Inclusion of S.R. Harnot’s ‘Billiyan Batiyati Hai’ in Mumbai University’s BA Curriculum Marks Milestone for Himachali Literature

In a significant recognition of Himachali literature, the story “Billiyan Batiyati Hai” by renowned writer S.R. Harnot has been incorporated into the Bachelor of Arts (BA) curriculum at CKT Autonomous College, Panvel, affiliated with the University of Mumbai. This inclusion highlights the rich cultural heritage and literary depth of Himachal Pradesh, offering students a glimpse into the region’s social, political, religious, and cultural fabric.

Originally published in 2002 as part of Harnot’s acclaimed story collection “Darosh and other stories,” “Billiyan Batiyati Hai” captivates readers with its exploration of life in Himachal Pradesh. The story’s narrative prowess and thematic richness have earned it prestigious accolades, including the International Indu Sharma Katha Samman in 2003, bestowed by the Indu Sharma Memorial Trust in London, United Kingdom. Additionally, the collection has been honored by the Himachal Sahitya Akademi, further cementing Harnot’s stature as a literary luminary.

The transcendent appeal of “Billiyan Batiyati Hai” extends beyond linguistic boundaries, with translations available in English under the title “Cats Talk,” published by Cambridge Scholar Press, London, and in numerous regional languages across India. This widespread recognition underscores the universal themes and enduring relevance of Harnot’s literary oeuvre, fostering a deeper appreciation for Himachali culture and storytelling traditions.

The academic community has also recognized the significance of Harnot’s work, with Vandana Agrahari, a student at Mumbai University, pursuing her PhD thesis on Harnot’s literature. This scholarly engagement reflects the enduring impact of Harnot’s storytelling, inspiring further research and exploration into the nuances of his narrative craft.

Born in Chanavag village, Shimla district, in 1955, S.R. Harnot has emerged as a prolific storyteller and novelist, garnering widespread acclaim and numerous literary awards throughout his distinguished career. His contributions to Himachali literature continue to resonate with readers and scholars alike, bridging cultural divides and fostering a deeper understanding of the human experience.