Stories with a substance

O P Sharma
This book entitled ‘Ik Hor Ashwthama’ has come out with captivating short stories in Dogri language. It has stories which are interesting, informative and also having moral lessons. Most of the stories, directly or indirectly, touch youth and female issues. This Dogri writer has now sufficient experience of life and also much confidence to give expression through his creative faculty.
Literary Merit
The book contains 15 stories with real-life characters, well-knit plots, chaste Dogri idioms and distinct style of narration, based on traditional as well as burning issues of the present day. Chaman Arora’s emphasis is also on the issues related to youth and females: their present socio-economic conditions and future prospects. He advocates the cause and consequences of denial of due rights to women and youth too.
Vast Canvas
This book comprises of 15 stories with very interesting titles : Ik Chetha ; Quadi; Desh Nikala; Eklavya; Heart Attack; Kudhamachari. The choicest stories in this book, as per my perception are: Jnanaka Prem; Mekha; Seat No. 19; Oh Harrie Gaya; Ik Hor Ashwthama; Remote Control. All these stories sustain the interest of the readers till the very end of the narratives. Particularly, Mr Arora ‘s “Ik Hor Ashwthama” is an outstanding contribution and ranks one of the unique and understanding stories in the Dogri literature.
All other stories by Chaman Gupta are also illuminating, interesting and instructive conveying the meaningful messages to the readership. Every Dogri knowing person will certainly feel pleasure and also profit by reading this book as it is based on the rich experiences of Chaman Arora.
Varied Experiences
Lalit Magotra, an eminent writer has written Foreword of this book and appreciated the typical short stories in Dogri and praised their style and substance. Chaman Arora has dedicated this book to his wife late Joginder Kour. The author, in his ” Appne Assaya” column has opined that in his third short-story book “Ik Hor Ashwthama’ he has shared his life-time facts and experiences. The base-line of the story is that a man becomes ‘rich’ on writer’s imagination and he gets tortured due to ‘excessive wealth’ as his family catches ‘negative attitude’ and he becomes ‘deeply disillusioned’ and approaches the writer to restore him to his good old days. But the writer points out that he has no power to change the destiny and is himself like Ashwthama whose wounds with blood are noticed by everyone but the writer’s woes are not seen by anyone. And so, the writer is also like another kind of Ashwthama . He holds that his stories are intimately connected with life and are informative.
This book has added significantly to the Dogri language and its literature.
Real Life Characters
Chaman Arora’s latest book ; ‘Ik Hor Ashwthama’ is a finely produced publication, written in lucid style, simple language and well narrated short stories which will certainly interest all the Dogri readers. It has been produced well, finely printed on a quality paper and in appealing literary style.This well produced and moderately priced book is worth to be kept in the personal book shelves as also in the public libraries.