It is essentially a confessional novel, and self-realization as well
as resultant contrition is its main motif. It is written in the form of  a monologue which is greatly suited to the
confessional mode of narration well as the theme dealt with. Indeed, the
monologue has been handled superbly well in this novel, and this sense it is a
magnificent novel in the circle of Indian-English fiction.

     Joshi’s The Last Ladyrinth explores the anguish of alienation and the
forment of quest with greater force and complecation. We have Som Bhaskar’s
restlessness and Lila Sabnis’s Descartean analysis of everything. We have
Anuradha as the fully developed from of the feminine principles.

     The fifth and last novel, The City and The River has a fairly vast
shade and deals with the relation of man with other men, with  Nature 
and  with God and the progress of
mankind from creation to disintegration. The novel chastise an alarm to us by
fate of the City when it is destroyed  in
the end a downpour rises, the sky turns black, the river swells and turning
into an insuppressible ocean and sweeps all the powerful rules and everything
for the creation of a new city with its new people.

     Arun Joshi’s novels are largely full of
struggle, tension and conflicts. In every novel, we find the expression of
these tensions and conflicts. Joshi has also been altesed by Mahatma Gandhi and
the Bhagavad Gita.

     Sindi oberoi, an Indian by origin, brought
up in Kenya and who received his early education in Africa and London has been
studying engineering in America. He is a Kenya born Indian of an Indian father
and an English mother orphaned at an early age he is brought by his uncle
within him he cannot mark out his roots, whether be it an African, an English
or an Indian. He lies in the darkness of alienation not knowing where to place
himself as insecurity overwhelms him.

     Sindi is spiritually detachment from the
world, which he seems to diversion. He is isolated from the very web of
relationship that creates society. Sindi’s search for himself takes him to
London, Boston and America. His affair with Anna and Kathy leaves a scar on his
mind and disturbs him strongly. He learns to practise detachment and
non-involvement in human emotions. His discussion with a Catholic priest in
Scotland makes him realise that one “can love without attachment, without
desire”(Joshi,p.180). He makes love to June Blyth, but is obsessed by the
meaninglessness of everything including his love. He debris to marry June
because he believes that in most marriages love ended and hatred took its
place. He is afraid of possessing and being possessed by anybody and marriage
leads June to Babu, an Indian friend of Sindi. Babu loves June and decides to
marry her but is falsity haunted by jealousy and suspicion. Frustrated by
Babu’s behaviour June wants to return to Sindi. Babu cannot bear the infidelity
of his beloved June and ends his life in an accident. June who is pregnant Babu’s
child also dies during the abortion. Thus the abashed and blundering approach
of Sindi to the concept of detachment has cost him two lives, both dear to him.
Seized with the sense of disgrace or self-contradictions he progresses toward
an insight into the nature of life and action. He joins the business of the
dead Babu Rao Khemka’s father. This in itself is a step in the right direction;
his preoccupation with self seems to be breaking. For the first time, he comes
face to face with a reality that he, preoccupied as he was with his own
suffering and blinded by his detachment, has on board ignored. He has realised
that the life flows through despair, loneliness, selfishness and vanity as well
as through love, sympathy, hope and compassion. In the end of the novel,
Sindi’s likely affair with Babu’s sister Sheila, a relationship which is not
the fruit of an habitual reciprocal interset like the one with June but haas gradually
taken shape through congenial sympathy and understanding, is further proof  of  this
interrelational breakdown. The novel deeply projects the theory of

     Existentialism has been one of the major
assendancy in the evolution of Indian novel in English so prevalent was its
sway on Indian literary imagination during early sixties and late seveties that
it had led to the emergence of a distinctive subgenre within Indian fiction in
English. A new breed of second generation writers that included the likes of
Arun Joshi and Anita Desai emerged on Indian English literrary scene. They not
only dented the proper thematic inertia of Indian English fiction but also gave
it a creative push. Existing social themes were replaced by the existential
ones. The angst of an average middle class urban Indian, supposedly caught
amidst an identity splitting was pushed to the centre of fictional imagination.
The consequence of existential heroes/ heroines generally evolved around
formulaic narratives of emotional or intellectual fatigue. They found
themselves developed  psychologically
across west centric individualistic ethos and eastern regulating values. The
existential state of frustration, disappointment, isolation, sense of loss and
meaninglessness that had received much attention in the west,thus became the
essential of Indian Fiction. The curves of this literary imagination were,
however, etched in and betrayed a self-conscious effort on the part of these
authors. They sought to ‘Indianize’ what was precisely a western sensibility.
At times it led to a ‘quaint’ convergence of west-centric sensibility and
Indian ethos, wherein west was super appointed on and dramatized within Indian

     The two novelists of Indian English
Literature Arun Joshi and Anita Desai have earned wide acclaim. They are common
in treatment of themes existential aspect in particular. Both of them encounter
with the moments of acute trying situations in human life. They analyze the
human predicament and the motives responsible for a man’s action on his psyche.
They reveal the dispute of man with his self and the question of his existence.
Their search is directed to the mysterious region of human psyche. They delve
deeper and deeper into the inner depression to find instincts and impulse at

     The characters of Joshi and Desai are
alienated and lonely; therefore, they are existentialism, strangers and
outsiders to their own land.

     They try to search out their own identity
and always suffer from the guilt that they do not belong to a place or to a
person and finally they are to struggle for existence in their society.                   

     Marjorie Grene is of the view that the
more fashionable a philosophy becomes, the more elusive is its definition. So
the proponents of existentialism proclaim that, though many attack, few
understand them  as the word goes around,
every treatise that dooms man to destruction, every novel whose characters are
mad or bad, every play that depresses without elevating, is labelled “so

takes its name from Kierkegaard’s phrace “existential dialectic”. An
extremely simple and literal and precise definition of existentialism is
available. Existentialism is the philoshy which declares as its first principle
that existence is prior to essence.

     The existential alienation and despair of
the characters turn into an exigent longing for death as a possible exit out of
their desertedness and it is sought to be overcome by the inner awareness of
the protagonists.     

Sindi Oberoi is the central character in
the novel. He has no domestic or cultural moorings, which is symbolic of his
metaphysical alienation and purposelessness in the whole novel. His meaningless
of life and love makes that the existential character. At the end of the novel
he realises the meaning of life through his experiences after returning to
India. Then he starts a new life in the company of Khemka and he also express
his love for Shiela. The succeeding chapter deals with Sindi’s detachment of
life here comes the thoery of existentialism.