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Dusk Over the Mustard Fields

Nominated | Book Awards 2021 | Creative Writing in English (Fiction & Poetry)

Dusk Over the Mustard Fields

Set in colonial Punjab, Dusk over the Mustard Fields is a poignant and compelling human story, inspired by true events, steered by political and social upheavals of the Partition.

Full Title: Dusk Over the Mustard Fields

Author: Ranjit Powar
Publisher: The Browser

Award Category: Creative Writing in English (Fiction & Poetry)
About the Book: 

Set in colonial Punjab, Dusk over the Mustard Fields is a poignant and compelling human story, inspired by true events, steered by political and social upheavals of the Partition. Married at sixteen, Nimmo’s destiny hangs in the balance as she fails to meet the expectations of her debonair husband, Lt. Hukum Singh. Rejected in favour of a second wife, the beautiful and educated Hansa, she is consigned to the village home and falls prey to sexual assaults by Bachana, her brother-in-law. Propelled by her fight for survival in an unforgiving social milieu, Nimmo resorts to using the only tools at her disposal—feminine wiles and black magic. Inextricable from the tragic sweep of human exodus and violence of partition, Nimmo’s destiny throws her onto a roller coaster of unimaginable twists and turns.

This nostalgic journey into undivided Punjab gives us intimate and vivid insights into the now-lost rural Punjabi culture and a disquieting peep into the lived identities and angst of women in a deeply patriarchal society. Conjuring up the era of the British Indian army, winding through cantonments, Malls and brass bands, it is a tale of love, loss and hope.


About the Author: 

Ranjit Powar is a writer, psychologist and speaker with a passionate connection to books, whether it is through reading, teaching or penning one. She runs a non-profit for education and psychological counselling, loves travelling and lives with her dog Teddy when at home in Chandigarh.


Excerpt: 

The deep rooted tribalism in Jat Sikhs would not allow messing up their blood line by marrying out of caste. How would he expect a city bred girl to adjust with his family and the rural component in his personality which formed the core of every Jat? When he imagined his future wife, he could not help but conjure up a face that reflected the charm and coquettishness of his favorite actress Naseem Banu, with large mesmerizing eyes in a fair, alabaster like face. His heartbeat quickened with excitement when he approached Nimmo, wrapped up in a pink veil.


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