Poetic Depiction
Anand Prakash
KUCHH RANG BENOOR by Suryanath Singh Indraprastha, 2011, 150 pp., 00.00
February 2011, volume 35, No 2

At present, Hindi short fiction, an important genre emerging in the postIndependence period, is at a crossroads. After confrontingNai Kahani(New Short Story) andAkahani (AntiShort Story) movements, this fiction moved towards commitment in the nineteen seventies; here it dwelt persistently on themes of exploitation, injustice and oppression. Interestingly, the seventies also saw the emergence ofSamantar Kahani (Parallel Short Story) that adopted the stance of being rooted in the contemporary situation. Also, theSamantar Kahani felt threatened by the thematically committed stream and was avowedly sceptical about writers such as Bhairav, Markandeya, Amarkant, Shekhar Joshi, Israil, and Vijaykant, to name a few; these writers believed in stressing the desirability of taking up cudgels against the surrounding bourgeois society and culture. The nineteen eighties and nineties were witness to experimentation in the short story genre even as the new crop of writers in these decades adopted a centrist approach. Both experimentation and centrism remain the hallmark of short fiction in the first few years of the twentyfirst century, too. However, debates about Hindi writing in general and short story in particular tell unmistakably of a scene powered by ideas and opinions. These come to mind, understandably, when we look at Suryanath Singhs short story collection under review.

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