Short stories always fascinate me. They are short, they are crisp, they are incisive, they are situation driven and not character driven and most importantly they remains with you for long time.
Remember the Bollywood movie, “Dus Kahaniyaan” ? I still believe , it was one of the most crafted efforts from 10 directors under Sanjay Gupta’s banner . The story about bickering couple and Nana Patekar in “Gubbare” or Story of a staunch Brahmin lady Shabana Aazmi and Naseeruddin Shah as muslim in “Rice Plate” are still few of the best cinematic moments, I even saw in Indian Cinema.
So when I heard about the book “Urban Shots – The Love Collection “ , 31 Love stories by 27 authors , I couldn’t resist my temptation to read it . And to my pleasant surprise “Blog Adda “ team was gracious enough to give me the chance to review the book. (Yes, they send the book to me for review , and that too on their own cost) .
Love is universal , yet in this one word lies a myriad of emotions ranging from happiness to anger to jealousy to possessiveness to sorrow to calmness and the book tries to cover all these different emotions .
In fact the cover page of the book featuring “Kainaz Motivala” of “Ragini MMS” fame, tries to capture few of those variegated emotions.
Love is not always dreamy. It is not always like a bollywood movie. And much as we would like to argue, in real life, it is not always depressive and unyielding.This book does well to explore the many shades, including the greys, of love and compile them in neatly.For this, the editor and the various authors deserve a proud pat on the their back.
Love here isn’t like “and they lived happily ever after” way, but more like “they learnt to accept love or lack of it”. These stories are not about rich men finding love between board meetings. They aren’t about post-teen crushes or juvenile puppy love. They are about people who live in our midst.They cover excitement, anticipation, pertinent questions, betrayal, coquettery, starstruck love, love that just happens by chance, separation, finding lost love and other such emotions of love.
Be it a story of TMS , who heavily relies on astrology and found his soul mate in “Written in the Stars” , or of Aaliya , who tried to be practical , found a cruel fate waiting for her in “Rishta” or of Prashant , who realizes the altogether different line of thought in “For Convenience’s sake ” or story of 50 plus Bibhupada in “The GirlFriend“, the stories are as different as their writers .
There is Supernatural powers in the story of Abhay and Kavita in “Strangers” ,a poignant tale of love that believes in the moment in You’re Mine , “Closure” a very practical end to a relationship that was heading nowhere , “The Jhalmuri Seller” played a important role in the future of Aslam and Rehaana and “High Time” , hilarious play of words and expressions that turn the tables over the aunts who was pestering the family for the hand of the eligible son for her extremely eligible daughter.
“Sleepless by Night” oscillates from one story to another , “Reality Bytes“ and “Love is Blind” has heart-breaking ending , “Beyond Reasonable Doubt” tells the tale of betrayal and subsequent mistrust that nearly ruins the relationship.
There is a deep inner conflict in “Sahana or Shamim” ,immeasurable regret in “The Last Look”. “A Good Day” keeps increasing the heart beats till the final words.“My Familiar” drops subtle hints at the love that tends to run its course after some time and the loyalty of either partner seems questionable
My personal favorite are “A Simple Question” and “Coffee“, story of independent individuals, series of events and the Unexpected end .The reader wants to know more about the key characters but the sudden ends of these stories leave a lot to the reader’s imagination.
The book works because it is about Love , the most experienced emotion and also because of just like a rainbow, it has different colors and shades . Love is universal, yet to most who devote all their senses to its pursuit, it remains elusive and the theory of elusiveness has been researched and analysed by many in their own ways in this book just like Monalisa’s painting.
Only thing which is let down in the book is that,we all have heard ,seen or experienced similar stories before and not a single story will surprise you. May be this is due to the closeness of story to the realityand present time.The contemporary touch and feel in each story keeps tugging at your heart strings.
Grab a copy of this Book . Your Book shelf needs a book , which is real still breezy read, which has no motivational or larger than life poignant moment, still stays with you , where there is no continuity worry and each story takes you through a different thought process.