Recently we came to know about Ilu (ईलू) – a short story by Kamal Upadhyay. Kamal Upadhyay’s book Lankapati Ka Loktantra is a satire on the current time and political system. Though published a few years ago, it is still relevant and will remain relevant (I wish, the system and society are changed so much that the book become irrelevant some day and remain just a legend). You can read more about various books by Kamal at the links below.
- Lankapati Ka LokTantra by Kamal Upadhyay – Book Review
- Hatya | A Short EBook by Kamal Upadhyay | Personal Reviews
Kamal used to run a bog named Puranee Bastee, now he is not much active there. However, you can follow his twitter handle and see that he is very active there. His tweets are satirical punchlines on current happenings. And, more importantly, you will find that he can laugh on himself. No taking one’s self too seriously is also a quality, which not everyone possesses. We got a chance to have an author interview with Kamal in the context of his book Lankapati Ka Loktantra which you can read at:
Coming back to Ilu, the book was released in mid September, 2019 and I came to know about it during a book promotion. During that period the book (Kindle edition) was available for free at Amazon India. The author himself shared this promotion details on his social media handles, so does we. So, those who follow us or him must have got a chance to purchase (for free) and read it.
|Book Title||:||Ilu (ईलू)|
|Publisher||:||Self Published (19 September 2019)|
|# of Pages||:||645 KB, 66 (Kindle EBook)|
Kamal has a sweet daughter whom he fondly referred to as “Baba”. She inspired him to write this book. Ilu is a book which kids will enjoy for sure, but at the same time, it is appealing to adult readers also. So, age is no bar if you want to read this book. But, does the book really worth the money and time you need to spend on it? Well, let me share my unbiased thought about “Ilu” and then you can decide for yourself.
Being an entry point to the virtual world of the book, the cover page plays a very important role in making its first impression and thus is responsible for a large number of purchase and/or reading decisions.
The cover page of the book is quite thoughtful and attractive. The illustration of the female protagonist looks quite attractive. The blue sky and clouds traveling within make it more detailed. And yes, you can also see Marlo’s helicopter in the right bottom corner, which plays a very important role in the story. Overall, a thoughtful and attractive cover page which not only remains true to the story as well. I like the cover page and I am sure that the target readers will like it too.
Ilu is a young sparrow kid who is growing up. Chino is her father who loves her very much. In an unfortunate incident, Ilu’s mother lost her life and now Chino raises her as a single parent. In addition to taking care of her, Chino inspires her to better things in life. He also keeps her motivating whenever she feels low. In short, their relationships are a typical father-daughter relationship you see in the human world.
Ilu being small and a little fragile was often made fun by some of her classmates, especially by a boy of an influential political figure, who considers himself above everyone else in his school. There was a competition to be arranged in the near future and Ilu was quite a bit in a dilemma about whether she should take part in it or not. Some naysayers say that she neither can win the competition nor she can complete it. Her father, however, pushes her to test and expand her abilities.
One of Ilu’s actions, however, put her in a tricky situation! Will her father know about it? And, will she be able to return unharmed? What life lessons will she learn during this journey?
All these questions are better getting answered by reading this book where you will meet many characters including ईलू, चिनो, मार्लो, कपिलो, किट्टो, पैरिटो and others.
Though the book is aimed for kids and explores a fictional story; Kamal infuses his witty satirical takes within. The way he weaved various aspects of current socio-political situations in the story is something commendable. And, that is the reason it will appeal to young adults and politically aware mature citizens too. This is a unique fit for any author to achieve.
The way the characters are introduced is one of the positive aspects of the book. And yes, some of them make their appearance at key points. Kamal also infuses references to “Amitabh Bachchan” in a way that the reader will surely enjoy.
There are some inspirational lines in the book which I liked. Here is one of them:
यह सपनें तुम्हे सीख देने आते है की जीवन में सिर्फ उड़ना मायने नहीं रखता, तुम्हे अपनी उड़ान से अपने समाज का कल्याण करना चाहिए.
It reminded me of the famous Hindi TV Serial Udaan which was aired on Doordarshan.
While a positive attitude and optimism are really good qualities, it is equally important to remember the limitations. This point is what we miss in most of the inspirational talks. The author is wise enough to not to miss mentioning it here.
आत्मविश्वाश अच्छा है ईलू लेकिन अतिआत्मविश्वास हानि पहुँचा सकता है. हमेशा याद रखो क चैम्पियनशिप सिर्फ जीतने के लिए नहीं, अपितु अपने बल का सही अंदाज लगाने के लिए भी होती है.
The following character will surely remind you a few such kind of people you met in your life
कपिलो का तो काम ही था, अपने पिता के ग्रामप्रधान होने का धौंस यहाँ – वहाँ दिखाते फिरना. सोने की चैन और महंगे कपड़ो से लदा कपिलो स्कूल पढ़ाई करने नहीं लोगो को परेशान करने ही आता था.
Here is an example of funny satirical lines in the book:
…मार्लो तुम एक पक्षी हो, तुम्हें पैराशूट की क्या जरूरत?
मार्लो ज़मीन पर चीनो के सामने उतरा, स्वयं को पैराशूट की रस्सिओं से अलग करते हुए, उसने कहा – मैं रात को अपने पंखो को तकलीफ नहीं देता हूँ.
if I need to choose a single lesson everyone can learn from the book, I will refer the following:
ईलू जब ख़राब समय आता है तो दिमाग काम करना बंद कर देता है. अब तुम खुद को देख लो.
These quotes must have given you an idea about the quality of writing you can expect in the book. Telling more than this about various attributes of the book will include spoilers which I want to avoid as much as possible.
The books uses “.” as a full stop rather than “|” as in Hindi books. There are some lines in the book which seem like typographical errors in the book which are left there intentionally, the author has confirmed it. Here is an example:
वस्ताद, एक बात पूछूँ?
These small points can be ignored as the book has a lot of positive attributes. The book is value for money for me, as I bought it for free. The actual price, however, can be considered high by many Indian readers/buyers.
Overall a nice book aimed for kids equally enjoyable by readers of all age group. With simple day-to-day language and reflection of events happening in our surrounding it gives an inspirational message to.
Around 7.5 to 8 out of 10.
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