WRITING STYLE: 4/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 4/5
I said to the night,
“If you are in love with the moon,
It is because you never stay for long.”
The night turned to me and said,
“It is not my fault. I never see the Sun,
How can I know that love is endless?”
~ Rumi, Whispers of the Beloved
Coming out of one’s comfort zone is always an arduous task but through painstaking labour, one can achieve it. Such is the condition of women who find themselves in different situations in Tales of Her. But what is comfort if not a state of love?
10 women battle it out in 10 compelling stories of desire, betrayal, faith and above all, the search for a perfection that is a never-ending quest within each individual. Sweet yet simple, these short tales are divided into two parts: Tales of Her and Over the Sea.
Tales of Her opens with the story of the ever busy Sheila who is a part of the corporate sector and a strong, independent, modern working woman. At work, she has a love interest.
However, things in life and especially love life don’t always take a positive turn to the heart’s desire. Sheila is not exactly left heartbroken but nevertheless, all lonely at the end of the day in her apartment with her cat.
What comes of this love interest is a self-discovery that is crucial to every woman’s existence.
Where Life Takes You comes with a witty subtitle beneath the heading: One step forward, Two steps back. Such is life but Jacob has a secret power. Everything that he is going to relay out loud can be heard as a voice inside his head and that too of a woman. Along with that he also suffers from a severe case of OCD.
Quirky and uncanny, the story takes several shifts into mysterious lanes to finally reveal who probably maybe this voice inside his head. “And with that truth, you’ll surrender to life and where it takes you.”
Inspiring and innocent, the childlike love and affection that Mr. Shayan Rajput and his wife whom he called ‘gudiya’ is adorable to onlookers. The Right Notes, aptly titled, deals with the importance of love in a romantic relationship as opposed to the other necessities that follow.
It is an exploration of the degree of importance that feelings and emotional exchanges hold in place of sexual intimacy.
The other stories in the first part include Firefly, Practicing Happiness, Table for Two, Bangers and Mash, Love by the Book and The Doorway.
Over the Sea is a short novella that is divided into 10 chapters that thwart between narrative ordeals and diary entries.
Utopia is a beautiful state of mind or place where everything is perfect and it is this state that everyone is striving to achieve. Being happy without any bounds sounds a lot like being in love and when it comes to the matters of the heart, one is always unsure about how things will eventually unfold. In this unpredictability of the heart and the head, is what life is for all and life always comes in the way.
The book further highlights how convoluted things can be for women in particular.
Tales of Her is all about celebrating womanhood and its characteristics, the perfection, the sense of keeping everyone happy and the bounded dutifulness that lies at the core of being a woman in the modern world.
Every story begins at a note and ends on a very different one. In short, it is rather unpredictable.
All the stories are written in a witty style with very good use of language. The written style is lucid, easy to follow, slightly Americanised at instances and has very little wordplay. It focuses on building up the plots to several major and minor climaxes that gain momentum as the story flows.
It is the ease with which such difficult topics are dealt with that gives the central charm to the plot lines. However, the stories are loaded with characters and there is very little focus on characterisation. It is the plot lines, their intricacies and upheavals that keep up all the attention.
Lastly, what must not be forgotten to be discussed is the subtle yet sophisticated book cover design that catches the eye at the first glance and immediately captures the reader’s attention.
The title of the book is written in bold and etched in protruding letters along with the author’s name that provides a tactile sensitivity to an observant reader. This comes along with the image of a hand dusted with green glitter all over symbolic of fertility, peace, nourishment, hope, enlightenment and desire.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Tales of Her using the link below.