It is not every day that a master class and truly masterpiece is written in the world of Hindi literature. Fortunately for the avid readers of Hindi literature, this is exactly what has happened with the release of the book ‘Bikhre Sapne’ by author M. Murtaza.

The book titled ‘Bikhre Sapne’ meaning ‘Shattered Dreams’ if you translate into English, is so catchy that even a non-regular Hindi reader like me fell in love with the book. The interest for the book starts building from the title-point itself.

Next is the cover page of the book. I must say that it is well-designed where the main character Raajan appears to turn his face reluctantly and obliquely from the cherished dreams which have appropriately been shown as beautiful forest laden with colorful flowers and fallen fluffy layered leaves on the front cover. However, I personally feel that something abstract or universal kind of graphics would also have been an alternate choice.

Next comes the content where the pillars are the characters. They take different shapes as the story evolves. Rukmini, a young widow, is poverty stricken hard working lady full of self-respect who bears strong desire to educate her son — Raajan. The author has narrated the struggle which Rukmini undergoes in a very heart touching way.

Raajan is pivotal protagonist who is fond of Gandhian thoughts.  He himself is considerate and full of positivity. He maintains his calm. One may question his aggression with one police constable, but that is a circumstantial outburst, not everything of his attributes.  At climax, he shivers and falls unconscious when Bharat, a sudden entrant at the end of the story, discourses against Gandhian Principles and shows path deviant from non-violence.  Characteristics of Raajan revolve around Gandhian deeds and principles. The dilemma shown in the character of Raajan is also absolutely praise-worthy.

As far as Budhan Kaka, an old experienced man of the village is concerned; we may say that his temperaments fluctuate in view of pressing circumstances. Lataa, a Patnaite young damsel, is too sober, lively and swift-footed. She, although somewhere dissents with Raajan, but at the end of every discussion falls in line and love with the thoughts and person of Raajan. She shows the signs of leading and influencing character towards the climax. One character which is unforgettable is candid social worker Shyamlal Chacha who appears at every high time for Raajan in the novel. He may be rightly said a mentor, motivator and father-figure of Raajan.

Of many negative characters, one character which must be mentioned is Chhote Maalik who is hereditary owner of Anandpur Haveli, but is morally malicious, shows traits of brutality and inhumanity.

Bharat, a surprising character linked primarily with another Hindi novel—ANURADHA —  of author  M. Murtaza,  divulges his painful and anguished past and crystal clearly emphasizes that  he ONCE was a Gandhian and now he sees unfortunately a bitter reality. We can say that the book compels readers to think a paradigm shift in climax and shows pangs of contemporary India.

The sensible readers will find it intriguingly interesting and soul-touching to explore these characters along with others portrayed in the book. Ultimately, the readers are presented with a brilliant reading experience which compels them to think, ponder and introspect.

As a reader if you are looking for a Hindi story and the way of storytelling which will stay with you long after you finish reading it, ‘Bikhre Sapne’ is just going to be the right choice for you. My rating of the book is 5*/5*. Pick it up and indulge yourself into some quality reading based on rural background like Maila Anchal of Phanishwar Nath Renu.

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