Beyond and Beneath
Sandeep Dahiya

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It’s a pickled, various flavoured, cross-genre pill of immediate taste. There are unforgivingly apolitical outpours of the helpless common man; there are magical realist traces of a pseudo-reality trying to portray a better, more convenient world; there are poetic outpours in prose through heart-touching little anecdotes; there are off-beat, unconventional attempts to lay bare a-bit-possible aspect of history; there are abstract thoughts that may capture any context as per the reader’s suitability; there are not-so-fictitious versions of the happenings that matter to the common man; there is flailing, browbeating tug of war among the religion, faith, belief and non-belief; there are large cynical pools, common collectivities of the common man’s helpless grudges against the larger forces...It is like T20 cricket, fast paced, expected, unexpected, unorthodox literary hits to the fence. It basks in convenient improvisations of style and substance. The creativity set free of the conventional genres and bound ideas. It captures the realities lying in dust at the mundane level, polishes the tidbits of socio-historical facts with the crude, judgmental brush of a common man who is not bothered about the burden of his own name and identity.

As mentioned it’s a cross-genre experimentation equipoised between fiction and creative non-fiction. The narrative moves on the tightrope held between the poles of fiction and creative non-fiction. The work’s overall genre would still be fiction given the tantalizing twists of tiny plots having common and not-so-common characters telling their little stories and opinions born of their petty cynicism on the basis of little grudges, disappointments and failures where they deem themselves to be the victims at the hands of the ‘system’.

Across the smooth fictionalized pastures of fancy and tragedies, the reader will find the crags, the stony outcrops of cynical, small-time opinions about the larger world, a common man’s potshots at the so called bigger destiny-defining elements controlled by the mightier personalities. The non-fiction interjections are also not the typical non-fictitious assessments of the reality; these at least carry the charm of fiction in that they are almost unexpected versions of the convenient portrayal of the things that are important and that we are interested in.

To clearly tilt the work towards the genre of fiction, there are across the stories portrayals of easily recognized characters who act, behav

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