Another awesome book from Divya Prakash Dubey!! Had me from the beginning, “किताबें खरीदता ज़्यादा हूँ पढ़ता कम”
The kind of personification is done by DP in this book is absolutely amazing. Binding the sentences with the right kind of phrases is something I admire about his writing. There are many life lessons which are kept very keenly. The whole story is exceptionally smooth and even the climax is plotted very precisely and beautifully.
Musafir Café’ is the story of Sudha and Chander, two people who couldn’t be more different. They meet in a matrimonial setting, done by their parents. But Sudha doesn’t want to get married because as a divorce lawyer, she has seen a number of marriages going down the drain. Chander, a software engineer, agrees with what she has to say. They are slowly attracted to each other and start living in, and fall in love, too. They would even get married if Sudha’s stubbornness not to do so hadn’t come in the way. But the world doesn’t work like that. And Sudha and Chander’s paths part. Will they be able to find their way back to each other? Or will the world get in the way?
I’d mentioned that Sudha’s stubbornness kept them from being together. But it is the biggest quality that I admire in her. She doesn’t compromise for anyone, no matter what. And that comes with a lot of courage and independence. I wish I could be like her, though I know it isn’t a smart thing to be at all times. Of course, there are things I didn’t like about her, the biggest being, she is many-a-times, condescending towards Chander. Every time Chander says something, it’s a given that something completely different is going to come out her mouth. There is no way Chander is going to win. It isn’t fair, really.
Other than that, however, ‘Musafir Café’ is a beautiful narrative with a casual sprinkling of life lessons, though there is nothing casual about the depth of what Divya Prakash Dubey is trying to tell us. The complete book is engaging but the best part of the book is its single liner cum quotes scattered throughout the book. My favorite is “ज़िन्दगी के प्लान बड़े नही सिंपल होने चाहिए”.
The quotes and the lessons being in Hindi, I need to make a point that they wouldn’t sound and seem as poignant in any other language. After all, they say original is original. Try as you might to duplicate it, you just cannot bring the spirit from the original. There are exceedingly rare instances where the translations are as good as the original.
Because the story is so Bollywood-like, it keeps the entertainment going. And because it is so unlike what Bollywood teaches us, it stays fresh and gives you a perspective on the possibilities. Even though I love happy endings, it was refreshing to see the realistic portrayal of a relationship, telling us that not everything happens according to what we like. Yes, the characters are stubborn and don’t have the gall to reach out first, but we just have to accept that a lot of couples don’t actually go ahead like we’d expect them to.
On the whole, ‘Musafir Café’ is a read that all of us can learn something from, irrespective of age and experience. This book takes you to a journey of self-discovery and to some extent to the journey of giving meaning to your life. A must-read among contemporary Hindi Novels and for people who haven’t read Hindi literature for quite a long period of time.
My rating : 4/5
P.S. – Hindi is Cool.