Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Dilawar Pasha

Dilawar Pasha
Gunvant Rai Acharya

Gunvant Rai Acharya is the stalwart writer in the Sea Farers stories. His stories have left a big mark in the Gujarati Literature. Dilawar Pasha is a book on the same story line of sea farers.

The first story is about the initiation of a clerk in the sea-faring business. He is from a mediocre family with big dreams of striking gold by sea-faring to Africa. He is always seeing the people who have returned from Africa with big fortune. He is as usual stopped by his parent as he is the only child they have. His name is Dalsukh, educated upto 2nd Standard and 20 years old. The story is set in the WWII scenario wherein he feels that all are fighting to stop him to go to Africa. He thinks that the war is stretched very long and why they are not fighting and finishing off? Such is his dilemma. Adding to this his immediate boss also refuses to give reference to him to go. He gets frustrated and thinks that his boss considers his son to be capable to go and not him, why? There is constant fear of the submarine attack so all the steam ships have stopped so a captain named Rehman wants to encash his products by faring in the older ship which is a sail, mast, rudder ship. Dalsukh joins him as his clerk and runs away from him after satisfying the doubts of Rehman to show that he is not absconding after some crime, so starts his sea faring journey. He excels in the navigation. On the way they meet a British Ship which escorts them to near by island and on the way Dilawar Pasha sinks a submarine and damaging the ship is the process. In the island some people are kidnapped by the Japanase who do not wish to hurt the people but want to avenge the British. Dilawar Pasha in the end subdues the Japanese with the help of the British and the novel strategy of Rehman the Captain
“Khallas” is the term when the ship reaches the shores and is unloaded; the payment given to “Kharavas” (The Sailors). This story is about captain Aladad employed by Sundar Sheth and his love for his ship Lakshamshi. The story is about the silk trade with the Chinease, they came with the silk load and reloaded with sugar, so still we call sugar as “Chini”. There was always competition to reach the shores and the first ship to anchor the shores got a golden gift so the ship always needed to be the best of the best. Sundar sheth delivers the last khallas to Aladad and takes him off the job and sells the ship to buy newer one. The agony felt by the Captain gets unbearable by his wife so she ventures out and buys the ship Lakhamsi from its buyers after selling everything of hers, her brothers and the captain’s family. Both Captain and his wife fare the sea in their old ship and reach the shores first and before the other ships reach they are able to sell their entire ship load. So a unique love story of the Kharvas.

Hasan Patel has enmity with Ali Tandel and keeps on searching him in all the on shore bars. Hasan ha lived a very adventurous life and helped everyone but now no one is able to help him. The story is that Ali Tandel is a shameless womanizer and elopes with the daughter of Hasan Patel. After some years the daughter returns with all white hair and fallen teeth and dies within few days in the hands of Hasan. One ship comes and the news is in the air that Ali is there. Hasan is ready to end the enmity by killing Ali. Hasan is ready in the bar with his knife. All the people are aghast that what will happen when the enemies meet. A sailor form the ship comes and informs that ship had come in the lightening storm and Ali Tandel has lost his both eyes and now left on earth to creep around. Hasan says to God “I was thinking to revenge him but you have better ways of punishing.” Hasan sees Ali and rushes to him with knife and says that I have promised my daughter that she won’t be alone in her grave. All people close their eyes as Hasan raises his knife. When they open their eyes they see the knife in Hasan’s chest. A well taken revenge.

Captain Pirmamad is a well-known navigator of all the types of ships, mechanical and old-timed also. He has till now saved 14 people by his ‘barig’ Lakhpasha. His past was not good, he was a pirate in the past and now he has changed his name and done lots of good deeds. His companion of the past meets him one day and black mails him. On the ship there is a very bad storm and the captain saves the ship. In the end his prayers to the god are answered and the black-mailer dies in the storm. He thanks God for everything and continues his good work.

“Harari” or “Haradi” is a fascinating word which is in no other language. It means when a person loses all this controls and becomes like a ravaging elephant without any concern for his life and anything which comes in his way is destroyed.

It’s a humble try to explain this book but the Gujarati version his far better.

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