Twilight in Delhi Background

Twilight in Delhi Background

Twilight in Delhi was Ahmed Ali’s first novel, set around 1911 to 1919, giving a descriptive image of India’s changing social, political, and cultural climate post colonialism, and recounting the state of Muslims in India during that time. Twilight in Delhi concerns an upper-class Muslim merchant Mir Nihal and his family. Mir Nihal was an orthodox Muslim who aimed to save the future generations from the brutalities of the British; he was a typical Muslim man who snarled at the British and voiced his concerns about the British colonization of India. He and his wife and three sons, one of which revolts against his father’s wishes and marries a girl of a lower economic strata, and roams around wearing an English shirt and shoes - the immediate sign of India’s gradual decline and death.

Through the story of Mir Nihal and his family, Ali is able to portray the state of India and the Muslims in India after the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, the state of India after colonialism and the family traditions and ties. This novel was at first banned by the British, but is now considered a class due to its appeal, themes, imagery and the witty symbols used. Twilight in Delhi allows us to go back in time and be a part of old Delhi.

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