Friday, October 14, 2016

Raag Darbari

Raag Darbari is one of the finest satires written, this is what you get to hear as you grow up. I am reading it and no doubt the book will make you laugh at regular intervals. Here are a few sentences and paragraphs from the book translated by me for this blog. I am yet to complete the book but it is clearly evident how satire is a powerful tool to show the ills of society, entertaining the reader simultaneously.
Today the railways cheated him. He had left home with an understanding that the local train would be 2 hours late. But it left the station after being just 1.5 hours late! [introduction of the main character Ranganath]
On entering the (police) station, a man felt that somebody has picked him up and thrown him away 100 years back into time. If he was a reader of English detective novels, he wants to look at (inside the station) fingerprinting lens, cameras, wireless fit cars, but where are these (he thinks)? In response, he would get something which has been described above. Alongside, a naked Lotaband[1] man can be seen churning Bhaang[2]. Later it would be known that this single man can protect 20 villages from crime. If a crime happens anywhere he can find about it. And if it hasn’t happened, he can make it happen. Camera, lenses, dogs, wireless are banned for him. This was the station’s culture: attractive and a pride for days gone by. The stations could well serve as an ideal place for those romantic poets troubled by memories of the past.
There are bigger doctors in this country yet to receive the Nobel Prize. One of them lives in a Kasba[3] in Jehanabad and as the place is electrified, he treats male impotency with electricity. Now impotent men need not be concerned. Another doctor, who is at least famous all over India, treats Bawasir[4] without any operation. And this can be found written on any of Shivpalganj’s wall with coal tar. By the way, there are many advertisements related to dry illness, eye problems, dysentery etc., but the real illness counts to 3 – Ringworm, dysentery and impotency; and boys of Shivpalganj know the ways to treat these with the help of the advertisements written over walls.
Suddenly the young men laughed a special kind of laugh.
Different groups laugh in different ways. Writers, sitting in coffee houses laugh from many places in their body. For some, it’s the depth of their stomach, some laugh from their neck, some from their mouth and there are few among those left out who wonder why others are laughing! Drinking coffee after dinner, a tired officer laughs in a different manner. It mostly arises from the greater depths in the stomach. The relationship between their laughs and their simple smile is the same as between their earnings and their salary. Politicians laugh through the hollow in their mouth and it has only two phases with hardly any depth in it. Businessmen don’t have a laugh, but if they have it then it’s so short and directed that you know it's not coming out because of a fear of Income tax. This group of people laughed in completely different manner. It was a honey laugh which comes out of a man but feels as if it has come out of the neck of cocks, foxes, and horses.

[1] Short piece of cloth around the waist
[2] Local alcoholic drink
[3] Place where a small community lives together.
[4] Hemorrhoids 

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