A book of that short outline can singly bring the culture and history of a place along with an abundance of subconscious unspoken emotions. The book enthralls you with its diction and royalty. Perceive in your minds, you have read Dopehri. A book that feels like a warm quilt in a shivery afternoon is perhaps Dopehri.
An ode to the deadly factor that frights a human, the fear of loneliness. This echoing silence of the narration indeed seeps into nerves with a ting of grace and elegance. The warm sense of Lucknowi heritage seems welcoming. The lead lady is our sixty-five year old Amma Bi, a widow and the then Begum who now resides alone in a deserted ‘Laal Haveli’. Every day at 3pm she hears unknown sounds of footsteps only to find no one around.
Disturbed and distressed with her situations, Bi visits an old age house and decides to spend time with people in the house. A failed and rather scary reality check she comes back to her residence accompanied by her loneliness. Gradually she takes a firm decision to accommodate a lady lodger in one of the rooms in the haveli as a company in times of her anxiety. A winsome young woman Sahiba arrives and fills the void of the silenced world with love and laughter. Amma Bi stands like a mother figure to Sahiba and skillful manoeuvres. This brings harmony and meaning to Amma Bi’s life, making her forget about anxiety.
The narration gives emphasis on the supporting roles of Jumman, the family manservant and Dr. Saksena, a family friend who no matter what supports her emotionally during her encounter with anxiety. These men, indeed stand like a pillar and perhaps the most trusted by Amma Bi. Their presence curves the plot framed with obedience and unapologetic convictions respectively.
The story is so rich and pure literary piece that deepens the emotional quotient. It pierces your heart with a flawless simple language. The perspective is fresh yet vintage. The strength lies in the little tickling humor sublime with the antic storytelling. Dopehri is about self-discoveries and overcoming anxiety against all odd situations.
This is a must read. Actually published in Hindi Language.
Get yourself a copy of the book from the link below.