Nirvana, winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award, is a translation of a Punjabi novel published under the same title. Spread over fifty-eight episodes, the novel majors in highlighting its two principal characters’ journey of their lives, running parallel. The writer has excelled in giving words to profound intellectual, spiritual contemplations and to divine love in a very sophisticated fashion. The life-changing-narrative— involving two pairs from the two different epochs of history namely Milind and Kamala on the one hand, Ananda and Pankaja on the other, whose love flourishes in the face of adverse circumstances and social barriers—is an exploration of intellectual, philosophical and political issues, social asymmetries and other challenges of its times. Readers feel riveted while reading the vividly portrayed highs and lows the protagonists undergo: from a state of looking for an apt ideology to that of realizing the goals/meanings of life. Manmohan has given a new form, a new meaning and a new direction to the Punjabi novel. This literary masterpiece is an evidence to the writer’s exceptional artistic excellence that has rendered a highly complex intellectual and philosophical thinking/ideas into such a lucid and yet powerful narrative.
Manmohan (b. 14 July 1963 in Amritsar, Punjab) is a gifted and prolific Punjabi poet, novelist, critic and linguist. His debut poetic collection Agale Chaurahe Takk was published in 1982. The Punjabi Akademi, New Delhi, honoured him with the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award and several other accolades for his distinguished contributions in the genres of poetry, criticism and prose. He is a senior IPS officer currently posted in Chandigarh.