Is the Author Another Being?
Dev Dutt
CHEHRE ANEK (VOL. I & II) by Upendranath Ashk Neelabh Prakashan, Allahabad, 1979, 187 pp., 17.50
Nov-Dec 1979, volume 4, No 3

The popular adage ‘appearances are deceptive’ applies aptly to these first two volumes of the proposed ten volumes of the off-beat autobiographical writings of Ashk, the Hindi novelist, playwright, cri­tic, poet and publisher.

In the first volume Ashk reminiscences about various instances of expressions of his almost irrepressible urge to be jovial, to play practical jokes, to mimic and to ape and to take delight in narrat­ing tit-bits, with references to the follies and foibles, peculiarities and contradic­tions, hypocrisies as idiosyncrasies, pee­vishness and pettiness of his contempor­aries, juniors and seniors.

Ashk also describes how he avenged the willful wrongs, injustice and humilia­tion inflicted upon him by his friends and acquaintances. In doing so, in the second volume, which has a sharper and clearer focus, Ashk uncovers a fearsome streak of his nature which he calls the ruthless­ness of Chanakya, diabolical anger of Durvasa and the revengefulness of a camel.

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