Pannalal Patel

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Pannalal Nanalal Patel
Born (1912-05-07)7 May 1912
Mandli village British India, (now in Dungarpur, Rajasthan)
Died 6 April 1989(1989-04-06) (aged 76)
Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
Occupation Novelist, short story writer
Nationality Indian
Notable works
Notable awards
Spouse Valiben[1]

Pannalal Nanalal Patel (7 May 1912 – 6 April 1989) was a Gujarati author. He wrote more than 20 short story collections, such as Sukhdukhna Sathi (1940) and Vatrakne Kanthe (1952), and more than 20 social novels, such as Malela Jeev (1941), Manvini Bhavai (1947) and Bhangyana Bheru (1957), and several mythological novels. He received the Jnanpith Award in 1985 for Manvini Bhavai. Some of his works were translated as well as adapted into plays and films.[2]


"Life appears to me like that of a spider that makes his own web, using his own saliva. The spider progress through life on the strands of his own web. I, too, have gone about in this world, finding my own ways, learning and changing. what I know of life has come from experience."

― Pannalal Patel[3]

He was born on 7 May 1912 in Mandli village (now in Dungarpur, Rajasthan) to Nanasha aka Nanalal and Hiraba, an Anjana Chaudhari family. He is youngest among his four siblings.[1] His father was a farmer[4] and used to recite Ramayana, Okhaharan and other mythological stories for his village. This earned his house a nickname "abode of learning". His father died during his childhood and his mother Hiraba raised the children.

Sir Pratap High School of Idar where Pannalal studied

His education progressed with many difficulty due to poverty. He could study up to the only fourth standard at Sir Pratap High School, Idar. During school days, he befriended his schoolmate Umashankar Joshi.[3] For a brief period, he worked as a manager in a liquor manufacturing company in Dungarpur. He wrote his first novel while working as a domestic help in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.[5]

In 1936, he accidentally met his old friend Umashankar Joshi who persuaded him to write. He wrote his first short story Sheth Ni Sharda (1936). Later, his stories published in many Gujarati magazines.[6] In 1940, he received recognition for his first novel Valamana (The Send-off), followed by Malela Jeev (1941), Manvini Bhavai (1947) and many other novels. In 1971, he started a publishing company Sadhana in Ahmedabad along with his two sons.[3] During the later years, he mostly wrote novels based on Hindu mythology and epics.[5][7]

He died on 6 April 1989 in Ahmedabad following brain hemorrhage.[5]


He wrote 61 novels, 26 short story collections and many other works.[8] He wrote his works mostly in the native idioms of Sabarkantha district in north Gujarat.[4]

Love has been central theme of his many novels. He depicted in his works the rural life of Gujarat artificially.[2] His novels are centers around the village, its people, their lives, hopes and aspirations, their problems and predicaments. Malela Jeev (1941), a story of unfulfilled love between Kanji and Jivi having born in different castes, is considered as one of his best novels.[3][9] His novel Manvini Bhavai (1947) is rated as most powerful portrayal of Gujarat's rural life and the exploration of rural life during the early 1900s.[10][11] His novel Na Chhutke (1955) is based on Satyagraha movements of Mahatma Gandhi and it enumerates Gandhi's various endeavours for freedom of India and spiritual uplifting of Indian people.[12] His other novels depicting rural life are Bhangyana Bheru (1957), Ghammar Valonu Vol 1-2 (1968), Fakiro (1955), Manakhavatar (1961), Karoliyanu Jalu (1963), Meen Matina Manvi (1966), Kanku (1970), Ajavali Rat Amasni (1971). His novels depicting urban life less entertaining than rural life. Bhiru Sathi (1943) was his first novel. His other novels depicting urban life are Yauvan Vol 1-2 (1944), Padagha and Padchhaya (1960), Ame Be Baheno Vol 1-2 (1962), Andhi Ashadhni (1964), Pranayna Jujva Pot (1969), Allad Chhokari (1972), Ek Anokhi Preet (1972), Nathi Paranya Nathi Kunwara (1974), Raw Material (1983). Galalsing (1972) is historical novel of love and valour.[5]

