By Rajiv Bakshi
Whenever you chance upon reading a new book, it adds to your knowledge and experience. While going through the book, you may experience a whole gamut of emotions, feelings and sentiments. Sometimes, it seems the writer has penned down the incidents of your own life . You begin to relate yourself with the contents of the book. From being impersonal in the beginning, you tend to become a part of the happenings contained in the book.
A few months ago, I saw a title of the book advertised on the Facebook. It was ‘Journey from Guwahati to Machhiwara’ Aby Rajiv Bakshi. I don’t know why it caught my interest and therefore I ordered a copy of it. It is a collection of stories based on the real life incidents of the author Rajiv Bakshi, a retired Senior Manager, Punjab & Sind Bank. His stories reflect the day to day lives of his friends, relatives, colleagues and acquaintances.
The author portraits his stories in natural style that easily goes down the readers mind very smoothly. Language of the stories is simple , yet meaningful; no literary embellishments, yet caters to the taste buds of literature lovers. There is a beautiful flow of spontaneity in the narration which captivates the interest of the reader from the beginning to the end.
It is a short book of about 20 stories describing the sweet-sour experiences. The first story ‘My first day in Guwahati’, tells you how the writer felt going to Guwahati -the place of his first posting- 2200km away from Jalandhar, his native place , leaving his home, parents, relatives and friends; how he felt there away from home; and how he coped up with the changed environment.
The story “Encounter with wasps’ offers a few moments of laughter to the reader. During a lunch in the open, the writer and his friends became hapless victims of wasps which were angered by the fire burning under a tree where Romali Rotis were being prepared.
‘Samjhauta Express’ is a very emotional story describing the meeting of a brother and sister –Razia and Imran– each living on the other side of the Radcliffe Line. The sister goes to Pakistan to meet his brother but as soon as they embrace each other, the brother succumbs to a massive heart attack
This sad climax leaves even a stone hearted person in tears.
Others stories are also very interesting enough to turn your leisure into a fruitful exercise . The reader will find these stories — ‘ Me and my Mobile’, ‘Husbands – Beware do not Shop’, ‘Love and Hate Relationship’, ‘Sweet Temptations’– engrossing .
The last story of the book ‘ The Last Ride Together’ describes the uncertainty of life . Bipin Jha and his wife who lived Guwahati had never travelled out the eastern states of India . Once they were invited by their son to Canada.Upon reaching there, the son and daughter-in-law served their parents very well. But unfortunately one day the son suffered a heart attack and left this mortal world. The magnitude and intensity of the grief of parents can’t be described in words. It can only be felt.
On the whole, Journey from Guwahati to Machhiwara’ provides a good treat for the readers. The book is available on Amazon and Flipkart.