Books en Beyond surpassed itself when it brought Top Cop Neeraj Kumar into the living rooms of its members via Instagram live session. What followed was beyond compare, right from the introduction to the QnA session, where the audience asked intricate questions, beautifully answered by the wily author. Many of Neeraj Kumar’s stories have inspired movies and web series. When the lawman-turned-author was lauded for his successful makeover, what came through was the angst of a writer when his work, his role, or even his character is altered beyond acceptable standards, all in the name of artistic license.

In conversation with Books en Beyond, via Zoom online platform, this grand old man of Indian literature had the audience mesmerized with his artful language and sincere belief system.  The interaction was proof that creativity is not confined to poetry or fiction but it is the quality that surfaces everywhere. Poets throng all hues of life. Creativity covers workers, clerks and all those who stick to their work honestly. A train driver ferries thousands of people from Lahore to Karachi and back. I strongly admire him. There is another one who keeps a vigil on railway gate. You know, if he opens gate when train passes, it will bring in catastrophe. The poet also does the same work; he knows when to close the gate and when to leave it ajar.

Asghar Wajahat reiterated his belief in the common man and his normal day to day struggles. He believes in the need to adapt to change and continue to imbibe our humanitarian value system in the face of soulless technology and changing trends that define life today.

The takeaway from this meeting with Syed Asghar Wajahat was made more tangible with the members receiving signed copies of this celebrated author’s work. An enriching session, the interaction with this playwright brought alive an era that is no more.

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