Title is Untitled
Not every author accentuates to include his writing in a specific genre. Sometimes authors do write as they feel the urge, to let people know about the social injustice and prejudices that are plaguing our country. There are age-old, vicious, social norms which are still practiced in the remote villages in the name of tradition and most of the times the victims are women. The condition in modern, urban society are only flip side of the coin. Educated people find new ways of oppression which are much subtle and polished. Released at the Festival of Hope in Delhi, November 22, 2014, “Title is Untitled” by Santosh Avvannavar, Kundan Srivastava and Raghunath Babu Are, is a compilation of eleven such stories which brings forth this social unfairness through some fictitious characters.
The book can be termed as a literal awareness programme where the issues vary from rape to 498A, from human trafficking to child marriage and from the ”lucrative” profession of beggary to fake institutions who are exploiting millions of young people. The range is titanic but the stories are short and precise. They throw light on some rituals and traditions which neither have cultural nor social values and how they are instilled in the minds of poor, uneducated, rural population. There is a ‘Source’ mentioned at the end of each story which will enlighten you about the real scenario. The trio has done a commendable job to put such ‘cases’ in the form of stories.
Though all these issues are of no-nonsense type but there are occasional glints of humour which come as a cool breeze in the midst of dark, tragic tales of oppression. The language is extremely simple which makes it readable to even those people who don’t belong to the privileged section of the society and for whom Mr Santosh Avvannavar’s initiative, Amrita Foundation For HRD works. Personally I think that this book is an eye-opener for many of us. There are some proof-reading errors as well as typos which sometimes mar the smooth flow of reading. I hope that should be taken care of in the next edition.
Santosh Avvannavar and Shilpa Patil joined hands to come up with “Surrogate Author”, a hilarious take on the journey of becoming an author. It is loosely based on the film ‘Devdas’ by Sanjay Leela Bhansali where the aspiring author “Authdas” has been described as book-lorn or book-sick. He needs immense inspiration to write his dream book “Paro” and the story thus goes on in a humorous as well as satirical manner. The book has a separate section which contains some valuable inputs on how to start as a writer.
As it was easy to relate the story with the mentioned film, it was a fun read for me. The authors have genuinely dedicated the book ‘To Aspiring Authors” and I hope they will surely find some food for thought in this book.
You can read my review of Santosh Avvannavar’s book, Adhuri Prem Kahaniya, here.