By Indian Authors Fiction

Rag Darbari by Shrilal Shukla – Book review


Rag Darbari Book Cover Rag Darbari
Shrilal Shukla
Rajkamal Prakashan
Read on my Kindle

Rag Darbari is a Hindi novel written by Shrilal Shukla. It depicts the social and political challenges one encountered in the villages of those times. The protagonist, Rangnath, of the book is an idealistic, educated and urban youth, who has a very monolithic view of how the Indian villages were in late sixties and early seventies. He is a history scholar who goes on a holiday to his uncle's village to escape the urban life for a while. His uncle, Vaidyaji is the manager of the local college and is the silent law of the land whose writ runs through the whole village. Most of his loyal men occupy important positions in the village like the sarpanch and police in charge of the local station.

The novel depicts the degradation of moral values post independence in the village life and is laced with great wit and dark humour. Rangnath's notion of an ideal village is shattered by seeing politics and petty corruption dominating the day-to-day life in the village. The book in one way is a mirror image of the rural life during those times. Rag Darbari was published by Rajkamal Prakashan in 2008 and is available in paperback.

Key Features:
Shrilal Shukla won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1970 for this book. It was adapted for a TV series on Doordarshan starring veteran actor Om Puri. It was also adapted in a stage play Ranganath Ki Wapsi by Rajesh Singh, NSD alumni. Rag Darbari has been translated in more than fifteen languages.


Shrilal Shukla is known as one of the prominent Hindi authors. He has been awarded ‘Gyanpith award’ and ‘Padma Bhushan’. The first time I have read Shrilal Shukla’s work is in my school’s Hindi syllabus. It also had mentioned of Raag Darbari, since then I wanted to read this book. Before heading to the review I would like to tell my readers that this book has been translated into 15 languages and has been awarded the ‘Sahitya Akademi Award’.

Plot summary:

This story is set in the village Shivpalganj, Uttar Pradesh; the period is of post-independence. The villager called themselves ‘Ganjha’ referring their village name.

Rangnath, who is M.A. in history, comes to the village to gain some health as he was ill with the disease. He wasn’t able to catch a train as he thought the train will be 2 hours late but it was just 1.5 hours late. After this, he requests a truck driver to leave him at Shivpalganj. In this short journey, he sees the condition of poor and congested roads, the corruption of traffic police.

So he finally reaches Shivpalganj in his uncle, Vaidyji’s house. Vaidyji is a kind of godfather of the village. He is the manager of the Changamal inter college; he is the head of the co-operative organization. In short, the whole village politics is running under his hand.

The college which is running by the government money is merely an earning tool for Vaidyji and the college principal, who has an outrageous habit to speak in his native language Awadhi when he becomes angry.

Another notable character in the book is Ramadheen Bheekhedvi who has entered in the village politics after quitting his opium business.

Vaidyji has two sons, elder one is Badri Pehelwan who is a wrestler and he keeps himself away from his father’s politics. Another son is Ruppan Babu who is young and has failed many times in the 10th standard; he is the head of college student group. In the end of the book, he goes with the drastic change because of Rangnath.

Under the influence of Vaidyji, many illegal things happened in the village like winning the manager post on the point of a gun, embezzlement from the co-operative organization. Principal Sahib, who want to be on his respective designation has fury with Khanna and Malviya, teachers of the college because they are raising voice against principal sahib.

There is also a character, Langad a crippled man who has to suffer a lot to get a small thing done from the government official.

During his 6 months of stay, Rangnath an educated man who has come in hope of great health observe all these politics, infected atmosphere of the village and finds himself out of senses.

Writing style:

This book is long and has divided into various chapters. The events in this book are narrated with great wit and humor which helps to read this book in pace. There are many words in the book which can be understood only by someone who belongs to Uttar Pradesh or knows Awadhi language.

My perception:

This book is outstanding and the way author has served humor, great story-line, character, and message are appreciable. The village shown in this book is an epitome of our country. Though this book is written 49 years ago but all the concepts is still relevant. This book humorously shows the condition and corruption of roads, educational institution, election manipulation, embezzlement, local goons, politics, cleanliness movement, government officers, and offices. I still laugh some of the incidence written in the book.

The main motto of this book is to depict the condition of a place where one person gets the authority above on everything. I don’t know if things are going to change or not but still we should never give up the hope!

This book is a great piece of literature and I am so glad that I read this book. This book is one of lifetime reads, so if you have not read it yet then do add it to your TBR list!

Grab a copy of this book from here, 

Hindi edition           English edition

Until next time, Keep reading 🙂 

Author: Sheetal Maurya

Sheetal Maurya is a full-time blogger. She is a die-hard bookworm and has read more books than she can count. She believes in the art of storytelling and reviews books so that the world can choose the best ones and embark on an adventurous virtual reading journey.

what do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • So guys as promised, here comes the #summergiveaway of #monsoonminds by #RaviNambiar 🎉

Below are the simple rules to participate in this giveaway : ☔ You must be following us (please do not unfollow after this giveaway it is very unethical )
☔ repost this pic keeping us in tag with hashtag #summergiveawayHOB
☔ you can also like and follow our facebook and twitter account for extra points. ☔ subscribe to our blog for an extra entry. ☔ you can also check our blog post about this giveaway to increase your chance to win. (Link is in bio)
☔ when done, comment below tagging three people who would be interested in this giveaway. 
This giveaway is open for Indian residents. The winners will be announce on the date of 1st May. 
There will be two lucky winners randomly selected by us.

