A Word Thrice Uttered: Stories on Life’s Realities is a collection of short stories portraying the diverse realities of life through the protagonists – children, women, men, animals, even supernaturals.
While Ratan’s story is one of irreparable damage to a child’s psyche, through callous handling, spilling onto his adult life, Ram Khilawan’s is a contrast where familial love inspires a child to put aside his trauma and attain the impossible despite poverty. Who would believe that, even in independent India, children are bought and sold, to slog as cheap labour, in a city like Allahabad, which gave to India one Prime Minister after another?
Where children are not spared, what would the plight of animals be! But here the author infuses hope through stories where animals return in equal measure the love and trust they receive from humans who treat them as family. Readers meet fascinating women confronted with irresponsible men and downright evil ones too. But nothing stops these women from taking the first step to a leap into liberation and self-empowerment. There are gentle touches into sensitive areas, through the thought processes of little Aslam and the experiences of Hafizji and his family. Panditayin, wrapped in the Ganga-Jumuni tehzeeb, makes readers long to turn the clock, back into that golden era.
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