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Raag Darbari

Shrilal Shukl (Author)
  • Publisher : Penguin Random House
  • Binding : Paperback
  • ISBN : 9780140116625
  • Imprint : Penguin
  • Age Group : Adult
  • Language : English
Genre : General Fiction   |   Books on India

Life here crawls along at a leisurely pace, unfolding at evening bhang-drinking sessions, the local bar, the village wre ...


Life here crawls along at a leisurely pace, unfolding at evening bhang-drinking sessions, the local bar, the village wrestling pit, at paan shops, in nearby lentil fields, at gambling sessiosn and country melas... M.A. pass Rangnath has just arrived here for some rest-and-relaxation. His host is his Uncle Vaidyaji, the local doctor, who pontificates on everything from ayerveda to politcs to the'essence' of life. Vaidyaji is also Shivpalganj's most important citizen. He controls the village's grain co-operative and the intermediate college; his elder son, Badri Wrestler, swings arguments simple by weight of his no-nonsense lpresence; and his younder son, Ruppan Babu, unhesitatingly leads'college-student protests' against anyone opposing his father. Hanging on to Vaidyaji's coat-tails are a host of oddballs, including a college principla who never wants the College Committee to meet, and Sanichar,a layabout bhang-grinder who becomes Pradhan-elect of the Village Council.. But a rebellion is brewing among the college teachers and Vaidyaji's sworn arch-rival, Ramadhin Bhikhmakhervi, Shivpalganj's gambling dada, opium dealer and poet and boot, won't give up the Village Council, his domaain, without a fight... lawsuits fly, the grain co-operative is ransacked, a Vaidyaji hoodlum ends up in the town court on a trumped-up burglary charge... factionalism, wheeling-and-dealing, corruption, all take centrestage, and Rangnath, confronted with such chaos, finds his textbook learning irrelevant.

Author : Shrilal Shukl

Shrilal Shukla was born in 1925 in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous and politically important state, and brought up in the village of Atruali, a few miles from Lucknow. He graduated from Allahabad University and joined the state's administrative service and later became a member of the Indian Administrative Service. His first novel, The sun of the Deserted Valley, was published in 1957, followed by a collection of satirical short stories and essays in 1958. His major work, Raag Darbari, was published in 1968, and has received the highly prized Sahitya Akademi Award in 1970. Since the Shukla has written a number of novels, such as The Broken Frontiers, The House and The Early Encounter, a biography of the author Bhagawati Charan Varma, and several collections of short storeis, satirical sketches and essays.

Shrilal Shukla is now retired and still lives in Lucknow, not far from the place where he was born.

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