Analysis of Our Lane by Ahmed Ali
Our Lane by Ahmed Ali Our Lane is a short story which was written before the partition of sub-continent. Short story is a short fiction, condensed and with no sub-plots. This short story is a summary of Twilight In Delhi, a novel by the same writer. Setting of the story is pre- partition Delhi. The flashback and flash-forward technique has been employed In the narration and narrator Is first person. All the characters are flat: no change occurs; they do not undergo any psychological change. The main theme of the story is the decay of Muslim civilization In India, their oral decline and the overall chaos.
It depicts the social condition of the Muslims: their miseries, down morality and low mentality. The tone of the story is serious, sad and nostalgic. Throughout the story there is a sense of nostalgia for the lost glory of Muslims and their civilization. Through symbolic language these themes have been carried on.
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The writer represents a vlvld picture of the time, the values of the people then. Being a summary ot Twilight in Delhi, the writer’s explanation about the theme of Twilight in Delhi is also true about Our Lane.
He says: To depict a phase of our national life and the decay of a whole culture, a particular mode of thought and living, values now dead and gone. ” The writer uses a symbolic language for the decay of Muslim civilization and the prevailing gloom. The old palm tree and Its ugly look, which was once heavy with fruit and a source of attraction, represents the once rich and glorious Muslim clvlllzatlon which has been lost and decayed now. The blowing of wind, the lane filled with dust and the tossing and tumbling bit of paper is very symbolic.
The wind is a symbol of foreign rule – might the dust In the lane of chaos and the bit of paper of the weakness and frailty of the local people. The dogs fighting for bone and meat and the kites snatching them from the dogs Is also symbolic. The dogs are a symbol of local people, the kites for colonizers, and the bone and meat of resources like land etc. The whole picture represents the colonizers’ behaviour and role. “The cats were sull quarrelling on the root. They purred fiercely This line pictures the prevailing loom over the whole society from bottom to top, not over the human beings only.