Solah Aane Solah Log by Krishna Kumar Yadav is a selective chronicle of Who’s Who in Indian literature (Hindi & regional). Selective because it resorts to a limited list of 16 luminaries in Hindi Sahitya and thus conceiving upon the title – Solah Aane Solah Log (Solah Aana among Hindi dialect means complete, cent percent or unquestionable being).
What sets apart this book from others in the category is that author chose to do it with biographical yet literary paintbrush. Unlike stereotyped ‘lekhak parichay’ which begins with their date of birth, then birthplace, normal upbringing, career and famous works; Solah Aane Solah Log is a fresh attempt to bring those grand brands in a single consolidated compilation with 16 illuminating essays.
When I leafed through the prefatorial portion, it was table of contents which caught my very attention (refer to the screenshot below). Rather than putting a very generalized approach to mention the name of individuals, author (or maybe editor) did it with introductory one liners which itself was a great tribute to each.
Literary Giants That Are Included
Having this in hand, I flipped over directly to Premchand‘s chapter (very obvious for me) where the author emphasizes much over his works and its social relevance even today. Then I chose Rahul Sankrityayan for very less of the information available over internet about him (or perhaps my search quotient has declined a bit !). Then I got intrigued about Kaifi Azmi for his ambidextrous talent of being a lyricist who also did poems or was a poet who also penned lyrics with equal ease. I moreover knew him as a man hailing from bollywood and the book sheds more light over the other side of him for which he is better known today. I’d further also advocate reading Ravindranath Tagore‘s piece for it enlightens more over his literary pursuits and influences. I though wished Niraj‘s chapter was little longer. For few of the writers, author has also slipped in their oeuvre which shows how diligently he has gone through each. And having traversed entire generation of noted names in Indian literature from then & now, the book proved itself to be an unputdownable one.
For the given nature of this book, I’m afraid if it will make it to any literary classic, but is a must have for any Hindi bookshelf. Those looking out to read more on Indian writers (regional language) will find it engrossing too.
I’d also humbly await its bulky sequel ‘Shat Pratishat Sau Log’ or something of that sort if publisher or author is pondering over the same !