A conspiracy moving from India to Nepal

Tadipaar means a person who has been banished by the police from the city / other smaller or bigger area for a period of time during which he is not allowed to enter the boundaries of that city or area. Hindi novelist Surendra Mohan Pathak has written a brilliant thriller novel by keeping a small time criminal at the centre of the story who has been declared Tadipaar from his place of origin by the police. However this status of his (of being a Tadipaar) has little relevance to the theme of the novel which is a conspiracy to usurp the power in Nepal with the mastermind residing in India (at Patna). This novel was published in 1993 when there was monarchy in Nepal. Now the theme of the novel has gone out of sync with the present political system in Nepal because monarchy has been done away with there. The novel is an outstanding thriller and hence a treat to read all the same.925704594sThe hero of this movie is Sharad Shukla, a petty criminal who was declared as a known bad character by the police of his hometown and banished to enter the city for one year. Having no option with him, then he had moved to Patna, the capital of Bihar and started working with a mysterious person who calls himself as Brahma. Now for the past one year, Sharad has been working for Brahma with a reasonably good salary being paid to him every month plus a decent flat for residence and a car for personal as well as work-related use. The job assigned by Brahma to Sharad is mainly carrying a pair of specially designed shoes to Nepal every month. Sharad has to wear such a pair in his feet and change them at the desired destination in Nepal, leaving them with the visited person known as Ram Rudra Thaapa and wearing a different pair of shoes given to him. The specialty of the shoes carried by him is that they contain precious diamonds in their heels. Before entering the boundary of Nepal, Sharad has to meet one or either of the two Nepali men known as Ayodhya and Bhattaraai. For every such visit, Sharad keeps his friend Ashtabhuja with him as his companion. Ashtabhuja is a thickheaded Nepali with an ugly face but a very strong body. Ashtabhuja is very fond of Sharad and respectfully calls him as Shyaana (intelligent). One significant fact in this regard is that Brahma’s wife Fifi who is a French woman, is maintaining an illicit relationship with Sharad whereas Sharad is trying to get out of this relationship due to his love affair with a Nepali girl named as Maya Koirala.

The story of Tadipaar takes off with Sharad’s meeting with Brahma in which Brahma comes to know that Sharad does not carry out his regular assignment of visiting Nepal blindly. He knows just too much and has smelt that it’s a part of some large conspiracy to usurp the political power in Nepal. He feels that such an oversmart person should not remain his employee and he fires him from the job. However as a consolation, he assigns him this job for the last one time and tells him that if he accomplishes it successfully, he will be given a handsome amount as a parting gift from his employer.

In any case, Sharad had to go to Nepal this time because the brother of his sweetheart – Nakul Koirala who is known to have escaped from a jail in Nepal, wants to come to India forever and Sharad had promised Maya that he would smuggle Nakul from Nepal to India somehow in his car. Now Sharad who always travels to Nepal with Ashtabhuja in his car only via the Birganj-Raxaul border, has not only to smuggle the diamonds from India to Nepal like every such visit for his employer who appears to be a very cunning person, masterminding some intricate conspiracy pertaining to the throne of Nepal but also to smuggle his sweetheart’s brother from Nepal to India on his return journey.

However even before Sharad’s journey could start, he is shocked to find another employee of his boss known as Neelkanth as murdered in the bathroom of his flat. Fortunately, he is able to throw Neelkanth’s dead body out of his flat because one window of the bathroom opens just above an arroyo (near which this residential complex is situated) and then starts his all important journey with his friend Ashtabhuja. The major part of the novel’s narrative is devoted to this journey of the hero only with frequent twists appearing to intrigue and engross the reader. It’s a thrilling ride whose details I won’t reveal here.

While penning this novel (in the last quarter of 1992 with the publication taking place in 1993), the author, i.e., Surendra Mohan Pathak did not know that after a decade or so, monarchy will be abolished in Nepal. However, it happened and that’s why now the theme of this novel (i.e., a conspiracy to usurp the throne of Nepal) appears to be out of context. However, if the reader ignores it and just concentrate on enjoying the thrill and the suspense embedded in the narrative, he is sure to get immense entertainment.

The suspense starts from the very first chapter and thereafter the complete novel proves to be a brilliant blend of thrill, suspense, romance, friendship, betrayal, sentiments and what not. Quite surprisingly, this well-written novel is not counted among the more popular novels of this Hindi mystery and thriller writer. Having read it more than once, I could not find any flaw with it. It’s more or less a perfect novel with a rarely seen balance in the narrative and finally everything falling in place for the suspense factor.

The narrative renders a breathtaking thrill through the description of the happenings in the rainy, stormy night in which the hero goes from India to Nepal and then returns from Nepal to India. Every scene during that part of the novel (which is the biggest part of it) is no less than a roller-coaster ride for the reader. It makes a sensational reading, virtually mesmerizing the reader.

The title of the novel does not tell anything about the novel. The novel has been titled as such just because of the background of the hero (city-banished by the police). Else it has nothing to do with the story. Perhaps the author could not find a better and more appropriate title for the novel.

The author has penned many novels with Nepal as the backdrop. And all such novels are damn interesting with authenticity rendered to the narrative through description of real places of Nepal. The same is the case with Tadipaar. The author has referred to the real places of not only Nepal but also India in the narrative and it has made the novel more impressive.

Written in simple yet impressive Hindi, this novel does not bore at any place. Putting it straight, this around 250 pages long novel does not contain anything which is not linked to the main story. Everything has a role in the main story. Every character is necessary and useful for the story. It’s an intricate but well-knitted suspense-thriller.

Surendra Mohan Pathak has always put a premium on the phenomenon of friendship. In this novel, he has highlighted this sublime trait of human-beings through the character of Ashtabhuja, an almost blunderhead Nepali who is ugly like anything. He can be misguided by cunning fellows but the spirit of friendship is so strong and deep-seated in his heart that he can do anything but harm his friend – Sharad. It’s Ashtabhuja only who brings tears to the reader’s eyes in the end.

As said earlier, Tadipaar is one of the less popular novels of Surendra Mohan Pathak perhaps because of the intricacy of the plot which might have gone over the head of his readers. However, I recommend this outstanding thriller novel to not only the fans of this eminent Hindi novelist but also to the other ones who are fond of reading Hindi fiction.

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About Jitendra Mathur

A Chartered Accountant with literary passion and a fondness for fine arts
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