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Creation and Criticism

ISSN: 2455-9687  

(A Quarterly International Peer-reviewed Refereed e-Journal

Devoted to English Language and Literature)

Vol. 08, Joint Issue 28 & 29: Jan-April 2023

Book Review

A Trip Down the Memory Lane

by Satish Kumar

Satish Kumar. A Trip Down the Memory Lane. New Delhi: Authorspress, 2023. Pp. 310. Rs. 695/-. ISBN 978-93-5529-579-8.


Reviewed by Sudhir K Arora


A Trip Down the Memory Lane is a memoir authored by Satish Kumar who narrates the selected experiences of his life in an engrossing style. It makes the reader feel the significance of relations, education, professional ethics, life philosophy, history and culture. 


Besides ‘Preface’, ‘Bio-Data’ and ‘Photographs’, the book contains 17 chapters beginning with Satish Kumar’s native town Amroha to his concluding point of living life meaningfully and his prayer to God for leaving this world with “calm of mind, all passion spent.”   


A Trip Down the Memory Lane takes the reader to Satish Kumar’s memory lane which seems to be displaying his educational period, his married life, his teaching career, his post-retirement life, his account of Corona time, and finally his waiting for his dear friend Death for carrying him away to the unknown land.


The book reveals many facets of the life of Satish Kumar who never “yielded before the tyranny either of society or of bureaucracy” (293). It presents him as an ideal teacher, ideal administrator, ideal father and ideal citizen who contributed to the society with his fruitful talent.


What makes the book interesting is the way of his honest and mesmerizing narration which makes the reader busy right from the time when he begins with page one and continues it till, he comes to the last page. The author knows how to make a balance in life, where to use sentiments, and where to use rationalism. It is he who takes life to be “a journey and not a destination” (220) and follows the principle of “Na Dainyam, Na Palayanam.”


The reader, when he enters the memory lane with Satish Kumar, watches historical, geographical and cultural India. Satish Kumar has depicted all the places which he visited during his life. The depiction reveals his sound knowledge of literature, culture, geography and history. It seems that the reader is watching a film in a theatre, but here the theatre is the memory lane. Satish Kumar himself admits: “A Trip Down the Memory Lane is an imaginative reconstruction of my memories which spontaneously unfold themselves like a cinematic film” (7).


Satish Kumar narrates the untold story of his life preserved in his memories and feels a cathartic feeling. The beauty of this memoir is that the reader also begins to associate with Satish Kumar, feels as the author feels, and finally gets relieved when he comes to the last page. In his “Preface”, Satish Kumar writes: “A memoir is a narrative which relates the personal experiences, both sweet and bitter, of a person, from which he learns how to live better and happier life” (5).


During the visit, the reader comes to know about Satish Kumar’s reflections on life and its predicament. Satish Kumar describes the materialistic attitude of man who never hesitates to destroy Nature.  

How cruel and foolish is man that he butchers Nature for a handful of silver and invites the demon of pollution for ushering the future of his progeny into a desolate and dreary realm of death, darkness and destruction” (11-12)!


Here are a few excerpts which reveal Satish Kumar’s reflections on teacher and education:

A teacher’s primary aim is to awaken creative interest among students in what he teaches. (48)

What we want is man making education and not merely money making machine (22)

The purpose of education is to develop the inborn propensities of students and to acquaint them with their cultural heritage and the advancement of knowledge, in humanities, science and technology. (25)


Here are his sentiments on love, marriage and wife:

Love is an impregnable rock which the buffets of time and adversities cannot crack. It is the lighthouse which shows the right path in the impregnable darkness of misfortunes. (53)

Marriage is the inviolable union of two loving minds and hearts. (50)

What matters most in married life is mutual love and understanding. (50)

A sincere and devoted wife combines in her persona the care and healing touch of both mother and beloved. (278)


The way he narrates is heart-touching as it comes to the level of poetry, particularly when he talks of the social diseases. Patriarchy is one of the diseases and even being a male member, he suffered from its stigma. What he writes becomes itself a poem. Here is a prosaic sentence in a poetic form.  

My pierced nose is a mark

of the sin of patriarchy

which I still bear

like the dead Albatross

around the neck

of the Ancient Mariner (19)


Satish Kumar’s technical skill is seen in his presentation of his sweet and bitter memories. He has employed quotations in the beginning of every chapter. He has used his literary treasures, replete with figures, images, and phrases. Here is one excerpt which reveals his technical skill: “She emerged like dawn in my life when the nightly gloom of uncertainty disappeared from my troubled life and a new dawn of hope and assurance emerged” (51).


In brief, A Trip Down the Memory Lane is worth reading for every reader who can find ideas, strategies and suggestions, necessary for leading a happy and meaningful life.



About the Reviewer:


sudhir-kumar-aroraDr Sudhir K. Arora, the Editor-in-Chief of Creation and Criticism, currently holds the position of Professor of English at Maharaja Harishchandra P. G. College in Moradabad, affiliated to M. J. P. Rohilkhand University, Bareilly, India. He has authored several significant publications, including Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger: A Freakish Booker and Cultural and Philosophical Reflections in Indian Poetry in English in Five Volumes. He can be reached at



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