O P Sharma
Rajeshwar Singh ‘Raju’, a renowned and accomplished writer has come up with yet another book in Dogri entitled ” Keh Pata” containing charming short stories. He has already to his credit some titles in English, Hindi and Dogri contributing to Indian literature for years now.
“KEH PATA” is his 8th publication, out of which five books are collection of short stories in his mother tongue Dogri. His previous creative titles like: “KHOU’DHAL”, “ADH MAJHATAI”, “SEKH MATT” and “JEEBH TLATYEE GAYEE” have won praise and critical appreciation.
Although “KEH PATA” does not have any story with this particularl title or theme but the writer has beautifully justified it with imaginative and innovative use of words. It’s simply amazing when he relates the title which means ‘Who Knows’ with uncertainties affecting every moment or move of our life. The plots of the stories are unique and well-woven around the characters that experience uncertainties and endure mixed agony and adoration thus ensuring a connection with memorable pleasures and harsh realities of life that every human being undergoes during different phases of his or her life.
The book under review contains 11 stories that have been written with an intent of not only amusing the readers but also to touch their sentiments with a sense of belonging. These include ‘SHILLI BIJJI GAYEE’, ‘KUN APNE’, ‘JANG’,’BARKATI’, ‘BADDA HOI GAYA NA’, ‘DAYEE’, ‘PARSHAME’, ‘BITTA’, SADARAT AUKHI’, ‘SHANTI GHAT’ and ‘CHOWKIDAAR’.
It may be mentioned that each story revolves around certain familiar characters thus really connecting them with the readers. The plots are unique and thought-provoking which do touch the nerves. The readers’ connect to each plot is such that it is not so easy to just read and forget. The contents involving sufferings and inclination of the characters do haunt and will be in memory for a longer time. It’s not so easy to get rid of these stories merely as a work of fiction! The distinct quality of Mr Raju is that he creates visuals and inspires the readers to step in to enjoy the everlasting journey along with the narration of the story. It’s a different kind of feel that every reader aspires for and is pleased with the sum and substance of the writing.
The first story of the book ‘SHILLI BIJJI GAYEE’ is psychological analysis of an athelete suffering from the restrictions owing to acute diseases like diabetes etc. When his wife persuaded him to accompany her to Bawe Mata to seek blessings for getting well. amazingly, after first visit, he starts going there all alone regularly; even without being noticed by his family. On one fateful day, his family pays obeisance to Bawe Mata, they are stunned to find him quenching his hunger for tasty food of langar.
If ‘KUN APNE’ is a story of women exploitation at every stage of life not by strangers but by own relatives or associates then’JANG’is a bold story of a newly married young woman who can’t forget her lover and fights within self being trapped in between husband and emotional feel for lover. Despite knowing that her going physical with someone else when her husband is combating with enemy on war-front, is a sin; her physical desires prove her weak and she crosses the borders to experience the guilt throughout life. On the other hand ‘BARKATI’ is about a beautiful tender girl and unmatched quite a macho sex-starved husband who forces his sexual desires to kill feelings of newly wedded bride brutally on wedding night but realizes later on that love is, in fact, a healing touch to all problems.
Play of Emotions
‘BADDA HOI GAYA NA’ is about the problems being faced by aging parents whose wards leave home to secure bright future in far off areas and even abroad never to come back thus forcing their parents to live a miserable life all alone during fading years of their lives but still they are always concerned about welfare of their children.’DAYEE’ is a story of every household thus exploring the sweet and sour relations between sister and sister-in-law while ‘PARSHAME’ is about the past that does cast an impact on present to disturb future as it’s the reflection of experiences good or bad that happen in present. ‘BITTA’ is an emotional story of love with a pet with unusual end; while ‘SADARAT AUKHI’ is a thought provoking story about the hardships of old age depicted well in a lighter vein but with a strong message. ‘SHANTI GHAT’ is an abstract concept having certain emotion- packed with realistic grounds. The last story ‘CHOWKIDAAR’ is again a beautiful description of what we witness in our society behind the veil of fib but just pretend to be fair.
Real life Characters
With unique themes and familiar characters as important tools to propagate something special but with a different approach which is creative and innovative in real terms. It is appreciable that Dogri language is also getting enriched with such stories that will definitely inspire others also to pen stories having meaningful messages that should appeal the readers.
O P Sharma