The book “Ode to the Road Heroes” arouses the empathy of the readers towards these road-rovers called drivers. A truck driver starts with his loaded vehicle from a sleepy town of Punjab with Herculean responsibility of unloading the cargo at a destination as far as Guwahati. This odyssey is fraught with various risks with hurdles galore in route. During the entire journey spreading over hundreds of kilometers, the man has to brave hurdles like barricades laid by the police or traffic authorities and monstrous tuskers who appear all of a sudden in the middle of the road. At times, there is a sudden tyre-burst or threat from the highwaymen. Moreover, the road mishaps pose a serious threat to their life. With prolonged absence from home and impelled by the pangs of separation they tend to gratify their libidinal urge at a brothel and seek refuge in intoxicants. This has its own telling effect on their health. However, Baldev Singh has succeeded in bringing out the pathos that governs their life. To sum up, this book is a hilarious attempt to peep into the real inner cosmos of road heroes and cleanse their tarnished image of being alcoholics, lechers etc.
Baldev Singh, the author of “Ode to the Road Heroes” is popularly known as Baldev Singh Sadaknama. He is a prolific writer with as many as eighty books in different literary genres to his credit so far and he is known to have given a new direction to the Punjabi novel. Also, he is said to have evolved new methods of narration through his works. He was awarded Bhartiya Sahitya Akademi award for his historical novel “Dhahan Dilli De Kingre” in 2011. In 2013 he was honored with Shiromani Sahitkar Award by Punjab government while the Dhahan Institute of Canada conferred prestigious Dhahan Kaleran Award on his novel “Sooraj Di Akkh”. This award is deemed as good as Booker Award in Punjabi. The wonder of wonders is that the rough and tumble of transport profession has not damaged in anyway the finer sensibilities – the pre-requisite of the creative writer. As the Botanist J.C. Bose had proved that the plants too have emotions, Baldev Singh shows in one of the situations in the book that the vehicles too are emotionally attached to their masters. The eminent Punjabi poetess Amrita Pritam had remarked about this book that the Baldev Singh has succeeded in infusing life into the otherwise inert roads in this book.