His novels other than theme of love are Pachhale Barane (1947), Vali Vatanma (1966), Eklo (1973), Taag (1979), Pageru (1981). Angaro (1981) is his detective novel. Param Vaishanav Narasinh Mehta and Jene Jivi Janyu (1984) are his biographical novels of Narsinh Mehta and Ravishankar Maharaj respectively. Nagadnarayan (1967) and Marakatlal (1973) are his humorous novels.[5]

During his later years, he wrote stories based on characters of epics, Mahabharata and Ramayana, and Puranas and other Hindu mythological stories. He preserved the original story and its miraculous themes but gave new meanings at several instances. His such works include Parth ne Kaho Chadave Ban Vol 1-5 (1974), Rame Seetan Marya Jo! Vol 1-4 (1976), Krishna Jivanleela Vol 1-5 (1977), Shivaparvati Vol 1-6 (1979), Bhishmani Banshaiyya Vol 1-3 (1980), Kach-Devyani (1981), Devyani-Yayayti Vol 1-2 (1982), Satyabhamano Manushi-Pranaya (1984), (Manavdehe) Kamdev Rati (1984), (Mahabharatano Pratham Pranay) Bheem-Hidimba (1984), Arjunno Vanvas Ke Pranaypravas (1984), Pradyamna-Prabhavati (1984), Shri Krishnani Aath Pataranio (1984), Shikhandi Stree Ke Puraush? (1984), Revatighela Baldevji (1984), Sahdev-Bhanumatino Pranay (1984), Kubja Ane Shri Krishna (1984), (Narma Nari) Il-Ila (1986), (Amarlok-Mrityuloknu Sahjeevan) Urvashi-Pururava (1986).[5]

He wrote more than 450 short stories. His short story collections are Sukh Dukhna Sathi (1940), Jindagina Khel (1941), Jivo Dand (1941), Lakhcorasi (1944), Panetarna Rang (1946), Ajab Manavi (1947), Sacha Shamana (1949), Vatrakne Kanthe (1952), Orata (1954), Parevada (1956), Manna Morla (1958), Kadavo Ghuntado (1958), Tilottama (1960), Dilni Vaat (1962), Dharati Abhna Chheta (1962), Tyagi-Anuragi (1963), Dilaso (1964), Chitareli Diwalo (1965), Morlina Munga Sur (1966), Malo (1967), Vatno Katko (1969), Anwar (1970), Koi Deshi Koi Pardeshi (1971), Asmani Najar (1972), Binni (1973), Chhanako (1975), Gharnu Ghar (1979) and Narato (1981).[5]

Jamairaj (1952) is collection of one-act plays. Dholia Sag Seesamna (1963) and Bhane Narsaiyo (1977) are his original three-act plays. Kankan (1968) and Allad Chhokari (1971) is play adaptation of his novels Fakiro and Allad Chhokari respectively. Chando Shen Shamalo? (1960), Sapanana Sathi (1967) and Kanan are Gujarati adaptations of western plays. Swapna (1978) is an adaptation of a story by Aurobindo.[5]

He also wrote Children's literature also. Vartakillol Vol 1-2 (1972, 1973), Balkillol Vol 1-10 (1972), Rishikulni Kathao Vol 1-4 (1973), Devno Didhel Vol 1-5 (1975), Mahabharat Kishorkatha (1976). Ramayan Kishorkatha (1980), Shri Krishna Kishorkatha (1980), Satyayugni Kathao Vol 1-5 (1981) are his works for children and teens.