Good lucks guys ! 😊
#bookreviewer #haloofbooks #booksaremylife #bookbloggers #booklover #indianbookworm #indianbookblogger #indianbookreviewer #bookworm #booksaremylife #giveaway #bookgiveaway #bookstagramindia #bookporn #booklove #bibilophile #booknerd #bookshelf #bookstagram #indianbookstagrammer #mustread #shortstories #freebook
  • Congrats ! @thefictionalindian 🎉 
Reposting this pic #tfi2yrgiveaway 
Hope to win! 😃
#bookreviewer #haloofbooks #booksaremylife #bookbloggers #booklover #indianbookworm #indianbookblogger #indianbookreviewer #giveaway
  • Thanks for this amazing #giveaway @thebooklingscrate 
I love reading books because it's allow me to sink in a different world which I don't find in real world. I get transported to another realm in minutes . I meet different people, diffrent emotions just sitting at one place. 📚
#bookreviewer #haloofbooks #booksaremylife #bookbloggers #booklover #indianbookworm #indianbookblogger #indianbookreviewer #giveaway #booksaremylife #bookstagram
  • Super excited for this #giveaway 🎉 #thebookishtales500ga congratulations for reaching 500 💕💕
#bookreviewer #lovebooks #indianbookworm #indianbookblogger #indianbookreviewer #bookphotography
  • Just started this book today and finished 100 pages in one go. Quite an interesting read till now. ☺
This is the signed book send by the author (swipe to read the beautiful message written by the author)

Here is the blurb of the book :

Sonal Kapoor is a reserved, hardworking entrepreneur running a florist boutique in London. She fights a paradoxical battle between her responsibilities at work and her only family there - her mother. And caught in between these is a story of Sonal's past - a terrible event that got her to flee India. Scars from her troubled past continues to manifest in multitude of ways, reminding her constantly about that horrific event. 
Serendipity happens when Dr. Ryan Percy enters her life and Sonal is challenged in ways she had never imagined. Ryan turns out as everything from Sonal's quintessential definition of the man of her dreams - BUT, Ryan too comes to the party with his own baggage from the past. A pivotal piece in the jigsaw of their lives appears to be missing. Could their puzzling lives be ever completed by each other? Do they complete or destroy each other? .
#bookreviewer #haloofbooks #booksaremylife #bookbloggers #booklover #bookstagramindia #reviewcopy #fiction #bookphotography #bibilophile #booknerd #bookshelf #bookstagram #indianbookstagrammer #debutbook #debutauthor #signedbook #scarsdoheal #beautiful #bookishindian #book📖 #indianauthor #bookphotography #paperback #booksof2017 #currentlyreading #amreading #shilpamenon
  • #reading a book is a fun, it simply opens up a new realm where you find peace, sorrow, and happiness. But there comes a certain time in life when the readers don’t just want to read, they can’t simply proceed from 10 pages. So if this thing is happening with you then you are definitely suffering from #readersblock This is similar to the #writersblock but where writer’s block is an acceptable aspect, reader’s block is not.

Reader’s block can happen when you read some really pathetic book (Yes! It happens with me 😐) or are mentally distracted. However, there are many reasons but these two are the primary reasons.

If you are also suffering from reader’s block then do not worry you are not alone! I have shared some easy tips to revive your #readinghabit 📚The link is the bio 📚
#bookreviewer #haloofbooks #booksaremylife #bookbloggers #booklover #indianbookworm #indianbookblogger #indianbookreviewer #mustread #newpost #bibilophile #booknerd #bookshelf #bookstagram #indianbookstagrammer #tipsandtricks #readersmind #readers #instablogger
#instablog #bookporn #booklove #novel #boredom #indianreaders #bookwormsproblems
  • Sharing the new post on the blog 🌺
#bookreview of #jaya an illustrated retelling of #mahabharat by @devduttmyth 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
This is the second book of the Devdutt Pattanaik I have read after Sita: An illustrated retelling of Ramayana. I have already read various retelling of Mahabharata; however, this retelling is totally different from others. 
This book is not simply the retelling but a treasure of lessons. The author has accumulated various stories which are scattered across the country and given a meaningful essence to the readers
🌾full review is on the blog, link is in profile 🌾
#bookreviewer #haloofbooks #booksaremylife #bookbloggers #booklover #indianbookworm #indianbookblogger #indianbookreviewer #mythology #indianauthor #bookphotography #kindle #kindlebooks #indianepic #booknerd #bookshelf #bookstagram #bookstagramindia
  • Good morning guys ! Today on the blog meet Mr. #RaviNambiar, An entrepreneur and the author of #monsoonminds ☔
“…The hardest part is to weave some abstract thoughts in to a storyline and the easiest part is once this idea is born writing comes like a flow.” Says the author Ravi Nambiar.
🌻Head to the profile to find the full interview link🌻 .
#bookreviewer #haloofbooks #booksaremylife #bookbloggers #booklover #indianbookworm #indianbookblogger #indianbookreviewer #bookworm #writer #author #authorinterview #meettheauthor #debutbook #debutauthor #indianauthor #booknergidans #instablogger #instablog #bookporn #booknerd #bibilophile #bookstagram #indianbookstagrammer #mustread #newpost #shortstories