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NA BAIRI NA KOI BEGANA by Surender Mohan Pathak: This is not just a biography, but a highly engrossing TIME MACHINE. (Book Review By Bobby Sing)
27 Feb, 2018 | 10 Most popular Articles AT BTC / NOSTALGIA, BOOK REVIEWS, VINTAGE MAGAZINES & MORE

One of the most famous Hindi crime fiction writers of the last century and certainly the most famous name in his field in the present new millennium, SURENDER MOHAN PATHAK doesn’t need any introductory note in an article, especially for the readers of Hindi Crime fiction novels in India since last five decades.
 
In reality, five decades (i.e. half a century) is an exceptionally long time to remain active in a field. And then getting more popular in the recent years, is nothing short of ‘a rare, unbelievable achievement’, excelling in a genre that was never looked upon with any decency or respect (both by the media as well as the people) in comparison to the similar writings in English.
 
Anyway rising above this old debate of Hindi Vs English Crime fiction novels, this year Surender Mohan Pathak successfully delivers another unparalleled milestone in his career and comes up with the first volume of his three-part autobiography, that happens to be the first ever autobiography by any Hindi crime fiction writer in the country. He keeps the title as NA BAIRI NA KOI BEGANA, that is inspired from a Gurbani Shabad in Guru Granth Sahib written by the fifth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Arjan Dev.
 
And it goes as,
“Na Ko Bairi Nahi Bigaana, Sagal Sang Hum Kau Ban Aayi” - Meaning …. No one is my enemy and no one is a stranger, I perfectly get along with all in this blessed existence. 
So there is a spiritual angle to the title too, matching with the author and his family’s Punjabi background.
 
However before giving you a brief review of its opening volume, I would first like to address the friends who normally consider biographies to be boring accounts of one’s life, written with a self-indulging or self-praising kind of mindset, intentionally aiming to impress or inspire the dedicated followers.
 
So informing those particular readers, the present release will strongly break your said assumption……  shattering it into pieces.
 
Secondly addressing the die-hard fans of the author, would humbly like to inform that this first volume (dealing with the childhood and his early youth) has nothing much related to ‘crime fiction writing’ or its back-stage stories you might be expecting recalling many of those SMP’s iconic characters. But it still would surpass all your expectations hands down, as a very fine piece of storytelling taking you to an entirely different world beyond imagination.
 
Putting it differently, for the ones above the age of 45-50, this will be a lovable nostalgic journey literally transporting them back in time to the decades of 40s-60s. And for the younger ones, this will be a big jaw-dropping eye opener, revealing how life used to be in those innocent, truthful as well as much lively decades before the ‘media revolution’.
 
In a few words, this is not an autobiography, but a highly enjoyable, engrossing and effective TIME MACHINE offering you a never before kind of experience of the past decades.
 
Adding to the surprise element, even many die-hard fans of the author would find it hard to believe that this has been written by the same man, who wrote all those outstanding crime thrillers and murder mysteries.
 
The writing has such mesmerizing detailing of the period, locations and life styles of the people from different walks of life, which was rarely there in the novels written by the same Pathak. Plus it’s the honesty and frank acceptance of author’s own failures in relationships as well as in career that actually raises the bar and adds a lot into its worth, differentiating the effort from many other biographies penned by the renowned personalities. However the one downer it has, can be found in the way the narrator addresses his father in a pretty rough manner as “Mera Pita” instead of “Mere Pita”, that doesn’t feel right, not gelling with the overall texture of the writing. But then, that also remains a personal observation, which might not appear to be anything rough or objectionable to many other readers.
 
Coming to the acceptance issue in the field, the Hindi publishers and media houses in our country have always remained indifferent, ignorant and uninterested in acknowledging or accepting the worth of Hindi crime fiction novels and their writers since decades. So I am not sure how they would respond to this fabulous piece of writing by Surender Mohan Pathak, revealing his journey of life in such truthful, enlightening and elegant manner, challenging all the known and reputed names.
 
But for me this is way beyond the expectations and ideally needs to be considered as a highly impressive, literary work of an author known for his achievements in an entirely contrasting genre coming as a big pleasant surprise.
 
In short, NA BAIRI NA KOI BEGANA is just not a biography attempted by a crime fiction author as a trial experiment. But its an amazing, superlative piece of work, a fine representative of our RICH INDIAN LITERATURE and deserves to be kept amongst the best biographical books of all times unarguably. Moreover, this can also be read and recommended to even those friends, who might not have read even a single SMP novel in the past or are not familiar with the name or his outstanding body of work.
 
Hope the next two volumes maintain the standard, offering an equally enjoyable or even better Time Machine experience of the later decades.
 
(Note: Without giving any details, would also like to inform that the autobiography has a lot in store for the lovers of Hindi Cinema and the fans of the Ghazal-samrat, Jagjit Singh in particular as two of its major highlights)

(The article was first published at UC News Mobile App in February 2018)


Tags : NA BAIRI NA KOI BEGANA by Surender Mohan Pathak Book Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Literature Books Reviews by Bobby Sing, Novels Reviews by Bobby Sing
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