PLOT: 4.5/5

Navarasa or the Nine Rasas are Shringara, Hasya, Adbhuta, Veera, Shanta, Karuna, Raudra, Bhayanaka and Bhibathsa which relate to the emotions of Love, Joy, Wonder, Courage, Peace, Sadness, Anger, Horror and Disgust respectively.

It is an interesting concept of presenting a collection of short stories where the author narrates the stories, each associated with a particular emotion or essence.

Here the reader meets different characters from a fantasizing taxi driver to a woman living in denial to an adventure loving Grandfather. Of course, no single sentiment or emotion exists on its own.

For instance, a story of love can have a hint of wonder and sadness or a humorous tale may have its equal share of horror. But each story had one of the above mentioned Rasa as a major factor and I loved this unique way of presenting a collection of short stories.

Each story in Navarasa has an exceptional narration by Vinaya Patil who is a true storyteller. I got lost in her simple and delicate stories of love and bravery and family. Although I do not enjoy the genre of romance, it was not difficult to get invested in the story of love and friendship.

Vinaya knows what a reader looks for and delivers accordingly. Navarasa has become a part of my best short story collections.

I absolutely love the book’s cover art as it accurately describes the title and overall concept and is simple, contemporary and fun in style.

Different stories for numerous characters but there was no alikeness; each character had its own unique personality and voice.

Coming to the stories in the book – although I liked all the stories, two of the stories I absolutely enjoyed were Take Off and A Wash Away Story. Also, my favourite characters are from these stories itself. I could totally relate with Manasi and her dislike towards obnoxious and stubborn kids. The pair of Nandu and Pappu was hilarious and endearing. I rolled in laughter by the last act of this pair in A Wash Away Story. Truly, luck can change anytime!

Being an avid reader of mystery and horror, I found the ghost story predictable and yet, I was enthralled by the whole writing style. I will be looking forward to any other story of the paranormal by this author as she recounts the setting beautifully, gripping the readers with her tales.

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.

Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy using the link below.