Shekhar’s entry to the world of English nearly 80 years after its advent in Hindi tells you about the distance between the sensibility zones of two languages which on other occasions intersect each other. It is strange that Ageyaya, a true polyglot, ignored his first and most iconic novel while translating his novels Apne Apne Ajnabi and Nadi ke Dweep and his poems into English. This gap has now been addressed with Snehal Shingavi and Vasudha Dalmia translating this avant-garde novel. Shekhar had taken the Hindi world by storm when it appeared in 1941. It brought a revolution in the way novelistic characters would be created henceforth. It is not surprising that his patron was Jainendra, whose novels were a significant departure from Premchand. Interestingly, Premchand encouraged Jainendra, while constantly arguing with him. It was again Premchand who first published Agyeya and gave him this name. His short story was sent from jail. Jainendra gave it to Premchand, who called the author of the story Agyeya (unknown), as the author did not want to disclose himself while publishing it.
Shekhar was also the announcement of the arrival of an authentic modernist voice in Hindi literature. Premchand had created a language of fictional prose, but Agyeya took it to a different level. Premchand created a language which could be an honest witness to the reality around us, but Agyeya for the first time posed the problem of a language which could see also the eye—that is, looking at reality. Agyeya, through Shekhar, demonstrated that novels could think.