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quoteHuman beings very rarely express themselves in their rawness, doing what they actually want to do, and do it the exact way they want to do it. Social conditioning as well as gathering information, processing them to simulate results, make them hold back. We are always trying to become someone who we think we should be if others didn’t know certain realities of our lives. There is a constant theatrical endeavour to make others believe what we want them to see in us. In the darkest corners of our hearts, we are waiting to unleash. 

This continuous experience, over a period of time, suppresses that rawness and we tend to behave in a socially accepted way. We forget the lows and highs of our abilities of doing bad things. We start to underestimate the brutalities, mental and physical, we are capable of. That’s precisely why when we hear that someone shoved a rod inside the head of his uncle over a small dispute, we usually use the word ‘unthinkable’. 

‘There will be no love’ is a collection of short stories bringing out that rawness of humanity when faced with certain circumstances. The title itself has been chosen to convey the absence of love in conventional way. I am not a dark person, but I wanted to bring out stories about the darkest hours of human lives when we struggle the most. The stories where struggles of the self dealing with the ideas of alienation, revenge, social gaze, sexual exploitation, extreme violence etc are presented in their original and vivid form. 

After my two books, a collection of satire (Bakar Puran) and a coming-of-age novel (Ghar Wapasi), I wanted to work on certain struggles of the people that was missing in those books. These stories didn’t start with the current theme in mind, but as I wrote them, they were going on a broader line of thought. The protagonists in several of those were struggling with the thought of revenge after being wronged by people or circumstances. The process they go through to struggle inside, plan and execute, was something I wanted to bring to the fore. 

What would you do if five members of your family are shot dead just over a trivial issue of your cow grazing in someone else’s farm? What would you do if the village chief’s son not only tries to rape your wife, but one fine day comes drunk to your house, and shoots your pregnant wife in the abdomen while killing the son she held in her lap? How would you cope up with the idea of abandonment if you were found almost dead on the doorstep of an orphanage and have nowhere to go as an 18-year-old orphan? 

What would you do if you know someone was raping and molesting women and people looked up to you for justice? How would you stop yourself from committing organised murders if your 7-year-old son was thrashed head-on on a rock with tied legs? What would be your plan of action if you were molested and raped by someone you trusted after he invited you to a dinner at his home? Would you consider to die if there was nothing to hold on or there was an absence of reasoning to live on this planet? Would you care for social gaze when you are in the most intimate moments with your beloved? 

These are the questions that you would face when you read the next pages. You would be able to comprehend things in a clearer perspective as to why some girl who feels exploited doesn’t always find a police station. Or maybe, you wouldn’t because the book doesn’t give you those answers. These stories tell you what happens, and how the characters react to situations. 

The stories are not entirely fictional as many of them have traces of truth. Some of the situations in these stories are real. However, the vividness of stories might appear as unreal and a work of imagination, but it’s not always that. Imagination is never pure, because we cannot imaging anything from nothing. Imagination is a combination of everything that we experience in our lives. You take something from somewhere and you create with imagination. There has to be a base. In this case, the base is the stories that we hear, read or witness around us. 

As an author, you live through the words that you type. Every paragraph provokes you to think about the next step and every story changes you. There would be plots that are alien in experience, yet you write it, trying to make sense. These stories might come across as fantastical to certain people, but believe me, these stories exist. The time and characters might change, but these stories live around us. We live among those people who might be a character from these stories, but we don’t know them. We don’t know them, because they express themselves in the way they want to. 

But the question is, do we know ourselves? Can we know for sure, we wouldn’t react in a similar way when faced with a similar situation? 


Ghar Wapasi cover backcover

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quoteघरवापसी‘ उन विस्थापित लोगों की कहानी है जो बेहतर भविष्य के लक्ष्य का पीछा करते हुए, अपने समाज से दूर होने के बावजूद, वहाँ से पूरी तरह निकल नहीं पाते। ये कहानी बिहार-उत्तर प्रदेश आदि के गाँवों, छोटे शहरों से शिक्षा और नौकरी की तलाश में निकले युवाओं के आंतरिक और बाह्य संघर्ष की कहानी है। अपने जड़ों की एक चिंता से जूझते हुए कि मगर वो वहीं होते, तो शायद कुछ बदलाव ले आते। एक अंतर्द्वंद्व कि अपने नए परिवार, जिसमें पत्नी-बच्चे और उनका भविष्य है, को ताकूँ, या पुराने परिवार को, जिसमें माँ-बाप से लेकर समाज की भी एक वृहद् भूमिका होती है, लगातार चलता रहता है। समाज भी एक परिवार होता है, वो भी एक माँ-बाप का जोड़ा है जो आप में निवेश करता है।

मुझे क्या बनना है‘ के उत्तर का पीछा करते हुए मुख्य पात्र आज के समय में एक बेहतर स्थिति में जरूर है लेकिन वो परिस्थितिजन्य ‘बेहतरी‘ है। रिश्तों की गहराई और संवेदनाओं के एक वेग में ‘घरवापसी’ के पात्र बहते हैं। पिता-पुत्र, पति-पत्नी, अल्पवयस्क प्रेमी-प्रेमिका, दोस्ती जैसे वैयक्तिक रिश्तों से लेकर समाज और व्यक्ति के आपसी रिश्तों की कहानी है ‘घरवापसी’।

कहानी के मुख्य पात्र रवि के अवचेतन में उसी का एक हिस्सा नोचता है, खरोंचता है, चिल्लाता है… लेकिन उसके चेतन का विस्तार, उसके वर्तमान की चमक उस छटपटाहट को बेआवाज़ बनाकर दबा देते हैं। रवि अपनी अपूर्णताओं को जीते हुए, उनसे लड़ते हुए, बचपन में पूछे गए एक प्रश्न के उत्तर का पीछा करता रहता है कि उसे क्या बनना है। अपने वर्तमान में सामाजिक दृष्टि से ‘सफल‘ रवि का अपने अवचेतन के सामने आने पर, खुद को लम्बे रास्ते के दो छोरों को तौलते हुए पाना, और तय करना कि घर लौटूँ, या घर को लौट जाऊँ, ही ‘घरवापसी’ की आत्मा है। 

bakar puran

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quoteबकर पुराण हर उस बैचलर लड़के की ज़िंदगी की किताब है जो घर छोड़कर दिल्ली जैसे शहरों में पढ़ने आता है और फिर उन शहरों का हिस्सा हो जाता है । इसके पन्नों पर हर उस लड़के की कहानी है जिसने कभी प्रेम किया हो, मूर्खता की हो, चाय की दुकान पर भारत की विदेश नीति पर परिचर्चा की हो ।

बकर पुराण बैचलर लौंडो का इतिहास, वर्तमान और न बदलने वाला भविष्य है । इसकी भाषा और शैली वही है जो बैचलर के कमरे में होती है, कोई सजावट या अभिजात्यता का ढोंग नहीं है । जो है बस वही है ।

बकर पुराण पर प्रकाशित एक रिसर्च पेपर यहाँ पढ़ें ताकि आपको पता चले कि ये किताब क्यों लिखी गई, इसमें क्या है, इसकी शैली ऐसी क्यों है।

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