Journey to Far Away Places
Pramod Joshi
BAHUT DOOR, KITANA DOOR HOTA HAI by Manav Kaul Hindi Yugm, 2019, 160 pp., Hindi Yugm
October 2020, volume 44, No 10

Manav Kaul is not a regular writer in a sense, so one can call him a Sahityakar in Hindi. He has a creative mind and experience of working in the vast field of theatre, cinema and allied arts, including writing. It makes him a perfect artist. He writes stories and poems. This is his fourth book, which he calls a different type of travelogue. Of course, it is. It begins with a story, develops as a travelogue, becomes a novel with a poetic approach. In the end it is part travelogue, part fiction and part essay.

Most of the characters in this book are real, while some sequences are surreal. Perhaps he started a novel and finished a travelogue or vice versa. He says in the book, he for sure is doing ‘something different’! In another place he writes, all this is a personal travel experience, but dreamy. Like this river is a reality, but whatever flows with it is unreal. It reminds  one of Nirmal Verma’s Ve Din. Nirmal Verma is his favourite among those he has named in an interview. They are Vinod Kumar Shukla, Nirmal Verma, Rabindranath Tagore, Albert Camus and Franz Kafka. One can see the impact of Nirmal Verma in his writing, at least in this book.

Continue reading this review