Alapzalap (1973) is his autobiographical work depicting his childhood and teenage. Pannalalni Shreshth Vartao (1958), Pannalalno Vartavaibhav (1963), Vineli Navalikao (1973), Purnayognu Achaman (1978), Lokgunjan (1984) are his edited and selected works collections. His other works are Alakmalak (1986) and Sarjanni Suvarna Smaranika (1986).[5]

Jindagi Sanjeevani Vol 1–7 is his autobiography.[citation needed]

Translations and adaptations[edit]

Malela Jeev has been translated in several Indian languages[13] such as Punjabi, Kannada and as Kalasina Jeevithalu in Telugu by Vemuri Anjaneya Sarma. The novel was translated by Rajesh I. Patel into English as The United Souls in 2011.[3][9] Manvini Bhavai is translated in English by V. Y Kantak as Endurance: A Droll Saga (1995), published by Sahitya Akademi.[10][11]

His novels Malela Jeev, Manvini Bhavai and the short story Kanku were adapted into films.[2] Malela Jeev is adapted into films and plays several times. Ulajhan directed by N. R. Acharya was the first Gujarati film adaptation of novel.[6] Malela Jeev (1956) is a Gujarati film directed by Manhar Raskapur while Kanku (1969) was directed by Kantilal Rathod. Both films were scripted by Patel himself.[14] Janumada Jodi, 1996 Indian Kannada film, is based on Malela Jeev.[15] It was also adopted into a Gujarati play, directed by Nimesh Desai.[16]


He received Ranjitram Suvarna Chandrak in 1950 and Jnanpith Award in 1985. He was the second writer from Gujarati language after Umashankar Joshi in 1967, to receive the Jnanpith Award.[5] In 1986, he received Sahitya Gaurav Puraskar.


  1. ^ a b "પન્નાલાલ પટેલની જીવન ઝરમર". divyabhaskar (in Gujarati). 2012-02-11. Retrieved 2016-12-07. 
  2. ^ a b c Nalini Natarajan; Emmanuel Sampath Nelson (1996). Handbook of Twentieth-century Literatures of India. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 117. ISBN 978-0-313-28778-7. Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Rajesh I. Patel (2011). "Translation of Pannalal Patel's "Malela Jiv" from Gujarati into English with critical introduction" (PDF). Saurashtra University. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Pannalal Nanalal Patel (1995). Manavini Bhavai (English translation). New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi. p. 5. ISBN 978-81-7201-899-3. Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "પન્નાલાલ પટેલ, ગુજરાતી સાહિત્ય પરિષદ". Pannalal Patel, Gujarati Sahitya Parishad (in Gujarati). Retrieved 2016-12-06. 
  6. ^ a b Dodia, Sanjay (August–September 2012). "'મળેલા જીવ' નવલકથામાં ગ્રામચેતના". Journal of Humanity (in Gujarati). Knowledge Consortium of Gujarat, Department of Higher Education, Government of Gujarat. 1 (3). ISSN 2279-0233. Retrieved 8 December 2016. 
  7. ^ K. M. George (1992). Modern Indian Literature, an Anthology: Surveys and poems. New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi. p. 136. ISBN 978-81-7201-324-0. Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  8. ^ Pratibha India. A. Sitesh. 1989. 
  9. ^ a b Indian and Foreign Review. Publications Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. 1985. 
  10. ^ a b Jayanta Mahapatra (1 January 1996). Verticals of Life: Selected Poems of Sachi Raut-Roy. Sahitya Akademi. p. 170. ISBN 978-81-260-0138-5. 
  11. ^ a b Juris Dilevko; Keren Dali; Glenda Garbutt (2011). Contemporary World Fiction: A Guide to Literature in Translation. ABC-CLIO. pp. 137–. ISBN 978-1-59158-353-0. 
  12. ^ Yogendra K. Malik (1978). Politics and the Novel in India. New Delhi: Orient Blackswan. p. 118. 
  13. ^ S. C. R. Weightman (1996). Traveller's literary companion to the Indian sub-continent. Print Publ. Ltd. p. 209. ISBN 978-1-873047-30-9. 
  14. ^ Ashish Rajadhyaksha; Paul Willemen (10 July 2014). Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema. Routledge. p. 347. ISBN 978-1-135-94318-9. 
  15. ^ "Biopic on former Karnataka CM Devaraj Urs soon". Deccan Herald. 2016-12-07. Retrieved 2016-12-07. 
  16. ^ gujjubhai (2012-09-10). "Malela Jeev Gujarati Natak". GujjuBhai. Retrieved 2016-12-08. 

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