The harsh lights from the jungle of skyscrapers, the ear splitting noise of undying traffic and the endless cut-throat competition are the familiar metaphors that define the day-to-day mechanical monotony of our fast-paced city life. Amidst this incessant urban race, one often forgets that beyond the city limits, there exists another world where time has almost stood still, and where human values take precedence over the success ideology. Published by Notion Press, India’s leading self-publishing platform, Countryside Tales, a new collection of short stories by Bhupendra Dogra introduces us to just such a world.
Set in mid to late 20th Century rural Punjab, Countryside Tales takes readers on an unforgettable journey through the green farms and dust-ridden bylanes of the villages, to offer a peep into the naïve and unsophisticated minds of rural folk who are rooted in their simple rituals and superstitious beliefs. Sourced from Bhupendra Dogra’s life experiences as a sensitive boy growing up in rural Punjab, fuelled by the love he continues to hold for his father, the farmlands and villagers that he grew up amongst, Countryside Tales is an engrossing collection of short stories that hope to fascinate you and overwhelm you with varied emotions with the flip of every page.
Rural India is a complex mix of festivals, rituals, cultural practices, local myths, stories and beliefs. The stories and anecdotes in this book are about the activities of the common folk from the village, their hopes and disappointments, their beliefs and superstitions, and are based on actual people and incidents.
Born in 1951, Author Bhupendra Dogra had his early school education at St Josephs’ Academy in Dehradun and later joined Sainik School, Jamnagar, to take the Indian School Certificate Examination in 1968. Graduation was completed from the Government College, Gurdaspur in 1972. However, it was only in the post-graduate department of English at the Baring Union Christian College, Batala, that Bhupendra’s flair for literature and dramatics came to the fore under the benign watch of the much-respected American missionary Professor, Dr Paul Linder Love, who went out of his way to forge life-changing bonds with most of his students.
After post-graduation, Bhupendra taught English for a few years at a small-time college and a public school near Delhi, before joining the Indian Revenue Service in 1977 through the civil services exam. Bhupendra superannuated in November 2011 and is now leading a quiet, retired life with his wife and children in Panchkula (adjacent to Chandigarh). Although Bhupendra has continued to write throughout his life, this is his first foray into publishing, the earlier being a simple literary satire published in the April 1982 issue of the Illustrated Weekly of India. The author can be contacted at email@example.com