This is to pay homage to one of the greatest writers I have had the honour of reading.
It's too bad that I began reading Nirmal Verma's works just after his death (barring "Ve Din" (English translation called 'Days of Longing')). The possible reasons could be many, ranging from my initial dislike of the modern Hindi writers (of the kind published in leading magazines) because of its affected and pretentious (as I thought then) abstractness, to my father's love for them which, given that I am a purposeless rebel, I was bound to find fault with. Now the only emotion left in here is that of a missed opportunity.
I still haven't finished his major novels like "Raat ka Reporter", "Ek Chcheetda Sukh", "Antim Aranya" etc but his greatness has been firmly imprinted on my mind by simply reading his minor novel "Laal Teen Ki Chchat" (Red Tin Roof). I am not even counting his first and apparently more celebrated "Ve Din" which is needless to say, brilliant. And I am not even considering his short stories that changed the way stories were written in Modern Hindi literature. Discounting the story collection of "Parinde", "Kavve aur Kala Pani" (for which he won the coveted Sahitya Akademi), I am simply submitting that had the writer not done anything but written "Laal Teen ki Chchat", he would have become my lit icon, which though isn't a great thing in iteself still bears testimony to the great talent of the writer.