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The sick display of hypocrisy when a 'Hindi Detective Novel' is considered to be something cheap as compared to an 'English Crime Thriller Novel' with exactly the same title! (An insight by Bobby Sing)

19 Jun, 2014 | Articles on Music, Poetry and Life

Surender-Mohan-PathakApart from the world of cinema, the other domain I love to visit on regular basis remains the world of detectives, crime investigations and thrillers in a pure Indian style, found in ‘Hindi Detective Novels’ penned by authors led by Surendra Mohan Pathak from the front (along with Ved Prakash Sharma, Col. Ranjeet & more) . In fact in my teenage years, when the other kids used to read comics, I always had my eyes on the fat crime thriller novels placed in the racks of those small book shops from where we could get them all (along with the desired comics) on a very nominal rent ranging from 50 paise to 1 rupee only.
But unfortunately (and without any clear reasoning too), there was always a certain kind of repulsion expressed for these detective novels by the elders and we forcibly had to read them either away from our home or hiding in a lesser visited zone of the house becoming the rebellion kid. Now in those years the restriction was quite logical since such books were not supposed to be read by children in their early teen years, which was very right if considered from the parent’s mindset.
However much time has passed (almost three decades) and I simply fail to understand the same sick mindset which still considers these Hindi Detective novels written by our own authors, as some cheap publications having a low-grade content, even after all these years of new age development & education. Yes, there was a time when they were all published on a very low quality paper without any standard typesetting or printing as followed by the other big publications. But thankfully, the scenario has entirely changed now and even reputed international publishing houses like HARPER COLLINS are now releasing the same authors (like IBNE SAFI & SMP) with an immense pride and publicity in a grand style (in Hindi).
Yet somehow, the basic projection about these so called Local detective novels remains the same in the vision of general public which is nothing but a sad & shameful approach of looking at our own creations with an inferiority complex. 
Interestingly I recently had a personal experience of such sickening show of double standards followed by our own people, when I was just reading (again) the first novel of Vimal Series written by the pioneer of this particular genre, Surender Mohan Pathak – a living phenomenon in this field, undoubtedly.
Maut Ka KhelThe novel was titled MAUT KA KHEL and it had a filmy hand-drawn picture on its cover of a scared lady and the hero with a revolver, as shared in the left. A friend just entered my room (as we had a plan to go out in the evening together) and finding me still lying in the sleep mode, he sat down along the bed and picked up the novel placed on the side table, just like that.
After looking at the book casually, turning a few pages reading some random lines here and there, he carelessly threw it back on the table as if it was something useless and said,
“You still read such kind of cheap stuff?”
Having noticed his entire process of examining the book and listening to his sarcastic comment passed, I quickly got up and asked him a few simple questions calmly. And my questionnaire put to him was:
“Have you ever read any such kind of Hindi Detective Novel before?”
The answer was….. “NO”
“Do you know anything about the writer Surender Mohan Pathak and his various self-created characters be it a newspaper reporter, a private detective, a professional vault breaker and more?”
The answer was again…… “NO”
“Have you read any of Surender Mohan Pathak’s investigative novel in particular?”
The reply remained the same…..“NO”
“In that case, kindly enlighten me that how did you jump at the conclusion that this is something very cheap and not readable at all by any standards by you or any of your dear friends?”
Beginning with a fumble he said, “It’s true that I haven’t read any of these Hindi crime thrillers, but just this title and the look of the cover gives me an impression of something below standard frankly!”
“Ok” I accepted calmly and continued, “The title of this novel is MAUT KA KHEL …….. right!”
“Right” he said vaguely.
“Fine, now answer this one question honestly like a sincere friend………….that,
Had this been an English Novel lying beside my bed with the title THE GAME OF DEATH written by any foreign author let’s say by a Jonathan Hackman (???)……….., then would you have the same things to say about the novel like you have just said about the Hindi one?
My friends stared at me for a while, had nothing to say in his defence and then whispered these few words in a very low volume,
“NO, May be I would have not said anything inferior about the novel then, frankly!”
I was really glad to hear that since he had answered it without any hiding or without any deliberately made-up line and that was exactly the point I wished to make in front of him regarding the inferiority complex hidden in our minds about the language ……….and I said,
“Yes brother, this is exactly what I wish to say here that when its written MAUT KA KHEL by Surender Mohan Pathak, then you feel like having read something cheap due to your own inferiority complex towards such content published in Hindi. But on the other hand if I translate the same title in English becoming THE GAME OF DEATH written by a foreign name then you suddenly feel the opposite as if it is something great to read and a reputed thing too cause its all written in English.
Putting it differently, MAUT KA KHEL sounds cheap to you but THE GAME OF DEATH doesn’t or in a similar way BANK DACAITY would look like something downgrade to you but BANK ROBBERY will not……………..which in my opinion remains a sheer display of a double standard mentality full of hypocrisy and inferiority complex felt towards your own national language.”
Being a well-educated person eager to learn more, my friend readily understood the argument presented and accepted his mistake of just passing some rude comments on something which he had not even read or experienced himself………… only because of the language and the weak presentation.
Now luckily, my friend did get the point and I hope many friends reading this piece would also understand the pain expressed regarding this particular genre of Hindi Detective Novels, struggling hard to find their due respect and recognition even after more than half a century since 1960s.
However accepting the bitter truth, I have to admit that despite having all the love for the language deep in our Indian hearts, many friends would still prefer reading a book titled AFTER THE MIDNIGHT in English instead of AADHI RAAT KE BAAD in Hindi, since its not easy to get away with that avoidable complex deep engraved in our psyche since ages.
Still I would like to end with a positive hope that no doubt HISTORY is sure going to remember them all playing a major role in this specific genre since 1960s, but I do wish our talented writers soon get their due respect and fame (in their lifetime only) with HIS BLESSINGS.

