Umrao Jaan Ada Novel Summary by Mirza Hadi Ruswa

Story of Amiran

Amiran (Umrao Jaan) was born in a noble family of Faizabad. She tells Ruswa about her childhood. A man namely Dilawar Khan who was sent to jail because Amiran’s father testified against him in court. 

In order to take revenge on him, Dilawar Khan kidnaps Amiran and takes her to Lucknow. On the way, she feels as if he will kill her. She is imprisoned with another girl namely Ram Dai. 

They are separated after they reach Lucknow. There Khanum Jaan buys her for 50 rupees, the head prostitutes of a Kotha. First, she doesn’t feel comfortable there however gradually she gets used to her job as a sex slave. 

Umrao -the Prostitute

She is renamed Umrao and begins to examine classical track and dance. collectively with the other prostitutes and a young mischievous boy Gauhar Mirza, the illegitimate son of a nearby Nawab, she is taught to read and write in both Urdu and Persian.  

As Umrao grows up, she is surrounded by using a culture of luxurious, track and poetry. She finally profits her first customer, (earning her the suffix of Jaan).

Though a number of her customers like her but she likes Gauhar Mizra though he used to tease her. Umrao Jaan as a prostitute attracts the good-looking and rich Nawab Sultan who gradually falls in love with her because of her sweet voice and profound poetry. 

Nawab Sultan Kills Zabardast Khan

However, a jealous customer of Umrao Jaan namely Zabardast Khan in order to get her, fights with Nawab Sultan. Nawab Sultan shoots Zabardast Khan and the latter dies. 

Nawab Sultan stops coming to the Kotha and Umrao Jaan being in love with him meets him secretly, by means of the assist of Gauhar Mirza. As Umrao Jaan continues to look Nawab Sultan and also serve other customers, she helps Gauhar Mirza financially as he is poor.

A new customer namely he mysterious Faiz Ali, showers Umrao Jaan with precious ornaments and jewels of gold. However, he asks her not to expose to anybody about the riches he gave to her. 

Being devoured by her he invites her to Farrukhabad. When Umrao seeks permission for visiting Farrukhabad Khanum Jaan refuses. As a result, Umrao Jaan runs away. 

Faiz is a Dacoit

While on the journey to Farrukhabad, they are attacked by dacoits and Umrao Jaan comes to know that Faiz is not a gentleman but dacoit and all of his items have been nothing but stolen goods. Faiz Ali escapes with his brother Fazal Ali and Umrao is imprisoned.

However, fortunately, one of the tawaif from Khanum Jaan’s Kotha is who is in the service of the Raja succeeds in freeing Umrao. As soon as she is liberated from the Raja’s court, Faiz Ali comes to her and requests her to come with him.

Umrao in Kanpur

He is quickly captured and arrested and Umrao Jaan, unwilling to go back to Khanum Jaan, goes to Kanpur and starts working as tawaif there. While she is living with a kind lady namely Begum Fazal Ali along with his compatriots try to rob the house.

However, on finding Umrao Jaan there they leave at once. Gauhar Mirza visits Kanpur and requests Umrao to return to Lucknow. She agrees and along with Gauhar goes to kith of Khanum Jaan. Umrao Jaan starts performing at the court of Wajid Ali Shah.

However, the capture of Lucknow by the British during the revolt forces her to escape the town of Faizabad, her hometown. There she sees meets her mother, but her brother who considers her a disgrace and believes she would be better off dead threatens her to leave at once.

Umrao Returns to Lucknow

Devastated and deeply grieved, Umrao Jaan returns to Lucknow. The mutiny is over and she finds the whole town in ruins. She meets the Begum from Kanpur once more in Lucknow and discovers that she is, in reality, Ram Dai, her old friend. 

Through a peculiar twist of destiny, Ram Dai was bought by the mother of Nawab Sultan and she married her son (Nawab Sultan). Dilawar Khan is arrested and hanged for involving in the robbery and thus Umrao feels quite the relief. 

With her profits that she earned as a prostitute and the gold that Faiz Ali gave her, she succeeds in living a comfortable and luxurious life and finally gives up her career as a prostitute.