Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Love and Longings in Bombay

My first experience of Vikram Chandra, thanks to Mumbai Media Baron.

This book is a collection of short stories narrated by a energetic old civil servant in a bar at the waterfront. There are 5 stories.

1. Dharma
A laid back thriller story about a deception played by a young mind, coming back to haunt him in his old age.

2. Shakthi
A tale with a twist about a socially ambitious person, with the malabar society of Mumbai as the backdrop.

3. Kama
A cop investigates a murder which has links to a sex racket with a intelligent twist at the end.

4. Artha
A story about a not-so-straight pair of friends working in the computer programming industry with the underworld of Mumbai as a principal player.

5. Shanthi
A story about a woman's search for her husband (who is missing in action) and ultimately life and how she finds life, albeit in a different person.

This book was a surprisingly good. The only Indian author I have completely read has been R.K. Narayan and generally, I hold them in contempt as I feel when it comes to Short stories, Indian writers have to be called artless, compared to authors around the world. The stories had a common thread - they start off pretty divergently and in the end, you find yourself travelling in just one direction without all ends tying up, without allowing loopholes in the plot. Awesome effort, I should say.

Surely, a must read.

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