Sunday, 1 September 2019

Kahaniwala - Hindi - Sandeep Dobriyal - Book Review

Kahaniwala by Sandeep Dobriyal is the latest book I have read this year. Published not very long ago, this is a collection of short stories written in contemporary Hindi. There are 9 stories in this collection but the title focuses more on the storyteller rather than the stories - Kahaniwala. The hashtag at the beginning of the title confirms that it is meant to be enjoyed by the youths. So, I did read all the stories and I have my experiences to share with the readers of Book Reviews Web. 

It begins with the story of an evening spent by two friends. 'Fitur, Ek Sham Ka' is the title and the story does not betray it. Hostel life, crush, infatuation, sometimes love, seniors, bullying, ragging and a bit of studying, books and notes... something that we all remember in our life. However, the story does not end in a convincing manner and the readers might be left with wanting more of it. Likewise, the second story based on relationships, especially love and marriage relationships, begins on a sound basis but ends in a delusional manner that leaves the readers with a question unanswered - what might be the way out for that guy? 

The art of storytelling of the author, Sandeep Dobriyal, is contemporary in terms of language. His style also resonates with the youths. There are words that are not very familiar with the elderly readers and even the narrative that remains on a different high might not find much of relevance in the readers above 40. It will only suit the readers who want to enjoy reading rather than verifying what they are reading is wonderful or not. And therefore, the ideal readers are youths - between 15 and 26, most likely. 

There are satirical and mock pieces like 'Main Bahut Bade Sing Chahta Hun,' and 'Mera Room'. Mera Room is an emotional story, in fact. It will easily connect with the readers who spend their lives in cities but in relatively smaller proportion... 'Patange' and 'Jhutha Sach' are more about nostalgia than anything else. Alu Bhujiya is about love and failure of relationships in the modern world that demands too much but we are not ready to yield because, in turn, our lives are demanding as well. 

Sandeep Dobriyal's Kahaniwala has been able to reflect some aspects of the modern lifestyle. I should admit it. However, as a reader, I would have expected a little more maturity in handling the narrative and the plots in some of the stories. As it stands, I would keep Mera Room at the top and all other stories only after it. Once you get the book, read Mera Room first and then you may be able to further penetrate into the narrative of Sandeep's world of short stories which is sometimes bizarre and sometimes so high! All the best! 

review by Amit for Book Reviews Web

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