SETHI, SURJIT SINGH (1928 – )
Sethi, Surjit Singh (1928 – ) was born at Gujarkhan, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. He did his M.A. in English and submitted his thesis on Ibsenism (Dramatics) for Ph.D. Primarily a playwright, he writes short stories and novels also. His first full-length play, Coffee house (1958), is a portrayal of \’hollow men\’. Kacha ghada (The earthen pitcher, 1960) and Kadaryar (1960) give new dimensions to the well-recognised figures of romances. King, Mirza te sapera (1965) and Mard mard nahin, tivin tivin nahin (Man is not a man and woman is not a woman) are his experiments in absurd drama.
His anthologies of one-act plays, Parde pichhon (Behind the curtain, 1946), and Chalde phirde but (The loitering figures) make a good reading. His early novels are 1k shahr di gal (The story of a city, 1955), Ret da pahad (Mound of sand, 1954) and Kandhi ute rukhda (A tree on the embankment, 1957), but he acquired his special place in this genre with 1k khali piala (An empty bowl, 1960) and Kal vi suraj nahin chadhega (The sun shall not rise tomorrow again, 1967). In these works he employs the stream of consciousness and flashback techniques. His other works include: Drama: Gurbin ghor andhar (Pitch dark without the Guru, 1969), Safar baqi, talash baqi (The journey remains, the quest remains), Nangi sadak, raat da ohia (The naked road and the reflection of the night, 1971), Mera murshid mod liao (Bring back my Messiah, 1975); Short stories: Angrez Angrez san (So were the English), Men kahani da afar (1972); Novel: Abra ki adabra (1972), Dubde suraj nun salam (1976); Criticism: Kavi Chatrik (Chatrik, the poet, 1955), Natak kala (1974); Biography: Langh gaye darya (1976).
1. Amarjit Singh, Punjabi sahit da itihas ”Qissa kal, Amritsar, 1981.
2. Ramdev, Jaginder Singh (ed.), Punjabi Likhari Kosh, Jullundur, 1964.
3. Sekhon, S.S. and K.S. Duggal, A History of Punjabi Literature, Delhi, 1992.
4. Singh, N.K., Encyclopaedia of Indian Biography, Delhi, 2000.