Skip to main content

Book Review: Uparwale Ki Lathi by Mayur Manjre

Uparwale Ki Lathi by Mayur Manjre is a powerful Hindi novella. The story is set in some fictional locality named Hussainpura redolent of its local flavours of culture, cuisine, every day hustle-bustle and most important its people that cross one another almost every day on the pretext of myriad chores and sometime for no reason.

The title is objective, it means the stick of God, which is invisible but it can either be a blessing or cause havoc, depending upon the circumstances. Rather, it’s a famous proverb in Hindi belt audiences. The novel has a timeline of one day i.e. from morning to brumal night; however, it splendidly narrates many back stories, sweeps, and takes readers on a bitter sweet memory lane of its characters.

The story may not be about an event; or bereaved of a cycle of action and drama…yet it succeeds in capturing the heart of readers. One solo reason is its rich vivid description of locality with respect to its lead character Seth Ziddilal’s presence. The author must have frequented or lived in such a diverse locality to pen down the exact minutest details.

At the story front, we see that the seventy-year-old Seth Ziddilal owns a three-storey house, which seems tallest in the locality, and he is proud of it. He lives on the top floor, while two are occupied by tenets. His life is good, with property and money. But this got into his head, as a result his life principles reek of hubris of arrogance and prejudice. With his Lathi, he saunters the area with an air of superiority. Often he grunts at children playing here and there. Scolds and threatens to beat them with his Lathi. Many children despise him. Even with others and adults, Seth Ziddilal never forgets to pass a taunt about their grooming and social status. That is evident right throughout the novel with auxiliary characters like Nafis and Nazma.

Well, a mountain of trouble breaks on him the day his Lathi is slyly stolen by children. To Ziddilal the Lathi is his pride, a vestige of his ancestors…he chases it everywhere from markets to narrow streets to bazaar but finds it in a cemetery through a naughty boy named Meraab.

The novella explores the various shades of human nature. In the end, Ziddilal accepts that he may loathe or love people but he has to embrace them in their true colours…as that is something inherent by nature. One can bring change in themselves first, and then can expect the same from others. The protagonist Ziddilal might have lived all his life for his futile principles but eventually he was made to bend down on his knees by an innocent child.

The book scores high on entertainment. Mayur’s command on language is fabulous. He deftly mixed Hindi and Urdu to deliver a potpourri of emotions and shades and cultural vividness. Riding high on an exact powerful narration, the book may evoke your old taste of Hindi literature that one must have gotten from legends like Munshi Premchand. Highly recommended!

Buy your copy from Amazon/Kindle.


  1. Kevin Mallik Sir, after reading your review, I would like to say that you yourself have adopted the style of the writer for a writer and his creation. Your choice of words makes the review even more beautiful and leaves a deep impression. You have deeply understood the novel and have given it justice through your review in such a way that this review seems very close to my imagination. The last thing you have said about respected Munshi Premchand ji in your blog has awakened in me the feeling of being a responsible writer. Your review has encouraged me. It is my pleasure that you read my book. thank you so much.😇🙏🏻


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Poem Summary: Where The Mind Is Without Fear by Rabindranath Tagore

Poem by Rabindranath Tagore: Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high Where knowledge is free Where the world has not been broken up into fragments By narrow domestic walls Where words come out from the depth of truth Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit Where the mind is led forward by thee Into ever-widening thought and action Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake. Short Summary: This poem is written by Rabindranath Tagore during pre-independence days, when India was a colony of the British. The underlying theme of the poem is absolute freedom; the poet wants the citizens of his country to be living in a free state. According to the poem, we see that the poet is expressing his views there should be a country, like where people live without any sort of fear and with pure dignity…they should

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Among all Ruskin Bond books, The Blue Umbrella has, so far, gathered immense applaud from readers and critics alike.  This is a short novel, but the kind of moral lessons it teaches to us are simply overwhelming. This is a story of Binya, a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a small hilly village of Garhwal. One day while herding her two cows back home, she stumbles upon some city people enjoying the picnic in the valley. She is enthralled to see them well-groomed and rich. She craves to be one like them and among many other things of their, a blue frilly umbrella catches her attention. She begins craving for it. On the other hand, the city people get attracted by her innocent beauty and the pendant in her neck. The pendant consists of leopard’s claw – which is considered a mascot widely in the hills. Binya trades her pendant off with the blue umbrella. The blue umbrella is so much beautiful that soon it becomes a topic of conversation fo

Poem Summary: Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ozymandias is a short poem of fourteen lines written by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The concurrent theme of the poem is that nothing remains intact and same forever in this world. Even the brightest of metal, one day decays with passage of time. The throne name of Egyptian King Ramesses is Ozymandias. It was his dearest desire to preserve himself forever by building a huge statue that he thought would never tumble down. Stanza 1: I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; Summary: The poet narrates the poem through the eyes of a traveler who seems to have come back from a remote and far-away land, referring to Egypt. The traveler r