The Divine Arbiter and Other Stories

The Divine Arbiter and Other Stories is a collection of ten of the most famous stories by Munshi Premchand translated in English by Dinesh Verma.


Munshi Premchand, a pioneer of realist Hindi fiction as well as one of the most celebrated authors of the Indian sub-continent, lived and wrote during the British colonial period. He has written more than a dozen novels and two hundred fifty stories. Included in this collection are of some of his most famous stories which cover on a microcosmic level almost all the themes dealt in his entire ouvre.

Premchand’s stories recreate with great fidelity the life in the country side and small towns of India. Even though he wrote in a period which now appears to be a distant past, with a value system which is now on the verge of its extinction, the issues raised in his works are still very relevant.

Premchand was a master story teller who has created a wide spectrum of characters ranging from feudal lords, noblemen, government officials, prosperous farmers to landless labourers many of whom have become archetypical characters in Hindi fiction.

Written in an inimitable but simple language, these stories provide an excellent introduction to the corpus of Premchand. Replete with satire, irony and incidental humour which is typical of Premchand, these stories also provide a delightful reading.

The stories included in this collection are:

  1. The Chess Players (Shatranj Ke Khiladi)
  2. The Inspector of Salt (Namak Ka Daroga)
  3. The Elder Brother (Badey Bhaisaheb)
  4. The Divine Arbiter (Panch Parmeshwar)
  5. The Shroud (Kaffan)
  6. Mother (Ma)
  7. A Goddess (Devi)
  8. A Winter Night (Pous Ki Ek Rat)
  9. The Thakur’s Well (Thakur Ka Kuan)
  10. Captain Sahib (Kaptan Sahib)

Read ‘The Chess Players’, the first story in the collection here.

The eBook and paperback version of ‘The Divine Arbiter and Other Stories’ are available on


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Written content copyright (c) Dinesh Verma, 2017

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