Travails of the Armed Forces Through Fiction
Gauri Sharma
KUCHH ANSUNI FAUJI KAHANIYAN (INSOMNIA) by Rachna Bisht Rawat Prabhat Prakashan, 2021, 191 pp., 400.00
October 2022, volume 46, No 10

This book provides a glimpse into the persona of the Indian Armed Forces. Rachna Bisht, the wife of an army officer, has put together seventeen stories  which discuss an unusual episodic journey of several characters, as the title suggests. It depicts bonds that are less frequently spoken about, such as grief at the untimely death of a subordinate, the cross-border friendship that began in Siachen or a dog’s rescue mission during a deadly snowstorm, etc.

The book portrays narratives such as desire of a spouse to see his wife, a comrade’s sorrow over his failure to defend, or an officer’s tribute to a former teacher. The book demonstrates the negative side of being sent to far-off places, which includes the unpredictability of the surroundings, the risks, and the isolation brought on by inability to be in communication with friends or family.

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