The twenty-three stories in this anthology were initially put together by Jainendra Kumar, a leading Hindi novelist of the post-independence period. It is important to realise its significance in the history of the nation as well as in literary history. The volume as it stands today reflects (a) the development of the short story, (b) the aesthetic principles which guided Jainendra Kumar’s choice, and (c) the culture concerns of the authors. Jainendra Kumar’s prefaces to the anthology offer a very perceptive definition of the short story.
The stories cover a wide spectrum of emotion and expression. Ranging from introspective analysis to satire, from subtle comedy to the downright ludicrous, from negation to faith, they also reflect the changing social scenario of the First World War and after. There are reflections of the freedom struggle, the poverty, the oppression, the British Raj, and the intrusion of urbanization. There is also the conflict between cultures and lifestyle, tribal realities and sophisticated cityscapes.