I live in Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India. The regional language here is Kannada, which is quite dominant in this province. This language must be a great language as far as I understand. I have hardly read any literature in Kannada, but I know that the writers here (in Kannada literature) have won many glorious awards in Indian literature. ‘Jnanapith Award’ has been dominated by many Kannada writers. I accepted their legacy when I came to know that many movies based on Kannada short stories and novels have critically been acclaimed on international platforms. Well, the story of Hindi literature is not any less glorious. We should not forget that all the regional languages have the same root, and that is Sanskrit. Whether it is Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil or Kannada, or even Odiya, they all share common story telling styles and platform.
Loneliness – I, after reading many short stories in different regional languages, have found that loneliness has affected most of the stories in their bases. This point came to my mind when I finished reading a popular Hindi short story ‘Kosi ka Ghatwar’ by Shekhar Joshi. It’s a very old story which talks about a loner soldier and his love interest. Whosoever has got any interest in Hindi stories, knows about this evergreen story. You would find that most of the Hindi stories share common substance of loneliness, of course, more or less. Why have all the stories been affected by loneliness? To know this we do need to know about the period when these stories were being written. The thing is, it was the period was of Realization and Spiritual awakening when most of the popular stories were being written. That period is known as ‘Era of New Stories’. Great writers like Premchand had started to come out of the boredom of fairy tales. They started to ponder the present socioeconomic condition which had severely affected our lifestyle. In their stories, they firstly hit hard at society and its bondage; secondly, they think of running away from all the mess in society. Loneliness rules even today, for our social and economic struggle continues.
Today our literature is suffering from a disease called Love. Everybody is writing about Love. They are continuously writing about Love. Not to mention, most of the films in Bollywood are based on unrealistic Love stories. These love stories are as good as fairy tales. Fairy tales had created boredom once, and it has started boring our Indian readers again. Are we going back to Loneliness again? Maybe, yes.
Philosophical Touch – A Hindi or any regional language story is supposed to end with a philosophical touch, it can’t just be a note of an event. Again, the story ‘Koshi Ka Ghatwar’ is a very good example of a story with philosophical touch. You may not be considered a good writer in Hindi if your stories lack the philosophy. The love stories which are being written these days are about love-relationships, sex, party, materialism, etc. We may very soon get back to our Loneliness and Philosophical roots again. As it is said that time repeats itself.