Friday, July 15, 2016

Bhadrambhadra by Ramanbhai Neelkanth - Sarcasm Till Last Word

If we name top 10 best book available in Gujarati literature, I think Bhadrambhadra (ભદ્રંભદ્ર) by Ramanbhai Neelkanth will make it in the list for sure. And if we talk about one of the best book in humor / black humor / sarcasm genre, I don't think anyone can beat Bhadrambhadra.

The book was first published in 1900. I still remember we had a small chapter of book in our curriculum years back in our schooldays, I always wanted to read this book. It was one of my first Gujarati book-buy. I read it twice in last three years, and I will always try to re-read it once in 2 years.

Story was written about 1890 era of India, where Britishers & few social activist were trying to remove some centuries old orthodox traditions. Author had created a wonderful character 'Bhadrambhadra', who considered himself as self-proclaimed savior of society against activist. Bhadrambhadra had a follower named Ambaram, who trust Bhadrambhara and his logic unquestionably. 

Bhadrambhadra along with Ambaram started his journey from Ahmedabad. They went all the way to Mumbai to attend public gathering against social activist. Incident and people they met during their journey to Mumbai make segment very comic. Their experience in Mumbai, starting from station to 'Chawl' as their initial stay to gathering, lecture in gathering, meeting with same thug who cheated them in train and got fooled again, meeting with Prasannmansankar and helping them to complete his book/literature. Each and every character and incident give enough laughter and interest to make book a sure-shot-page-turner.

Using laughter as medium, author had wonderfully tried to throw lights on issues like caste system, touchable-untouchable, use of mixed language, resistance against change in social traditions, etc. Book seems humors in current days when many of them became talk of past, but writing something in age where these issue can make or break you, it would require hell lot of courage to publish such work.

A must read for all Gujarati. Rating :
  1. Cover - 4.5 / 5
  2. Concept - 5 / 5 
  3. Language - 5 / 5 (Very very pure, at times Gujarati mixed with Sanskrit, need 2-3 reading at some point to understand crux)
  4. Story Line - 4.5 / 5 
  5. Characters - 4.75 / 5 
  6. Overall - 5 / 5
Book can be found at - Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at - GoodReads


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