The circumstances in the life of a person are significant in contributing to and shaping their personality. These circumstances have the potential to change the thinking, perception, and nature of anyone. M. Murtaza, in his work, “Anuradha,” attempts to show this effect by the depiction of the life of the protagonist Dhiraj transforming into Seth Dharmdas. Through an engaging and gripping narrative, he does this by showing the life of the character on the canvas of the text.
The cover of the book depicts two people walking in the rainy season and going together, perhaps to the same destination. From the beginning, Murtaza creates the aura of calmness and silence amidst the activities of nature. He has the readers with him and adds a spark to their curiosity altogether. After that, he introduces readers to the main action of the book. The readers are hooked to the narrative from the initial stages itself. As the text develops and unfolds, they remain interested and engaged throughout. The author keeps the plot of the book specific and clear. He does not give unnecessary diversions, which could otherwise make the readers lose interest. This becomes one of the reasons for the readers to remain interested throughout as the plot develops and unveils the story. Simultaneously, he keeps the action grow at a sufficient pace, which does not let the readers get distracted or bored. They remain ready for the next event or twist that the author has to offer.
Murtaza discusses the themes of the position of women and violence against them, how they suffer, and how the people associated with them suffer. Through the character of Dhiraj, “Anuradha” becomes an eye-opener for the readers and conveys the state of mind a male can have and how situations can impact his life. The portrayal of women reacting differently to their circumstances is also something that the readers can notice. Anuradha and Sandhya face the same situations but how they respond and behave later is worth seeing. This also highlights the author’s understanding of not just the female psychology but the overall understanding of humans and how different their nature can be. The transformation of Dhiraj to Seth Dharmdas and Sandhya to Rani is the author’s way of showing the changing of circumstances bringing a change in the personality of a person. These two characters could be representatives of anyone going through similar circumstances.
Murtaza opts to keep the language friendly to the understanding of the readers. It is interesting to note how he creates an interesting amalgamation of Hindi, English, and Urdu. Although the dominant language is hindi, the text has flavours of Urdu and English too. At the same time, he builds up strong and individualistic characters who appear to speak for themselves. The author may have given them individual qualities, but as the plot progresses, they break free of the author’s control and appear much more robust and close to life. There are a total of 17 chapters in “Anuradha.” But, the manner in which Murtaza writes makes the readers visit a different universe, and the impact of the reading remains long after they have finished the book. It makes the readers think, and they do not remain mere mute spectators of the action happening.
There is an air of Indianness throughout the “Anuradha,” which is perhaps because of the language that the author chooses and the themes that he explores. An Indian reader would feel interested in reading from the beginning itself. “Anuradha” is likely to become a reading of interest for the mature readers who look for reality-based content which is handled with equal maturity. The depth and sensitivity of the subjects is something that a grown-up reader can comprehend. After his debut work “Ankur,” and other books like “Gosha E Noor,” “Raoshni kaa Minaar,” “Tasawwuf,” “Baagh ki khooshbu,” and numerous articles, “Anuradha” displays the maturity and poise of an experienced writer. There is maturity, sensitivity, the understanding to handle delicate subjects, the true depiction of the reality of life and human nature and also, the accuracy of showing the different emotions a human has. Although, younger readers can also try reading and understanding the author’s ideas which, they would realize to quite an extent.