I have been indulged in serious reading of fiction for more than 10 years now and these ten years have brought experience to me. At the least, I have learnt the art of ramification and I can understand which is literary fiction and which is nonsense. In the past days, I have been reading a Hindi novel entitled With You; Without You and it has been written by an author who, I am proud to say, belongs to Bihar! Prabhat Ranjan’s very debut work this is and reading the novel, only at rarest of the times he has let the readers feel the fact that this is his first attempt at novel writing! I want to share my experiences with this novel with my readers today.
What makes a novel a novel? This is the question which can attract as many answers as you want. Nevertheless, reaching a consensus in the terms of literary queries often lead to further ambiguity! Prabhat Ranjan’s novel offers the readers a theme which might be overworked but his is a fresh rejuvenation of the same. The story offers a confused mixture of emotions which our central character called Nishind has. He plays the fanatic lover in the first half of the novel and works as a saint-matchmaker in the second half of it. Other important characters in the novel are Aditya, who is a friend to Nishind and Rami who is also a friend to Nishind as well as Aditya. As the readers get into the flashback through the narrator Nishind, they get to know that Nishind has done something wrong – he did not let the love affair between Aditya and Rami begin.
Reading the first half gives no extraordinary impressions and the novel is usual reload of a saga of love and friendship and youthful ambitions. However, the second half of With You; Without You is important and the significance of the narrative comes to the fore. Prabhat Ranjan can be felt with his textual presence in the novel’s latter half. He is vocal to make comments on the novel’s proceedings and from behind the textual curtain, he also makes certain remarks about the actual scenario which we people have created in our society these days. I am not a big fan of such high standards where the author sets himself in the position of a cynic like Thackeray and tries to play the soul-pincher hiding behind the garb of his narrative. Nevertheless, Prabhat Ranjan’s remarks, howsoever you might interpret it, are worthy to be made because he is speaking the truth!
Readers will have plenty of suspense in the novel as they get to read about the identity play when Rami comes back in the life of Nishind and Aditya as Rashmi Desai. Internal conflicts in the mind and heart of Nishind and Rami as well as the witty dialogue exchanges between the characters are very pleasant to read. Narrative and themes in the novel are somewhat met with honour by the plot constructed by Prabhat. The beginning and the climax are really notable as they meet the expectations of the readers. Most of the reader will generate a sympathetic view towards Nishind and he meets the reward for the same. Aditya is a typical modern-times youth and a young man chasing his dreams. However, his latter deterioration is significant for the novel.
To conclude, as a reader and as a serious reader, in both the roles, I liked the novel with some of the problems it has. Readers will have plenty to enjoy in the novel and much to learn as well about the general views of the general public in this modern life. Give it a read and enjoy your reading. All the best!
With You; Without You - review
A good read for me and a good read for anyone who wants to read the same!