My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Thnx Sujit Banerjee and goodreads for providing a review copy of the book.
Well this is supposed to be a short story collection. Which in a sense it is. I dont know what to say about it.
Let's start with length. Stories are short and you can finish some of them in less than 5 to 10 minutes.
Language is pretentious sometimes but most of the times it is normal english. Nothing great but it conveys what it wants. Take an example of first story Abhimanyu The Beginning passage
"Moments pass. Or are they days, months, years, decades, centuries? Moments that hesitate between darkness and the lush green of ripe field. Moments caught amidst the smog of city that is in a hurry to reach somewhere, but still not sure where."
Does it convey something? Maybe to author or a reader who can make something out.
Lets go to technique and structure. Stories have characters, dialogues and their interplay, emotions and psyche.
These stories has none of these or maybe some have like Farzana -The Needles or Manu or Yasmin. But that is only because author has some how decided to title the stories from A to Z and the easiest method is to name them after a character whose names start with A to Z. Real title is after the name like, Omi- Looking for Palash or Utkarsh- Unfinished business. What purpose it served I don't know. Again Maybe the author or a reader who can understand some rationale.
So by default author is forced to have at least one character and that is it. Most stories has one character and hence there are no dialogues in most of the 26 stories. The narrative oscillates between first and third person. So sometimes you get to know how that one person feels. But as there is no other reference point you can make out no meaning. Like in Nitin- Bent minds, the story is very confusing.
Still some of the stories are good like Yasmin who is divorced by triple talaq and how she copes up with sharia law. Last one Z for Zayan is clearly about Azmal Kasab, but I dont feel any sympathy for Z for Zayan.
Many stories like Gustav, Eklavyya, Manu etc deal with homosexuality. Still because of the singular narrative they fail to leave any mark or show the gay point of way (I am assuming that is what the author was trying).
To sum up the author tried to experiment in form and say his stories in a new way but it did not work for me.
In all a mediocre and confusing/ confused effort. 2.5 stars. But considering this is author's debut, varied subjects of stories and experimental stuff I raise it to 3.
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