Tags : Hindi Detective Novels, Hypocricy and Complex felt for Hindi Novels as compared to English, Surender Mohan Pathak, Articles on Music, Poetry and Life by Bobby Sing, Nostalgic Articles on the good old 80s, King of Pulp fiction in India SMP
19 Jun 2014 / Comments ( 12 )
Amarjot Singh Bhasin

Dear Bobby,
You are very right and me too have read almost all the Vimal series novels of Surinder Mohan Pathak. We use to wait for the next novel a lot and keep asking the book sellers always that when will the next part is coming. Besides Surinder Mohan Pathak I too read Ved Parkash Sharma\'s novels. And enjoyed a lot all the readings. Vimal series is all time best.

Bobby Sing

Yes Amarjot Singh Bhasin and I really feel for the kids today who are not enjoying that touch and smell of the new books in hands........in this techno world of e-books, laptops, tabs and more.
So may the article inspire them to read these novels and that too in the original Hindi language only somehow.



If the source of information is facebook, whatsapp messages, and restaurants chats, then definately such people jump on conclusion without knowing even the matter.

Its realy sick hypocracy.. i agree with that. God save such generation.

Bobby Sing

Yes Pradeep,
I hope we all learn to experience any thing before commenting vaguely............. be it a novel, film, play or anything.

Keep Visiting and Writing in,


prakash bhatia

Hi Bobbyji,
I fully share your views about hypocrisy of some people in respect of Indian detective novels.This attitude of a few has never allowed our own Hindi detective authors to prosper and mature.In my youth I had read entire series of Jasoosi Duniya by lbne Safi.What a world it was.

For us Col.Vinod and Capt Hamid were Sherlock Holmes and Dr.Watson of India.
I think the hypocrites have missed that beautiful world of detective fantasy and I really pity them.

Bobby Sing

Thanks Prakash Bhatia Ji for supporting the viewpoint and recently I have read most of the short novels published by HARPER COLLINS of Janab Ibne Safi.
And no doubt the hypocrites have missed this beautiful world of detective fantasy truly.


i agree with you completely.actually in my town where i grew up hindi is an uncommon language.so i used to see these novels only in the hands of shopkeepers.only recently i read a novel of vimal series and really enjoyed it.
Bobby Sing

Thanks for your agreement to he point Phalguni and I am really glad to know that you loved a Vimal Series novel recently.
So keep reading and visiting the site too.

Rajnish P
Dear Bobby,

I was in the same boat in my early teens. My brother used to read his \'Raj Comics\' when I was enjoying these detective novels.

I still buy these novels whenever I visit India but can only buy one or two due to weight restrictions. I wish I could buy these novels online or here in Australia.

Bobby Sing

Hi Rajnish,
Loved to read that you also used to read these novels in some similar conditions.
However regarding their online availability, you would be glad to know that many of Surender Mohan Pathak novels are now available in E-book format made by the fan group only.
You can find more info on the same at the official website www.smpathak.com

Have a great time reviving those enjoyable moments.


I also used to read Col Ranjeet novels initially but later on the content degraded so I stopped reading them.

I also liked to read Ranu and in fact I read Kati Patang by Nanak Singh way before I saw the movie.I have no idea if Ranu\'s novels are available now.Surinder Mohan Pathak was a favourite amongst all my friends.We were not ashamed of the fact that we were reading Hindi novels and we would exchange our novels .Maybe this trend has started now.

Bobby Sing

Many thanks Daman Ji for your nostalgic comment.
These novels are now available at a quite higher prices from the dealers of such old content (There are several groups operational at FB too for old comics, novels and magazines.)

However I would like to remind that KATI PATANG was penned by Gulshan Nanda and not Nanak Singh.
The well known Nanak Singh actually had written PAVITRA PAPI on which a great film was made too.

Keep Visiting and Writing in,



Where can I find Vinod Hamids novel on internet

Bobby Sing

Hi Billa,
Ibne Safi's old novels are not available on net in Hindi.
But if you search with proper key words then a few of them are available in Urdu in different formats.



Hi ,
I really want to buy the novels for my mother as she used to read of Colonel ranjit. Plzzzzzzz someone help I want to gift her the complete collection on her upcoming bday


Bobby Sing

Hi Ankita,
The old novels can now be bought from any seller of old magazines/novels only, who are all there on Facebook nowadays operating through various groups. So do check there as you will easily find the novels you are looking for in those dedicated groups for sure.

Thanks a lot for visiting and writing in.

Vishnu Mahesh Sharma
Bobby ji, could you suggest some not to be missed and high on suspense novels by SMP! It would be a great help..  Thanks in advance! 
Bobby Sing

First of all sorry for the late reply Vishnu Mahesh Sharma and glad to know that you are interested in SMPs novels.
There are some dedicated groups at Facebook where friends can surely guide you better.
But at this moment I personally recall a few names such as TEEN DIN, MEENA MURDER CASE and JAADUGARNI.
There are about 300 novels written by SMP Sir continuing since last six decades and that should say it all about his unparalled success.

Have a great day and Happy Reading.

Prabhat Lahiri

I started reading Surendra Mohan Pathak hen I was about 13 or 14 yrs. old. I never hide that what I am reading. though at that time it wasn't apropriate for me according to my mother but my father who was a professor never stoped me reading theese novels (for some people stuff like this.). he gave me money to buy novels and once I had a huge collection of books written by Surendra Mohan Pathak, Prakash Bharti, Col. Ranjeet, Mario Puzo, James Hadley Chase, Premchand, Sharatchand, JaiShankar Prasaad, Shivani and many more.

Bobby Sing

Thats really good to hear. And thanks a lot for sharing your valuable views.
Keep Visiting and Writing in.

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