<i>Shatranj Ke Khiladi</i>

Tarini Pandey

in Filming Fiction

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780198075936
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081851 | DOI:
Shatranj Ke Khiladi

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Games represent the binary opposition to work and are commonly held to be pleasurable because they interrupt the monotony of quotidian activities. Games play a key role in both Premchand's fiction ‘Shatranj Ke Khiladi’ (1924) and Satyajit Ray's film Shatranj Ke Khiladi (1977) and are related with chess players. The film enlarges the metaphor of the game to include the larger historical game that was being played by the East India Company officials within the province of Avadh. This chapter examines the various games played in Ray's Shatranj Ke Khiladi and the consequence of these games in the historical context in which the story is situated, that is, 1856 Avadh, and in the context of the film. It offers a reading of the multi-layered motif of games in ‘Shatranj Ke Khiladi’ and criticizes Ray's politics of representing history in lines that were hardly free from colonial hangovers.

Keywords: Satyajit Ray; Premchand; Shatranj Ke Khiladi; chess; East India Company; politics; Avadh; games; history

Chapter.  3902 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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