Vyakti ani Valli – P.L. Deshpande (Marathi)


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Vyakti Aani Vyalli is a collection of character sketches by Purushottam Laxman Deshpande, the popular Marathi writer. Drawing from real-life characters and incidents, these sketches are as varied as people can be and quite interesting.

The stories in Vyakti Aani Vyalli were written over a period of more than 20 years, from 1944 to 1968. Of the 20 stories in the book, the one about Bhaiyya Nagpurkar was the earliest one written by the author. The lead character is a Brahmin by birth, but he is often mistaken for a Muslim for various reasons. He is wealthy man with a bad reputation, but he admires Gandhiji, the Father of Nation. He even avoids drinking alcohol on the days when Mahatma is fasting.

There are a lot of other varied sketches in this book. Narayan helps in arranging marriages and also ensures that the functions go smoothly. The author reveals an interesting side of Narayan.

There is Parophari Gampu who would go out of the way to help people, and then there is the washer-man Namu Parit. The washer-man breaks buttons and uses his customers clothes on himself, and never delivers on time. He has every other evil habit imaginable but has no idea that the things he do are wrong.

There is also a school boy named Sakharam Gatne, who speaks classical Marathi and is addicted to books. Lakhu Risbud, who is another interesting character, is a disillusioned writer who wanted to change the world with his pen, but ends up working as a sub-editor in some obscure magazine.

The list goes on, with a fine variety of characters reflecting the ironies of life. Vyakti Aani Vyalli earned the writer a Sahitya Akademi Award.


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