Ashok and the Nine Unknown might just be around 224 pages but the storyline has enough space for action, drama, romance, horror, mystery and magick, mingling with each other and forming notable moments. It is richly grounded on historical facts as we know them and even myths recounted through generations.
A diverse range of poems together form the book called Trials and Tribulations and it is rightfully titled because the poet Dr. Prajwal Kumar tries to convey the personal struggles and experiences that Life presents in front of every individual. It was fascinating to glimpse into the poet’s perception and view the World through his eyes.
For all the science-fiction readers out there, author Sadhna Shanker, through her latest book Ascendance, brings to you a world where the whole setting is foreign and the population segregation bizarre. It has a whodunit factor that answered to the thirst for mystery in me.
With a fresh premise, Skeins is scrupulously and absolutely about womanhood. It is about a group of Indian women with diverse credentials and with their baggage, quite literally! They travel to a new foreign land where they explore different sites as well as themselves.
Half Burnt Cigarette and a Little Love Note is basically the tale of a woman who is torn between two relationships, each important to her. She decides to marry the one who had supported her throughout her graduation and loves her deeply but again, she can’t forget the man she loved and lost, that left her bare and heartbroken.
The Shreds of Character is a contemporary tale of a Sikh family where familial bonds are strained with unending issues of honour and pride. There is a discussion on Indian tradition regarding sex and sexuality and its comparison with western culture from a generalized perspective.
Rolling in the Dark is the story of a woman’s relentless pain and sorrow, her several sacrifices and her unwavering determination to survive just for her child. It is the story of an ambitious, young girl Meera who is forced to marry rather than pursue her higher education. Bottling her wishes within her, Meera enters her married life unaware of what lies ahead.
Lonely Hearts is the story on one of the prevailing situations in India – the practice of alienating people in their old age. It may be due to a daughter moving to her marital home after marriage or a son traveling abroad for studies and job. Lonely Hearts provides a simplistic narration of modern life and its consequences on familial relationships.
Short and sweet, Navarasa contains all the essence – of love and hate, of wonder and horror, of drama and humour. At times witty and funny and at other times gripping and endearing, I thoroughly enjoyed this potpourri. I believe that it is a suitable light read for any reader looking for a collection of short stories.
Handwritten Letters in the Bookstore is said to be India’s first musical novel. It is a good attempt to discuss past as well as emerging music genres and styles and the impact of music on the minds of the people; it is a good attempt to encourage handwritten letters over digital relationships.
From Emptiness to Happiness narrates the story of a compassionate and impulsive anaesthesiologist, Dr. Riya, and her tryst with love. Riya meets Samith and through their story, the reader gets a glimpse into the lives of medical professionals, their doubts, insecurities and decisions.
Native Officialdom in Western India provides an interesting understanding of the Watan system and how it affected the socio-economic and political system in Western India. Through this book, Abhijit Sirdesai attempts at discussing the role and chain of command of the Maratha hereditary officers.