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Touch Me Not : From Identity to Instinct : Fragility of Human Conditioning

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Author | Basant Kumar Publisher | StoryMirror Infotech Pvt. Ltd. ISBN | ebook Pages | 192

About the Book:

A species has a unique instinctive and singular behavioural pattern. All creatures belonging to a species have similar traits and their response to a stimulus is predictable.


Not so in the case of human beings. From the stage of the Neanderthals, mankind has evolved in a distinctive manner, in overwhelming divisions — religious, political, regional, national, language, dress, education, etc. The list is long. Every identity has unique characteristics and rituals imposed on its members. Every creature is a different animal; the only thing common is the anatomy.

This kaleidoscope of mortals, collectively called humans, is brutally cruel yet spiritually empathetic; kills fellow beings for trivialities yet gives its life for ephemeral emotions; embraces the strangers yet shuns one's kin; eulogises simplicity yet yearns for wealth — a world of striking contradictions.

Every human conducts itself as per its taming, wearing a socially acceptable mask. But even a simple provocation dissolves the mask, and it comes to its natural self.

The author has narrated situations arising from the conflict between the real self and the socially conditioned being in the stories in this collection. 

About the Author:

Basant Kumar holds a degree in Science from the University of Allahabad. He graduated in Civil Engineering with Honours from the University of Roorkee (now IIT Roorkee). He was awarded the University Silver Medal. He retired as the Additional Secretary, Government of India. Very active post-retirement, as an independent freelance consultant in the field of Civil Engineering, he is also an Arbitrator and an Arbitration Consultant.

He experienced various facets of life in several fields of activities and multifarious pursuits, as an engineer, administrator, and manager in the corporate world and also on the sports field. This vast exposure left a deep and indelible imprint of the human conduct in different situations on him. He intimately observed the compulsions, fears, and ambitions that navigated people on the path that they traversed in life. The stories in this collection bring out the subtleties of choices that protagonists make driven by their inner fragilities and fortitude.

Basant Kumar enjoys playing golf and celebrating the unearned gifts of Holes-in-One, twice. He was part of the winning pair at the DLF Republic Day Cup, also twice. He also won the ‘closest to pin’ contest. In the time left over after golf and professional work, in that order, he writes. This is his fifth book.

His Book "उच्छृंखल (Uchhrinkhal)" won the Gold Award for Best Coffee Table Book in Hindi Language by Federation of Indian Publishers.

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