Bin Udgam Ke Srota
‘Bin Udgam Ke Srota’ is the first Hindi novel published by BookSurge/Amazon, USA. Purvodaya Prakashan, India published its. previous three editions. ‘Bin Udgam Ke Srota’ has been enthusiastically received by the Hindi world.
The famous Hindi novelist Jainendra Kumar expressed his appreciation of this novel in the following words (translated from Hindi): “I had read the manuscript of this novel. I remember the very first few pages had hit my heart with sweet pangs. By the time I reached the end, I was amazed and overtaken by the sincerity of emotions and the power of expression. This novel had appeared to me nothing short of a miracle. Here the description was of a very rare, delicate and sensitive quality, there the presentation of characters and events was simply heart touching, at yet another place it was superbly profound. For a successful work, it is essential that it involves the reader fully, and keeps him away from his own self. It is also essential for the reader, in the end, to re-discover himself. He should find himself after having forgotten himself completely. Since it is the same soul in everybody, after reading such a work, the reader cannot miss the sensations coming from his deepest soul that he misses in the humdrum of life. I got all this from ‘Bin Udgam Ke Srota’.
If this novel has the grandeur of elevated thoughts, it has, in equal measures, the sweetness of genuine emotions. Nowadays, I find novels only full of thoughts and lacking in emotions. I’m told that it is inevitable in this age of science. However, if literature is of any use, it has to compensate for the abstraction that the thinkers gift. In any case, literature should not be heavy and devoid of sweetness and the juices of life. I found sweetness and light both integrated and balanced in this work of Nirmal. The fact that he is very young and his literature is full of the spirit of life fills me with great hope. What has touched me the most is the impregnation of speed, movement and joy in this novel. Like some cataract breaking loose from the very root of life, flowing gracefully with verve and enthusiasm, it has the power to suddenly turn into a light shower from heaven. Nirmal embraces all the bitter as well as sweet experiences of life without the slightest hesitation – indeed, Nirmal is a rare boon…… I believe Nirmal Kumar will have a unique place in Hindi literature and his contribution will carve a niche for itself.”
This novel is about love. The title itself suggests love, for the words in the title translated into English mean certain brooks whose origin is untraceable. The hero of the novel, Ravi Kant, is an adolescent, who loves two girls, both madly. One of them is Mini, his elder sister and the other, Savani, who is an adolescent, like him. What strikes the reader is a truth of human nature, that, in spite of being loves of equal intensity, love for the two differs right from the roots, like a rose and a jasmine, sprouting close in the same soil. The beauty of each comes out spontaneously, since there is no weight of morality on any of these two loves. There is no trace of any effort on part of the author to keep them separate and distinct from each other. They grow uninhibitedly, but nature flowers each differently, as if the difference is a part of nature, not a gift of moral education. Nowhere does the hero curb or intellectually restrain his spontaneous feeling of oneness with his sister. These are not ordinary feelings. These are fiery feelings, emblazing with passion, the feelings of a man who cannot imagine himself separated from her, yet the burning passion seems instinctively informed from within. His love for her knows no limit and yet knows its direction. Nirmal Kumar seems to have dug up the very roots of these two loves. He has revealed the truth of both, and it is heartening to see that love is not subject to ethics. If anything, its roots are deeper and its stem is higher than ethics.
Great writers, like Shakespeare, have written about the fickleness of woman in a disparaging way. These two female characters of this novel, Mini and Savani, also appear fickle, but only superficially so, and not in any questionable way. If analysis is permissible of lyrical characters, Mini and Savani show that woman’s nature is fragile, not fickle, and her character is, comparatively, stronger than man’s. Mini suddenly turns harsh towards Ravi after her marriage; the reason is her total trust in her husband, Prakash Narain, who is a literary critic, madly jealous of Ravi, a born literary genius. He poisons Mini’s heart, sweetly and craftily, abusing her total traditional trust in her husband. It is too late by the time she realizes the error of her judgment.
Savani, apparently, betrays Ravi Kant, but it cannot be called a betrayal. She is a poor and illiterate girl. Ravi goes away for a year to study in a University, without confessing, in so many words, that he loves her. He considers such declaration an insult to his love. He trusts that she should infer it from all the little sweet moments they had spent together. Those moments were surcharged with oneness of two hearts. Yet when a rogue takes fancy to her and tells her of the class distinction between Ravi and her, her brain turns fickle and does not see the evil hidden in his counsel. Again, it is not due to the fickleness of her character that she betrays him. It is out of ignorance and of having no sense of pride in her love. In the end both women come out of their fragility and reveal their inner strength in different ways.
‘Bin Udgam Ke Srota’ is a classic that deserves to be placed among the best novels in all literature. When Hindi will become free of the sectarian warlords of literature, this novel is sure to get its place in world literature.