Confessions of a Pulp Writer


Na Bairi Na Koi Begana [Hindi]

Author – Surendra Mohan Pathak

Genre – Autobiography

Publisher – Westland

Do you know Sunil Chakravarty, Ramakant Ambarsariya, Inspector Prabhudayal, most wanted Vimal, Nilam, ‘Sudhir-The lucky bastard’ ?.  If your answer is ‘No’. Its mandatory for you to read next few paragraphs because if you can read Hindi and have no idea about these ‘Pulpy’ characters you must know about it. The creator of this fantastic life like characters- Surendra Mohan Pathak, has written equally griping autobiography titled ‘Na Bairi Na Koi Begana.’ He is one of the highest paid pulp writers in Hindi today in India. He has been dominating Hindi pulp crime writings with his life like characters & simple language.

                            Surendra Mohan Pathak was born in Lahore on 19th February, 1940. His autobiography chronicles not only his childhood, teenage and early youth but also roots and culture of pre-partition India. His childhood home, his family, his cousins, milieu of old Lahore, his schooling, his happy moments and his vows. His childhood memories have significance because he started reading spy novels from those days. Ibne shaffi, one of the most popular spy novel writers was his source of inspiration. In his adolescence, he got serious ailment in his right eye which caused him a heavily numbered glass and diminished his chances to become an engineer.

                           In his adolescence, family shifted to Delhi and then began a new journey of his life. He did his schooling in Delhi and college from DAV college, Jalandhar. He has sketched his Jalandhar memories in a subtle manner. Interestingly, one of the finest Ghazal maestros, Jagjit Singh was his senior in science college. He has dedicated plenty of pages to Jagjit’s youthful, soulful musical journey.

                          When he returned to Delhi, he again got connected to his early boyhood friend Ved Prakash Kamboj, who later on became top mystery writer in Hindi pulp fiction. Through him he came in to contact with Om Prakash Sharma-then leading spy novel writer. The entire autobiography moves smoothly. Mr.Pathak has depicted his childhood pranks and youthful sexual mis-adventures with equal force.

                      His inferiority complex due to his father’s dominance, humble but not so poor family background and his heavy glasses is reflected many a times in the book. The last chapter of this first part is full of his spy novel writing adventures, his struggle as a budding writer, professional friendships, rivalries & dark side of publishing business especially pulp fictions. As he quotes Hollywood movie mogul Samul Goldwin, “I don’t think anyone should right their autobiography until after they are dead.’’ I must say, Mr. Pathak has taken a nice decision to defy Mr. Goldwin. The second part is eagerly awaited like his ‘Vimal ka Visphotak sansar’’.   



By Dr. Shirish Kashikar

[email protected]



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