Monday, May 6, 2013



Some amongst us  who have not read Urdu have certainly  missed something lovely in the  world of  literature . This rule equally applies to those who have not read Hindi . To understand the Soul of India’s  literary ethos , one has to read literature created by both the languages . I also want the lovely poetry , short stories , novels and essays created  in both the languages to be read by all of us to have a feel of and get a  peep into our shared and composite existence and the issues that it spins forth  .

                  Above  thoughts again visited me today when I read  some short stories of  Virender Patwari ( born 1940 in Kashmir )appearing in his Urdu Book  Lalla  Rukh Published by Modern Publishing House, Daryaganj Delhi in 2013 and priced  Rs350/=. My special Thanks to Patwari sahib for sending a copy to me absolutely  free.  

The book has 50 short stories . I read  12 but   shall keep my promise to finish all the fifty .My first reaction after reading these stories is that Mr. Patwari should have also published the book in Devnagri for a vast section of  readers who are otherwise ignorant about this great piece of literature that he has created. The stories remind me of Anton Chekhov. Every thought, every line and every paragraph represents evolved mind and wonderful reflections from  the writer. Every story is representative of   the present scenario especially the issues that this Runaway Technology seems to be imposing on Human existence .

My opinion is that the writer is an authority on child Psychology which is evident from stories like  DARPOK ( fearful ) . Fears and  thoughts muffled in the mind of a child have been aptly dealt with in this story  . The child who is made to sleep  alone in his room turns happy  one day when his parent quarrel .He possibly thinks that he has not to sleep alone at least for that day  as his  mother shall surely come and sleep with him. Alas ! It does not happen so .I shall not elaborate further . I would like every one to read the story.

In another story DUSHMAN ( Enemy ), We find the most powerful man on the earth afraid of a barking dog. The man who can order the Bomb laden missiles  to fly  .The man who can bring planes crashing down  runs away at the sight of a barking dog. The dog is finally killed with a sharp stone and the man enters a cave. Inside the cave he   finds another  man from ancient times  smiling at him possibly  because his enemies were also wild beasts and not men. And he would not use Bombs but   stones to save himself from these wild beasts  . To know more read the story .

Another story that I would like to mention is JAWAAB ( reply ). A wonderful interaction between an elderly man   and  his two grand children over watching TV channels .The grandfather wants to shift to News channel while the children want cartoon channel.. Then one day the children  enter the room of their grandfather and  find him busy watching  the news channel. To  their grandfather’s surprise both the boys start  watching the news with interest while their grandfather tries to divert their attention by telling them stories of Columbus and Vasco De Gama . After listening the news the children ask some question to their grandfather and seek reply

‘ Grandfather ! Are we hindus or muslims ?”
“ Are we Brahmis or Harijans ? ’

“ Grandfather, Are we Iraqis or Americans ? ’
“Grandfather ,Are we cruel or oppressed ? ’
“Grandfather  Can He-Man come to our rescue ”
“ Grandfather , if someone kidnaps us and seeks a ransom of one crore , you should give immediately else we shall be killed  ”
The grandfather turns serious and  is  unable to reply any question that these children ask  .He  switches over the cartoon channel. The elder child comes closer to him . Embraces his grand father , kisses him and says
“ Grandfather , are you angry with us. ? ”
Their grandfather is unable to  reply  this question even .

 Through his stories that I read , Veerinder Patwari has proved Anton Chekhov’s words that “The paramount duty of a writer is to put forth question. To  give replies  is none of his business .” Wonderful Patwari sahib. Great piece of  prose with contemporary and modern sensibilities .  

“Tum Jiyo Hazaaron saal” to create such good stories .

( Autar Mota …05.05.2013  Time  11.55 PM  … Good Night )

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