"The art of storytelling is on its way to extinction. Story narration is that unique art of storytelling which captures the undivided attention and imagination of the reader/audience from the very first line and does not let go of him till the end. The art of story narration, of late, has undergone so much of experimentation that in the process ‘story’ has either been killed or has committed suicide. This explains the dwindling readership in the genre called story. With this backdrop in mind, I embarked upon the book of Ravindra Kumar.
I had two fears before I began reading. One, it may turn out to be an insipid product of amateur writing, as common these days as weed in your kitchen garden. People, sadly, have taken satire as some kind of a joke. They are under the impression that a joke or two here and there can make one a satirist. Writer type Office Bosses suffer most from this disease. It is not entirely their fault. Their juniors cheer their bosses to such lengths on their oft repeated stale jokes that bosses are bound to have such misgivings about themselves. Two, Ravindra Kumar may turn out to be one such writer type boss. I wonder, why so many bosses have taken to writing satire? May be because who dare tell the king that you are ‘naked’. So when I came to know that Ravindra Kumar is a senior officer working for Indian Railways, I did have this fleeting feeling of déjà vu. As I began to read the book, by and by I did get engulfed in the sheer pleasure of its contents. This book is neither exclusively a collection of satires nor a collection of tales. This book gives ray of hope that art of storytelling is not dead yet. Ravindra Kumar is well versed in the art of storytelling. His writing freshens up and transports the reader to grandma’s art of story narration era.
His writings are so very versatile that each story is new and different. The book is full of so many tales and all are as diverse as ‘My India’. The book contains interesting satires. Several tales spring from sweet n sour working of Indian Railways-a forte of Ravindra Kumar, only he could do justice with. Topics unfold like leaves straight from film, politics, and shades of middle class life. Titles may appear traditional but the author leaves his own unique flavor in each of them.
I believe, writing is meaningful only if it ‘connects’ and identifies with the readers. This ‘connect’ is easier said than done. It takes life time to identify and then enable to ‘connect’ with the readers. The subject has to be drawn from life and kept as lively and vibrant as it is found in ‘pan-life’ itself. It is then only that a reader identifies with the writings. Language and narration has to be life-like. Ravindra Kumar has made efforts to do exactly this in his book and has largely succeeded in his endeavor. This book takes you to the journey of India. You are re-introduced to the India, India which is so resonant with all its paradoxes that if any one succeeds in feeling the pulse and capturing this node, then one is bound to craft most vibrant creation.
Ravindra Kumar has more than succeeded in doing so. "
Dr Gyan Chaturvedi
11th Nov. 2013