Top positive review
An Abstract Painting in Words
Reviewed in India on 9 June 2017
Reading “Namak Swadanusar” by Nikhil Sachan is more like passing through a gallery of abstract paintings for the first time. You pass by a painting, stop at some other, and then suddenly you understand what the previous one was about. This makes you return to the first one and look more closely this time. This compilation of short stories is more like an abstract painting carved out of words.
The book has no story named “Namak Swadanusar”, probably it’s a clue for “taking the stories with a pinch of salt”. I won’t say that you are going to like all the stories at the first go instead you would read through it all at once. Then at a later time you would return to the stories, one at a time. For those who are more into “Hindi literature” the language might come as a shock. It’s not the purified, highly educated brand of Hindi that’s used in the stories. Characters behave as everyday people we come across, the language that of normal discussions.
This collection has a total of nine stories, each based on a different theme. Where the author himself says that “Topaz” and “Suhagrat” are inspired from movies, you will have to watch the movies again. Besides their own stories, both create an interest in the films too. First and the last stories are based on kids as protagonists, while one tells the story of strange solution for problems which mean everything for them and trivia for everyone else, the other is the effect that being rich causes upon men. As it happens with hit movies where audience comes to watch it again, same goes for these stories, you would be coming back to them.
Worth noticing is the fact that the protagonists in the stories are not old. They are young, children or the youth. The struggles are the struggles of a generation coming of age. The problems for them may mean nothing to the world; still they are the whole world for the characters. Since it’s written with the youth in mind, young people would more readily connect to them. The gap which has been there in Hindi literature, a disconnect with the young world, is filled by such books and new authors.
It’s almost a page turner, and you would be able to finish it in a single sitting, somehow the stories would bring you back later. In case you are interested in something to savor on a flight, something you would later come back to, re-read and rethink upon, pick this 165 page book. For those still young, this won’t disappoint.