Mohunlall Brijmohun, a Veteran Creative Hindi Writer

Book Review

Hindi writing in Mauritius is very vibrant. Almost every month one finds one or two books in Hindi on the market.

The last two ones that I have with me are Wah Bhula Bisra Tat and Kwabon Ki Wah Khubsurat Duniya by Mohunlall Brijmohun published in 2016. They were recently launched by the World Hindi Secretariat.

Hindi writing in Mauritius displays an incredible dynamism. The works cover a wide range of genres from poetry, travelogue to short stories and novels as well as factual treatment of the development of Hindi on Mauritius soil.

The wealth of materials in Hindi is indeed remarkable. We have produced giants in Hindi literature such as Abhimanyu Unuth who made Mauritius known worldwide through his incisive creative writings. And of course Shri Somduth Buckhory, Madhukar Bhagat, Ramdeo Dhurundhur and Raj Heeramun.

This pertinence of Hindi’s presence in Mauritius is well illustrated by these works of Mohunlall Brijmohun.

Kwabon Ki Wah Khubsurat Duniya is a novel of 144 pages that treats of a modern topic, that of rank materialism that has beset modern society where man has lost his identity as man; where pride and arrogance have denuded him of all emotions and values, and hatred has replaced love and gratitude. This emptiness that pervades modern society is very well seized in Brijmohun’s novel. Consumerism has left mankind marooned in a helpless situation of destitution – of feelings and where man’s mind has assumed a “functionalism” as rightly pointed out by famous Irish Writer John O’Donohue in Eternal Echoes (Bantam Press).

Mohunlall Brijmohun’s novel is written in a simple succinct style that is instantly arresting and penetrating in a fast moving flow. His other book “Wah Bhula Bisra Tat” is a collection of thirteen short stories such as “Sarita”, “Adalat KeItihas Mein”, “Saugandh”, including the story that gives its title to the book, “Bahut Choti hey Zindagi”, “Chotarahnekeliye”.

This collection of short stories also treats of the pressure of modern living, the breaking up of relationships. They reflect how despite man’s (and woman’s) apparent maturity and judgement, there remains within the heart, such deep feelings that lead on to more cravings and their immediate satisfaction. Equally written in very simple swift moving style, the short stories make very appealing reading, where the reader would not want to put down the book and keep on turning the pages to know the end. Being an urbanite, Brijmohun’s Hindi is more contemporary and cosmopolitan.

Mr. Mohunlal Brijmohun retired as a Supervisor of Primary Hindi Sector after long years of dedicated service to the cause of Hindi. He has tried his hand at different genres such as plays and poetry. In fact, he participates regularly in Kavi Sammelan (Poets’ Gatherings). He is also the Founder Member and Secretary of Hindi Sahitya Academy together with another veteran Hindi poet who needs no introduction, Dr Hemraj Soondur who launched the Academy on 20 October 1996. Brijmohun has also used his teaching abilities to produce a series of textbooks from standard I to CPE to help children polish their Hindi. He has contributed regularly in Vasant literary magazine published by the Mahatma Gandhi Institute.

On the eve of the 11th World Hindi Conference that will be held in Mauritius in early 2018, it is refreshing to see writers like Mohunlall Brijmohun who craft their creative energies in Hindi which remains a very fluid and easily adaptable and accessible language, and enrich Mauritian Hindi literature. Outside India, indeed Mauritius is the only country besides Fiji that can boast of a vigorous and vivid Hindi literature that is rooted in the cultural, socio-economic environment, colour and smell of the local soil.

Both books are published by Star Publications of Anil Varma, New Delhi who does a yeoman service to get the Mauritian Hindi writers in print. Publishing books is a challenging job in Mauritius. We hope now with the development of the World Hindi Secretariat and Mahatma Gandhi Institute firmly established as centres of distinction, Hindi writing in Mauritius will continue to excite the younger generation even if they have to write on line blogs and produce E-books.

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