Dark Horse

Dark Horse
Image source: Google

Rating: 4.6/5

Author: Nilotpal Mrinal

Publisher: Shabdarambh Prakashan

Publishing Date: 2015

Language: Hindi

Genre: Fiction

ISBN-10: 9386850591

ISBN-13: 978-9386850591

Format: Paperback

Pages: 176

Cost: Rs. 59 (Kindle edition)


'Dark Horse' is one of the most popular novels of this decade written in Hindi. Such live and vivid portray of the life of  candidates preparing for Civil Services Examination in Hindi medium were not focused in any other book till date.

A candidate preparing for the country's highest honored examination is not only an aspirant but also has multi-faced life-style and struggles in his lap. This is the story of the same struggle. This novel depicts the uncommon doldrums of getting out of villages/ towns and dealing with urban life specifically in the backdrop of Mukherjee Nagar, Delhi.


Dark Hourse is about the struggle of aspirants of civil servants based in Mukherjee Nagar, Delhi and is based on the life of students. Most of the book is about the story of the failures of the candidates.

Mrinal, portraying Mukherjee Nagar, presents an honest picture. As if one is sitting at a window watching all the characters and scenes come true in front of you. It can be realistic but the book also presents a fair share of drama. Some of the dramatic moments include: an uncle from the village, who insists on showing Delhi; poverty, land sale in the village. There is also the new-age love that is shown multiple times.

His characters seem to have a mind of their own. The characters speak whenever they want. Perhaps that's why Mrinal does put more work in developing the characters as they are mediums to the audience, rather than emphasising the zone of his literature. The idea of being sacrosanct is fruitless considering what Hindi Literature is expected to be. There should be variation in characters, diversity in their emotional journey, and no moral filters in their dialogue presentation.

There is a dialogue in the novel which perfectly captures the psyche of the students preparing for this highly competitive exam:

“People will do MA-PhD in the day of Zetana, if I read the honk, then I will become like it in the day.”

Along with providing the perfect imagery, the story stands true holding the real sentiments of these students which makes this a gripping tale- all based on concrete realities.

Milestones of the Book:

  • This novel has received the 'Sahitya Akadami Youth Award' of 2015.

About the Author:

Born in 1984 in Santhal Paragana, a remote area of ​​Jharkhand, Nilotpal Mrinal has already established himself among the readers and literary intellectuals with his first novel 'Dark Horse'. Nilotpal, originally hails from Bihar, is also active in political and social activities for the last several years after completing his education from St. Xavier's College, Ranchi.

Along with playing a special role in student movements, Mrinal has already reached to TV platform in the field of folk music. These days, he is also trying his luck in poet-concerts and gaining popularity.

In addition to the immense popularity among readers, ‘Dark Horse’ has also received the 'Sahitya Akadami Youth Award' of 2015.