In a world that has gone berserk and too busy to offer people enough hours to invest in reading a full-fledged novel, reading short stories or novellas or even poetry collections become a good, viable and rather preferred choice. If you are thinking about reading some good novella, I have picked up a Hindi novella by well-known and critically acclaimed author Ravi Ranjan Goswami – Sankalp. This is a review of the same. I hope you will get adequate information to make your choice.
Sankalp is a short novel (also known as a novella) written by Ravi Ranjan Goswami. The storyline is set in the pre-independence era of India. With a compelling writing style and intellectually rich language that accommodates the setting well, the experience of engaging with the story and the characters becomes even more exciting. The novella has certain roles for every character… it seems that everyone is determined to achieve some goals till independence. The work examines and explores the experiences of common men at the time of the independence movement. The story also tries to accommodate how the common people of India participated in that revolution. It also explores Indianess, cultural ethos and village life of India in a nutshell.
The story revolves around three central figures of the Novel – Gopinath, Shyam and Balkishan. Gopinath was a headmaster in the local high school. His two sons were also successful – Balkishan joined the same school as a teacher and Shyam, the younger one, got a job in Railway and settled outside the village. Gopinath was famous for his simplicity, honesty and thankfulness in the village. Balkishan falls in love with the local landlord’s daughter and that eventually ends in marriage without the permission of the bride’s father. However, as it mostly happens in the movies and also in most of the marriages in Hindu households, things settle later in Balkishan’s marriage as the family of the bride accepts the marriage. Shyam too falls in love with a local girl but he takes a vow that he will not marry till India got independence and his dream comes true he ties the knot under the shadow of the Indian flag. The undertone of the Indian freedom struggle adds more to the novel than a straightforward storyline.
The story is simple yet intriguing which compels readers to read it in one sitting. The author has wonderfully woven the plot of the novel, within its limitations, which has the strength to hold readers’ aspirations and expectations till the very end of the novella. The section on character development has also been worked wonderfully by the author Ravi Ranjan Goswami. I have read his works in the past and it seems that every new work by the author comes with more than the previous ones. Rich language, a compelling plot, and a convincing storyline meet together as the author tries to explore the basic questions of Westernisation, thought processes in the pre-independence era, awareness of education in villages and many more things. For example, when an inspection team was coming to Gopinath’s school, all staff were advised to wear Western formal clothes and most of the teachers were not comfortable wearing them. Yet, they are compelled to do so because an unpleasant experience of the inspectors could have been translated into the axing of staff from the school! Moreover, the novel also exhibits the inner emotions of the common men and how they were eager to participate in the freedom movement. If they could not do it directly, they took pride in doing even little work for the freedom fighters, like Shyam was providing room for the meetings of freedom fighters. With all these inputs and the same coupled with many more artistic experiments by the seasoned author, this Hindi novella becomes an amazing experience for readers…
I think much of the thoughts have already been conveyed in the sections above. However, just for the formal ending of this book review of Sankalp by Ravi Ranjan Goswami, let me say that the novella has more than a perfectly managed storyline. It has conflict – external as well as internal. It has a line of action, characters who involve in actions and motifs, and more so to keep readers engaged with the plot throughout the length of the book. And the best part that I kept for the last is its length. Sankalp is a short Hindi novella that offers a story in the circle – you might know what’s coming but you still want to continue reading it. I am sure you must already be interested in reading the book. Go ahead and get a copy from Amazon India in digital format.
Get the book from Amazon India – click here to get a copy now.
Review by Manish for Indian Book Critics
Sankalp by Ravi Ranjan Goswami – Review of the Hindi Novella
- Final Rating
A short, compelling, and ideal story for anyone interested in Hindi literature… Ravi Ranjan Goswami, the seasoned author, once again delivers a masterclass of contemporary Hindi fiction.