‘Us Pal’ (That Moment) is a collection of short stories written by a young writer, Simran Dhaliwal, who hails from a border village in Tam Taran district of Punjab, India. In this collection nine short stories of the author are presented. These stories deal with the rapidly fraying social and cultural fabric of contemporary Punjab. Specific themes deftly handled in these stories relate to the importance and significance of folk culture and tradition, the evils of the caste system, economic disparity, the impact of globalization, and the purity and strength of man-woman relationships. The representation of contemporary reality in these stories is not only realistic, but also artistic and forceful.
The title story of the book, Us Pal, and another story titled Main hun jhooth naheen bolda (I don’t tell lies anymore) are wonderful pieces of storytelling. Set in the backdrop of socio-economic oppression and injustice, these short narratives provide fresh insight into the complexity of moral struggles and emotional relations of the common people.