Book Review: “KALANDAR” (Marathi)
Author: Shri. Na. Pendase
Publisher: Majestic Prakashan
First Published: August 1983
I read two other books ‘Lavhali’ and ‘Rathchakra’ by Shri. Na. Pendase and after reading those I am Fan of his work. Shri. Na. Pendase is now one of my favorite authors. I have decided to read all the books written by him. So when I had my eyes on this book which was written by Shri. Na. Pendase, there was no second thought while picking up this book.
When I read first few pages of the book, I felt little disappointed that book will not be as good as I anticipated. As from the start only author keep on bombarding and explaining the place and time in which the novel is based. For sometime it is hard to understand what he wants to say and where is he taking this novel. But few pages after everything gets settle down and you come to know what gem of a book this is. You can read this as periodic novel. Because it is based in the period of 1930 to 1940 about the period of World War II. And it is based in Mumbai. The book was more interesting for me as book describes the Mumbai of 1930. Today Mumbai has widened its boundaries, Mumbai is spread over from Churchgate to Virar and from CST to Vashi then there is also Navi Mumbai. But when we read the book we realize that during that period Mumbai was considered only up to Churchgate to Dadar. Even the suburb like Andheri was considered as out of city. So not only people transform, cities, villages, nations also transformed themselves over the years or decades so much so that it is hard to recognize.
The book is story of ordinary people. They are not by any measures special. They are people among us and around us. It is a story of a boy who follows his heart, and while doing so he has to face opposition from not only by society but by his own family and his love ones. So much so that he always have to run away from them. It is a story of people who live their life cripplers without any self esteem. There life is so much ruined as they allow other People to dominate them and their life. So to come out of misery they are always on a look out for help from others. The protagonist of the novel is a person to whom these cripplers want to hold on to. And the protagonist is more than happy to help these people but while helping these people his life goes through huge mess.
I really enjoyed the novel; all the characters are so well developed. You can not find any flaws in any of the character. All the books I read of Shri. Na. Pendase is based on middle class people living Mumbai Chawls but all of them are different from each other. There are many similarities in it but he has new story to tell in every book. If I have to rate this book I will give 8 out of 10.