एक बुक जर्नल: Delhi Noir edited by Hirsh Sawhney

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Delhi Noir edited by Hirsh Sawhney

Rating:3.5/5
Finished On:December 13th 2013


Delhi Noir is a book in the Akashic Noir series in which they print noir stories related to a particular city.
i must admit that i came across the book after watching the feature film B A Pass which was based on The Railway Aunty by Mohan Sikka, a story that makes this anthology.
It is a collection of fifteen stories edited by Hirsh Sawhney. The book is divided into three sections and the stories are in a way related to these sections.Each section depicts a particular aspect of the city.
Before reading this book i thought noir was about dark characters,cynical investigators who are most of the times eccentric but then when i searched i found out Noir film and Noir fiction are entirely different things.
Noir fiction (or roman noir) is a literary genre closely related to hardboiled genre[1] with a distinction that the protagonist is not a detective, but instead either a victim, a suspect, or a perpetrator.
So in this case most of the stories satisfy the noir title.

Then there is Film Noir  which is entirely different thing.

The book is divided into three sections and each section has stories centered on it.
The stories in the book are :

Part 1:With you for you always.

The above is the motto of the Delhi police and so the stories in this part have the stories related to Delhi police.

Yesterday Man by Omair Ahmad(Ashram)3.5/5.
Suhasini is a Private Investigator. She had a senior partner called Triloki but when she found out that Triloki was blackmailing one of the client,she separated her agency and was now solely running the agency. When she gets a call from her informer that Triloki has sent a case to her, she gets puzzled. Will she take the case and why Triloki sent her the case????

The story was an okay read but the twist was great. I'll give it

How i lost my clothes by Radhika Jha(lodhi gardens)2.5/5
The story is about a guy. The narrator is the CEO of global consultancy company and its sole worker. He's a drug addict and lives a responsibility free life. He gets work through his ex-bosses who all are female. When he finds that the report he had to sent has been deleted from his laptop, he suspects his ex-wife of doing it. While on his way to the police station, he comes across some people taking drugs and decides to join the party. After his drug binge when he wakes up next morning he finds out that he's stark naked and evey cloth on his body has been stolen. What happens to him??

The story was average. Nothing extraordinary about it.

Last In first out by Irwin allan seally( Delhi ridge)3.5/5
Baba Ganoush is an auto rickshaw driver.One night during his regular rounds for fare he comes across a guy who appears to be severely distressed. He finds out that he and his girl-friend had gone to secluded place and there they were attacked. After dropping them to their place, he forgets the incident. But when after some day he reads in a paper, that a gang is active in the same region where he had picked the victim, who often targets the couple and often rapes the girl, he know that he'll have to do something. What does he plans ?

I liked the story and the ending was what i loved.

Parking by Ruchir Joshi(Nizammudin west) 2.5/5
Samiran lives in a in nizammudin west. He is not in good terms with his neighbor. When his girlfriend comes to visit him one day she gets stopped by the cops as she has parked in no parking area. The cops have been called by his neighbor to harass him. But it's Delhi the place where motto is if you have it, flaunt it and its applicable to not only money but power.
The story is an okay read.

Hissing Cobras by Nalinaksha Bhattacharya (R K Puram) 3/5
Mukta aggarwal's mother in law Kamla agarwal was brought dead to the emergency of the hospital. Raghav Bakhsi, an Inspector in R K Puram police station,gets an anonymous call that tells him that Kamla agarwal may have been murdered by Mukta as Kamla had found about her illicit affair with the neighborhood army Jawan. Is this true or some one just jealous?? You'll have to read the story
to find out.

It's one of the good stories of the collection.


Part 2 Youngistan

Youngistan is the motto of the cold drink brand Pepsi. This section contains stories about the young people of the city.
The Railway aunty by Mohan Sikka (paharganj)3.5/5
When Mukesh's parents die in an accident, he is forced to move to his aunt's colony. There he meets Sarika aunt and meeting her will change his life for ever.
I loved the story. The movie BA pass was based on this story. And i'll confess that this was the story due to which i purchased this collection.

Hostel by Sidharta Chowdhary ( Delhi University, North Campus) 2.5/5
Zorawar singh is the owner of shoukeen Nivas. Shoukeen Nivas is the hostel for students studying in the Delhi University. Jishnu Da is the warden of this hostel. When new boy come to the hostel Jishnu tells them about the history of Shoukeen Nivas.
One of the most depressing story in the collection. It was not that the story was bad but the thing was the content of story was too dark for me.

Small Fry by Meera Nair (ISBT) 3.5/5
Ramu is a tout living at ISBT. He works at a tea stall and arranges customers for Hoshiyar Singh to sell tickets too. One night he spots a couple and his life changes after that.
One of the better stories of the collection.

Fit of Rage by Plash Krishna Mehrotra(defence colony) 2.5/5
Manik lives as a tenant in Mrs Bindra's house. He befriends Mrs Bindra's servant and a rickshaw driver. They procure drugs for him and during one of their sessions they tell him a plan.
A nice story . We often read stories like these in the paper.

Just another death by Hartosh singh bal (gyan kunj)3/5
This story is told in past tense. When the narrator had newly joined Hindustan Express he gets a call from a guy called Ekka. Ekka was an alcoholic and was campaigning against the current councilor in the election. He tells narrator that he's going to be killed and when narrator reaches the place he finds that Ekka has been killed. He's told the reason for his death but that doesn't satisfies him, He tries to investigate but all his investigations are thwarted. After so many year that case still nags his conscience and when he gets the opportunity to find the truth he goes for it but does he really cares for it?
Just another story about police brutality and how money can be used to buy policemen and use them as your personal henchmen.

Part 3 Walled City,World City

Delhi has been an ancient city but now it's progressing and is in a transformation from being a city close to its ancient roots to becoming a cosmopolitan city. These stories represent these aspects of Delhi.

Gautam Under a tree by Hirsh Swahney 3/5
Gautam is a journalist who's asked to write a story that will unfold the mystery over the death of his friend Khem who was a tribal activist. He agrees to do it without realizing that this will put him in a web of deceit and treachery.


The scam by Tabish Khair 3/5
Arvind Sinha is a reporter in Times of India. He has gone to jantar mantar to cover a high profile protest. He's a cynical guy. There he meets Preeti and Tina who have come to cover a caster atrocity that was committed in which a woman's relatives were murdered and she and her son were chased away. Sinha tells them that their protest is just a scam to earn money but the ladies make a bet and they go to the woman's town to make sure. While Preeti and Tina return from the village convinced that they have been scammed as told by Sinha but Sinha has his doubts. 
It was an average story.

The walls of Delhi by Uday Praksh 4/5
It's said that the walls have ears and one should be careful about what one utters so that the wrong thing may not go into ears that could create a problem for you. But the walls of Delhi can contain certain secrets which may be fatal for you. Ramnivas finds it a hard way.
One of the best story of the collection.


Cull by Manjula Padmanabhan 2.5/5
This story is set in future Delhi. It reminded me of the movie District 13. An isolated area is present in the future Delhi. People who have watched the movie will know what i'm talking about. People who haven't should read the story. It was an ok story. The ending was predictable but it was nicely executed.




Some stories were good and some were okay but over all i liked the collection. Although sometimes all the cynicism in the stories is depressing and i think it's because we have come across such stories in our life.
 If you like stories that present the dark side of humanity, you'll like them.


You can order the book from the following links:
Amazon.in link of Delhi Noir

If you have read the book,please feel free to drop the line about how you liked it and also about any other books that you can recommend.

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