Sunday, April 12, 2015

Chronicles of Urban Nomads

Title:  Chronicles of Urban Nomads
Author:  Anthology
Publisher: Readomania
Date:  2015
Price: Rs. 225
Pages: 175


Chronicles of Urban Nomads is an anthology of short stories, sectioned into two parts named "Imagine" and "Musings". The stories that are selected have a common ground, not a theme but the narrative style, whether the narrator is a third person or an object or something deeply hidden within. The stories differ
 as some deal with different kind of relationships, father and daughter, lovers, couples in an arranged marriage and sometimes even a stranger. Here  are the stories that left a mark on me: 

 In section one "Imagine", the second story entitled  The Blue Slippersby  Kirthi Jayakumar is a perfect example of little dreams and bitter realities of human wants and nature. Being human itself is a limitation and this story puts the thought so simply that it hits you directly. The picture of the girl with the blue slippers is sure to have a lasting impression on your mind for a very long time. 

Fate has a funny manner of expressing itself and prophecies can fall true sometimes in a manner unthinkable, this phenomena is beautifully portrayed by Deepti Menon in A Little Nugget of Fear.  However there is a greater player called "Reality" and sometimes it can strike one hard, when one suddenly realizes something so prevalent yet unseen by the folds blinding your vision. The happy realization coming with a jerk is just one aspect, the manner of story telling, the planning, the conversation, all of it couldn't have been better than what has been depicted in EFIL by Bhaswar Mukherjee. After reading his second story from him in Crossed &Knottetd, I can confidently say he is a writer to look forward to.

The book also has some interesting attempts at story telling, stories otherwise regular made interesting by choosing an inanimate narrator or the vantage point of observation, giving the writer scope of creativity is what Ayan Pal has tried in Confessions of a Benarasi Saree, by telling the saree's tale and thereby the character's. This is one story that truly justifies tha title as it talks about the common problems of Urban youth, confusion and indecisiveness. My Soulmate by Jenneker Lawrence again attempts a similar strategy and so do a few more stories in the book.

A Vicious Battle by Aravind Sampath is a story of learning the meaning of true love, amidst fame, success and popularity. The Wait by Ashay Abbhi could have been written better with a more poetic tone to make one feel the character's plight, lying in wait for death.

The next part "Musingsbegins with a heartbreak with a very powerful story The Last Letter, about a father- daughter relationship by Dipankar Mukherjee. A Shackled Destiny  by Sharavya Gunipudi is another equally powerful, heartbreaking though not unheard a story of a mothers search for her lost son.

Bizarre happenings find their way into this section entertaining the readers with  Pradeep Moitra's, The Face on the Canvas. It being open ended story of a woman traveler, stuck in a small village and mesmerized by the face on the canvas. Arranged Marriage by Japneet Boyal is a touching tale of how sometimes contrasting circumstances can form the bond between strangers that marry as arranged by parents. While Hopes & Promises by Rahul Biswas , on the other hand talks of humorous ways of fate and second chances at relationships, Hide and Seek by Niranjan Navalgund, is the strange game of two writers in love.  Mandira by Anupama Jain presents an irony of a character being modified into the very person they hated.

As is with every anthology, there are a few stories that amuse you, a few that entertain, a few that tear you and some that have a lasting impression on your mind. There are definitely some that do not impress you but this anthology has more of those that left me amazed. EFIL and  The Blue Slippers are a must read. Mandira, A Little Nugget Of Fear and Arranged Marriage fall next in line.

If you are a fan of short stories, pick this one for a good, light read. 

Rating: 3/5.

5 comments:

  1. Dear Nimi, thank you for the detailed and very well expressed review. I am so glad that you enjoyed many of the stories. It is really generous of you to have taken so much of time to have analysed the whole book! Here's to many more enlightening reviews! God bless!

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    1. Wish you all the best too, waiting to read more from you :).

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  2. Dear Nimi,
    Glad you liked both EFIL here and A Leap of Faith in Crossed and Knotted....touched by the faith you have reposed in my future writings and despite me being a rather reluctant writer, your kind words will I hope provide the fillip!

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