City of Gods
It has been a long time since i picked a fiction to read – I have been reading lot of non-fiction books – I have not completed reading even one single non-fiction book in the last few months (Reason why the last couple of my book reviews are fiction books), have been jumping from one to another!. So, I surprised myself when I picked up this fiction and completed over a weekend in-between my busy weekend house chores! Obviously, the motivation is to make sure that I read the two short stories written by AM is also published in that ….and the feather on the cap is that the collection is named after one of her short stories heading “City of Gods”
This collection of short stories from various Indian authors (was it dominated by south Indian authors?) had a mix of all genre of stories – love, horror, humor, humanity …..all 22 had different flavors – some of them were very impactful, few were very flowery – lot of descriptions and less of story. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the read – here is a short review of few samples as I looked at it
1.Stranger Anxiety by Vrindha Baliga : Very realistic and emotional. I can relate to the father daughter relationship and the father granddaughter chemistry…..and the advent of facebook into the lives of older generation!
2. The pullover by Thomas K Abraham: A short episode clearly brings out the feelings of children who are in boarding school – will dosa tree grow from a dosa? though it was laced with slight humor, this story left me remembering my childhood – to discipline my brother and I, my father use to threaten that he will put us in a boarding school if we miss to behave well – we truly believed he will do so and were terrorized at times! 🙂
3.The Death of a Martyr by Dhiraj Kumar Deka: Sad story of a father losing his son on the India border while he was saving our India. The story made me think of the many jawans who laid their life saving our mother India. Inspiring and also emotional!
4. The Holiday by Anitha Murthy: A very pragmatic approach – what kind of adjustments every individual makes to go with the choice of brain Vs the choice of your heart?? Anitha is indeed a captivating story teller.
5. The Betrayl by Vibha Batra: Story set in pre independence period and captures the interpersonal challenges in the bigger picture of country and politics – what is saddening is that even today, (65 years post independence) these challenges exist all over.
6.Maya by Tripta Roy – A very touching emotional story – how much does an individual need to comprise if they have to prioritize the joys of motherhood…. I am sure there are crores of women/men around the world who make these comprises to be a good parent – whether it is a good decision or a bad decision is something which is always debatable – it may sometimes be better to stick to reality and let the children understand it?
7. Rage by Shiva Viswanathan: Very convincing justification on why a teenager ends up as a destroyer – RAGE captures it all.
8. The Master by Shalim M Hussain – A story on North East India’s struggle – For some reason, I could not make myself read this story – do not know if the current NE exodus episode in India had made me get an overdose of NE struggles.
9. The Fix by Saritha Roa Rayachoti – Finally a romantic story – a story which gives the positive changes brought in by discovering one own self. Coffee was just a reason though!
10. The strings by Nandini Rao – Another story which I could not read beyond couple of paragraphs – there were more and more of descriptions and me being a non scholastic English reader, just had to skip it. Not my cup of tea.
11. The writer by Revathi Siva Kumar – A very depressing story line. the short fiction itself was very well written and delivered and the characters were in front of my eyes . I felt it was a seasoned writer’s creative writing – it was author’s victory to make the reader feel for the characters in the story. Good work.
12.Role Play by Aruna Shenoy – Very pragmatic theme and well written – every day dilemma of young Indian working women and how they conquer it – Role play is A grade!
…….a good collection for the intelligent readers…. and thank you Anitha!