Symbolic interface

NAHINTAR is the third novel by a young Gujarati novelist, Yogesh Joshi. Originally serialised in a daily newspaper, it does not stop at being a period piece, but survives as a psychological novel because of its literary qualities.

In this novel the heroine, Niyati, burns herself to death. Why? The author leaves the question unanswered. Had he focused on the dowry system, the novel would have become a didactic tract. He is, however, interested not in the cause but in the effect of Niyati’s mysterious act. This initial act sets the ball rolling, and as the plot develops the author explores the complexities of human nature and personal relationship.

His experience of writing poetry enables him to portray the characters and the events sympathetically — and at times satirically — but with an artistic distance and detachment.

Nahjntar — meaning “otherwise” — is a word which the different characters utter at the critical moments, and which runs like a refrain throughout the novel, And it stands as a symbol for the many threats and challenges which the characters face.

[‘Indian Express’માંથી સાભાર — Chimanlal Trivedi)


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