Hindi literature in India (which is obvious) has reached a stage where we have to be prepared to see not only the wars of ideology but also the conflict between the old and the new, a kind of tension that can be felt by the readers who are conscious and observant enough to read between the lines of the books which are seldom published. Cutting the metaphors and implicit suggestions, we have to admit that Hindi literature has boomed once again and many new authors are emerging on the scene. One such author, a mixture of contemporary and the traditional, is Gautam Rajrishi and his debut short story collection, dedicated to our brave Jawans, Hari Muskurahaton Wala Collage, is a wonderful collection that can make anyone emotional. In this article (a book review), I will be reviewing this collection.
First of all, the best thing about this book is that it has been dedicated to armed forces of India, Veer Jawans, and it has been written by a person who is not only a shayar, kavi or storyteller but also a Jawan himself. Who can know about the mindset, emotions and stories of army men better than him? So, in this short story collection, Gautam Rajrishi has tried to exhibit various emotions that are within the army personnel on the battlefield, frontiers of the nation and in general life. Most of the stories, if I may put it in short, are driven by these emotional messages that the author has tried to deliver. The best thing is that these stories are published in Hindi and therefore, there is no lacuna between the readers and the short stories and they can easily read, understand and interpret everything that the author wants them to do.
These short stories will give the readers an opportunity to know army officers, warriors of the most gallant mettle, in many different perspectives – more than just a person with a gun on his soldiers. Gautam’s storytelling, which is more contemporary and mingles very well with the mood and tone of this generation, will not only mesmerise the readers but also give them something to think… some questions to ask and some messages that they might want to convey to others.
“किसलिए सॉरी? मैं आर्मी ऑफ़िसर हूँ इसलिए या मैं घायल हूँ इसलिए? मेरी जगह कोई और होता, क्या तब भी आप सॉरी होते? अगर नहीं, तो फिर ये सॉरी कोई मायने नहीं रखती, सर!”
These words come out of an army officer’s pain that he was, consciously or subconsciously, forced to bear when a person, with his family, tried to keep him away from his legitimate seat on a Rajdhani train. The story will melt the hearts because it is marked with sentimental issues – the way we have become as human beings… individualistic to the core.
There are 21 wonderful short stories in this collection. Each of the 21 short stories has the military green colour embedded in themes, plots and even the language. Gautam has used his personal experiences, his expertise as well as his exceptional capacity to give colours of life to the characters that he sketches with words. He has begun the work with a wonderful poem that is dedicated to the Indian army. Before that, there is a dedication to his friend, and perhaps his saviour in some circumstances, Major Suresh Suri.
To conclude, Hari Muskurahaton Wala Collage is not only a collection of short stories by an army man for the Bravehearts of defence forces but also a caricature of emotions that they have… and we merely observe or notice because of the preoccupation that we have in our minds… Gautam’s work will certainly shake the very conscious of the readers with overpowering emotions, heartfelt issues and wonderful storytelling techniques that he has been blessed with! This is a must-read collection… you can get a copy right now from Amazon India by clicking the link below:
Review by Anand for Indian Book Critics
Hari Muskurahaton Wala Collage: Gautam Rajrishi – Review
- Indian Book Critics' Rating
Emotional… realistic, more importantly, the subconscious tales of our brave Indian army officers… the gallants with a golden heart. Must read… any day! For the lovers of Hindi literature, this should be an easy-going piece of literature they would recommend to many…