A few years ago, headlines of the media industry were full of debate about “intolerance”. There is a fine line that distinguishes the things that are tolerable and intolerable. Satire (व्यंग्य) is an art of delivering a strong message in a manner that the subject doesn’t feel hurt. Sometimes, even he/she also enjoys that moment.
Mark Twain, Harishankar Parsai and many other well-known authors, many sportspersons and even politician are known for their sense of humor. And satires are only meant for those who are witty enough and have a good (if not great) sense of humor. It falls flat otherwise, and even bounces back in hurtful manner in some cases.
Kamal Upadhyay’s books in “Loktantra”(लोकतंत्र – Democracy) series fall in “satire” category where you can find references to current political system, Bollywood, the things happening in our surrounding. The characters of the books are taken from Ramayan – one of the most popular Indian mythology (that is history) tale. The book series explores a fictional tale, of course.
The first book in the series was Lankapati Ka Loktantra. It is about Ravan’s experiment of implementing democracy in Lanka (with the main aim to get Nobel Peace Prize). It was the first book by Kamal, we got a chance to read on Juggernaut app. You can find our views and review for the same at:
|Book Title||:||रावण और लोकतंत्र
(sequel to लंकापति का लोकतंत्र)
|Publisher||:||Self published (2021)|
|# of Pages||:||774 KB; 44 (Kindle EBook)|
|# of Chapters||:||–|
Today we are going to talk about the second book in the series, Ravan Aur Loktantra (रावण और लोकतंत्र). Though, it is a sequel to “Lankapati Ka LokTantra (लंकापति का लोकतंत्र)”, you can read it as a standalone book.
Of course, one should not judge a book by its cover. But, how can we deny the influence of a book cover on book reading/purchase or even picking decisions? Let us take a look at the cover page of – रावण और लोकतंत्र.
Kamal’s book are getting better cover pages progressively. The protagonist (or antagonist, whatever you call, but he is the central character of the book) – Ravan’s face is occupying the most of the cover page. All the known attributes of his personality are depicted quite well in the illustration. The purple-to-blue background shades makes the cover page looking even better. The wordplay by the designer by writing the book title as रावण और
लंका लोकतंत्र (strike through the word लंका) is very interesting.
I found the cover page quite interesting.
As Ravan has turned the political administrative system of Lanka to democracy from kingship, his own powers are also curbed. Now, he need to worry about public opinions as well. The beaurocracy is affected too. Corruption has made an entry into his administration and his spy agency and security forces are working like a caged parrot.
Despite being the supreme leader, he has to follow the advise of Marich. Foreign educated Trijata is growing as a challenge for him. The economy of the country is also taking its blows and things are not working in his favor.
Even his personal life is affected due to this changed circumstances. And, in all of these, he has to visit an offshore country. The king of Lanka, the ruler who was once feared, caught in some tricky situation during this voyage! Will he survive? Will he be able to uncover the plot to get him dethroned in the next election? Will he let the kingdom blossom(!) in the democratic environment or will he develop an urge to restore Authoritarianism once again?
Well, you need to read the book get the answers :).
Views And Reviews:
Writing a satire is challenging, but writing it without using “cheap” stuff is even more challenging, and in this book, I see the shades of humor by Harishankar Parsai-ji and I like the tone. Of course, Parsai-ji was even more blunt, but in the time of people getting “hurt” so soon these days, just writing satires is a challenging task.
The book has depicted the characters like रावण, विभीषण, त्रिजटा, मारीच, मंदोदरी, मेघनाथ and other and the fictional incidents revolves around them. You will notice that the name of मेघनाद (the one who sounded like the rain thunder) is written as मेघनाथ. Actually, it is written that way throughout the book.
‘मामा मारीच, मैं स्वयं वहां उपस्थित था तो उसे किस परमिट की आवश्यकता है? हम स्वयँ ही परमिट है!’
मामा मारीच रावण के थोड़ा नजदीक गए!
‘भांजे वो ज़माना अब नहीं रहा, लंका अब लोकतंत्र है| यदि तुम्हारा नाम उस बात के साथ जुड़ गया तो बबाल मच जाएगा! … चुनाव में हमें जनता को जवाब देना कठिन हो जायेगा|
As you can in the quote taken from the book, Ravan, despite declaring the kingdom of Lanka, a democracy, still feels that he is the king and behaves like the same. And his uncle Marich tried to put some sense in him (well, only from the public perception point of view). Don’t we see many politician in the most of the democracies think that they are the chosen ones and thus the unquestionable rulers?! While the above lines shows the roots of “VIP culture” seeded deeply in the ruler’s mind, they also exposes the deceiving games played by the politicians and their advisors to mislead the public.
