My rating: 5 of 5 stars
“A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film.” ― Lorrie Moore
Short stories are very different from novels as they tell about short period and two or three characters. It is a challenge to tell short stories as you have extremely less space to set the context and say the story.
Rubina has done the job extremely well. First let us see in brief what the stories are all about:
1. Betrayal - Story of a sadistic brutal husband with a twist.
2. Chicklet - Story of racial bullying of immigrants, Hypocrisy of Indians and compassion.
3. Forgive me.......- Story of a successful Bollywood director, his lost love and consequences.
4. Lolita- Story of a Bollywood Diva. How she became from a simpleton to a heartthrob of millions?
5. No regrets - Hilarious and original story of a Bengali Tamil couple who moves to USA. Very witty. ;)
6. Suvarna Rekha- A tragic love story like Laila Majnu, Romeo Juliet.
7. The Little Godmother- It is story about sibling love.
8. The Missing Staircase- About nostalgia and Nirvana.
9. The other woman- The trials and tribulations of a kept/ second wife.
10. Daddy hear me out- Oh Maths! Tormentor of some students. How one girl dealt with the beast successfully?
11. Cliff notes- Story of human depravity seen through eyes of a cliff.
Rubina is an ace story teller. She has brevity and keeps the stories to the point. She sets the environment and establishes the context early on in the story; mainly initial two or three paragraphs. I got the idea early on what each story is all about. The characters are well fleshed out and you can see the qualities of each clearly.
You see Rekha (of Suvrana Rekha) and immediately understand that she is an upright girl. She is ready to sacrifice everything for her love. She sacrifice the company of her family for Suvarna and her life for her family and clan.
Lolita as the name implies is someone who is luscious (as you remember Vladimir Nobokov’s Lolita). She likes all the accolades which come her way but deep down she carries the hurt, anger and hatred for his treacherous father.
Rubina is capable of drawing a sketch with words. For example this passage from Lolita:
She was someone’s dream and someone’s lust. She was someone’s passion and someone’s curse. Yet no one knew her nor did anyone dare to come near her. She was everyone’s unattainable dream. Her heart soared when trembling hands held an umbrella over her, lest the angry sun peeled away the layers of her beauty. Her heart sang when the spot boy nakedly admired her heaving breasts, innocent of the fact that he was being captured in her mother-of-pearl adorned hand mirror. She was wanted; she was needed, to fulfill all these silent desires of men.
Rubina has good grasp of human psyche and emotions. Each story has a testimony of it. “Betrayal” brings out the hate, in a man, which is so powerful that it continues even after death. Or “The little godmother” is about affection of a sister towards her younger brother. “Chicklet” shows hypocrisy, prejudice & racism world over in general and amongst Indians in particular. It also shows how compassion and empathy can overcome these negative emotions.
Though some of the stories are dark and depressive in the beginning, almost all ended on a positive note. These stories are about the power of positivity and positive emotions like compassion, empathy, indomitability and indestructibility of spirit, sacrifice, courage and above all Love.
I want to make special mention of the most funny, witty and original story “No Regrets”. It is about how a clever wife conveys the feeling of being trapped, frustrated and claustrophobia in an alien country to her husband without throwing a tantrum or fight. She makes him to see her point of view and brings him around ingeniously.
The effort Rubina put into the stories shows. She is a gifted storyteller. Highly recommended. 5/5 stars.
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What forces an innocent girl to become a sex symbol? Her desires? Or cruel fate?
Is a lifetime enough—for avenging a betrayal? How do you hide secrets that never stopped haunting you?
Can vengeance and secrets of your past devastate your present? How can long-buried crimes of yours suddenly raise their head? Can sinning be saving?
Is your spouse your soulmate? What if they never understood your feelings? Can you still live with them?
Lastly, does life give only two options? Live or die? What if there is a third?
In her anthology, Knitted Tales: A collection of emotions, Rubina Ramesh tries to find answers to these questions that are often from the heart and yet make the mind ponder over the solution. Or is it the other way round? Either way, Knitted Tales is a bouquet of emotions that is bound to touch both your head and your heart.
About the author:
Rubina Ramesh is an avid reader, writer, blogger, book reviewer and marketer. She is the founder of The Book Club, an online book publicity group. Her first literary work was published in her school magazine. It gave her immense pride to see her own name at the bottom of the article. She was about 8 years old at that time. She then went to complete her MBA and after her marriage to her childhood friend, her travel saga started. From The Netherlands to the British Isles she lived her life like an adventure. After a short stint in Malaysia, she finally settled down in the desert state of USA, Arizona. Living with her DH and two human kids and one doggie kid, Rubina has finally started living the life she had always dreamed about – that of a writer.
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