Continuing the flair, here are the feelings of Ravan…
… मामा आपकी बात सही है लेकिन लोकतंत्र से मेरा मन भर चूका है| ज़िन्दगी भर मैं संसद और जनता को अपने कृत्यों का हिसाब देना सही नहीं समझता|
And he continues..
मतलब यही है कि लंका में आगे से कोई चुनाव नहीं होगा, अब मैं यहाँ का भाऊ और सब बनेंगी मेरी होली काऊ|
By the way, I found the rhyming wordplay interesting.
The following lines take a satirical shot on the same leaders.
“छोडो मामा, रावण के कदम इतने कमज़ोर भी नहीं है की लोकतंत्र के नेता की तरह अपना सारा बोझ जनता पर लाद दे|
… रावण एक दो कदम और आगे बढ़ा था की बेहोश होकर नीचे गिर गया|
मामा मारीच ने चार बॉडीगार्ड को बुलाकर रावण को उठाया और जैसे ही उन्होंने मुख्या द्वार का दरवाज़ा खोला, सामने समाचार पत्र वाले कैमरा लेकर तने थे| …
And as you can see, the author beautifully turns the scene into a comic one. And, in the very next line, it shows over-enthusiastic media’s inquisitiveness(!) for the personal lives of celebrities. Only a seasoned author can weave 3 very distinct attributes in a 3-4 lines block.
… पश्चिम वाले तो एशिया के लोगों को पुरस्कार तब देते हैं जब उन्हें अपना कोई प्रोडक्ट एशिया में बेचना हो|
The above lines will remind you of the consecutive wins of Indian contestants in various beauty-pagents and the flood of foreign-market cosmetics in India. Of course, the beauty and calibre of the contestant is not questioned here, but the intentions of the cosmetics companies manufacturing and selling (sometimes useless) beauty products and seeing India and other countries just as a market. And here is another block of text from the book that is also a well-powered punch :).
त्रिजटा उस विज्ञापन को देखकर ज़ोर-ज़ोर से हंसने लगी|
“पापा इतने पैसे में तो साबुन की टिकिया नहीं आती जितने पैसे में ये लोग दूध, मलाई, शहद और बादाम मिला हुआ साबुन बेचने की बात कर रहे है|”
There are some funny lines in the book that you will surely enjoy.
साँस को छोड़ते हुए त्रिजटा ने कहा, “पापा आप को काम से काम नोक तो करना चाहिए था|”
विभीषण ने बिना मुड़े ही कहा, “रुको अभी नॉक करके आता हूँ|”
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
“माँ आपको चिंता करने की जरूरत नहीं है, मैं अभी पिता जी की सहायता के लिए निकल जाता हूँ|”
मंदोदरी ने मेघनाथ की तरफ व्यंग्यात्मक नज़रो से देखा|
“बेटा, तुम्हारी पत्नी ने जाने की परवानगी दे दी है?”
The book has some interestingly serious yet funny punchlines.
बेटा इस बार नाव लेकर भारत जाओ, ज़मीन से जुड़े रहोगे तो कुछ नया सीखने मिलेगा|
Being an avid reader himself, the author doesn’t miss a chance to mention remarkable works of other reputed authors.
मामा मारीच, बजट अधिक ठेठ मत बोलिए, मैंने भी काशीनाथ सिंह की किताबें पढ़ी है और ठेठ समझ लेता हूँ|
Of course, some lines like the following could have been better constructed.
विदेशी देशोंने हमारे ऊपर नज़र बना राखी है|
Kamal is very keen to write scripts for Films and TV Shows (and some of his works were also considered by the makers as well). So, it is obvious to find some lines like the following in his works:
डीजे वाला गाने पे थिरक रहा था कि तभी उसके गाल पर एक जोरदार तमाचा पड़ा|
Let me conclude my exploration of this book by referring the following lines:
त्रिजटा ने विभीषण कि तरफ देखा, “आर यु सीरियस डूड?”
विभीषण ने त्रिजटा की तरफ देखा और मुस्कुराते हुए कहा, “इस बार तुम अपने नाना के यहाँ से अच्छी अंग्रेजी सीखकर आई हो| विदेश नीति में अंग्रेजी भाषा का ज्ञान बहुत काम आएगा|”
I would love to know your thoughts about these lines.
The contemporariness and the use of Bollywood songs in the story are the two most interesting attributes of the book, and I am sure that most of the readers will enjoy them too.
It is a thought-provoking book that is worth reading. Of course, it has humor and satire at its heart and if you like Late Jaspal Bhatti’s TV Serial – Flop Show and other such stuff, you will enjoy reading this short EBook too.
Around 7.5 stars out of 10.
Quick Purchase Links:
- Buy – रावण और लोकतंत्र By Kamal Upadhyay – Paperback – Amazon India
- Buy – रावण और लोकतंत्र By Kamal Upadhyay – Kindle Ebook – Amazon US
Over To You:
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