Tag Archives: short stories

A smashing collection: What the Eyes See

What the Eyes See is a smashing short story collection of 7 short stories; namely Sira, The Game, The Dreamcatcher, 1978, What the Eyes See, Karma, and The Angel Numbers.

What the eyes see
What the eyes see

Synopsis of this smashing collection:

How much of what you see can you believe?
How much can you trust yourself and the people around you?
Some time into the future, a 60-year-old man is suspicious about the Artificial Intelligence he has procured for his home.
Back in the ’70s, a man visiting his hometown for vacation has the most terrifying experience of his life.
In Delhi, a young woman gets a beautiful gift, which she later realizes might not be so beautiful after all.
In Dubai, a young entrepreneur realizes that giving a lift to strangers might lead to horrifying consequences.
These and many more… What the Eyes See is a collection of dark stories to take with you into the night.

A smashing anthology!

What the Eyes See is a collection of 7 short stories; namely Sira, The Game, The Dreamcatcher, 1978, What the Eyes Se, Karma, and The Angel Numbers.

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These stories all have unexpected twists that will totally take the reader by surprise; I know I certainly was! I love that although the stories are linear in a way, they have a certain element that while disrupts the flow, only makes the reading experience better. A strong point in all of these short stories is the climaxes that are strong and powerful. I love the way they punch through the narrative.

Themes, and styles

 The writing style is great and fluid and intertwined with the wonderful imaginative powers, this collection provides a strong suit. A good mixture of suspense and horror, the stories also cover the themes of artificial intelligence, and the effect it can have on humanity, mortality, dystopia, magic, revenge, illusions, family, etc. the concepts of the plots for the different stories are really unique and has a wide range although, at the end, there is a common thread of horror/mystery running throughout.

Verdict:

The cover is also well made and really reflects the atmospheric nature of this collection. I quite enjoyed this book and I rate it 4/5 stars.

Girl Power: A Volume of Female Empowerment

Taking female empowerment up by a few theoretical notches, Girl Power by Neha J Hiranandani is a visual treat, a collection of inspiring women.

Taking female empowerment up by a few theoretical notches, Girl Power by Neha J Hiranandani is a visual treat on a collection of inspiring women.
Girl Power by Neha J Hiranandani

Female Empowerment and GIRL POWER

Girl Power is a powerful book, with an immense potential to influence many young girls. There are amalgamated some very powerful stories of ordinary girls who made it big through sheer hard work and conviction. They have transformed from rags to riches, but without a prince charming to help and protect these non-damsels in distress. In fact, these are no damsels-in-distress, rather, warrior princesses who dare to fight for their own rights and overcome and slay every dragon that stands in their way.

Click here to check out my review on Brave, Not Perfect!

Female empowerment through a diverse bunch of women

From doctors to space astronauts,  royal queens to radical writers, priests to boxers, there is nothing women cannot achieve if they set their minds on it. yes, it may take time, but through perseverance, everything is possible. After all, can you imagine that there was a time when a woman was not allowed to have a bank account of her own?  Or that, women could be dismissed from their jobs just for being pregnant?

Click here to check out my review on The Women Who Ruled India!

Splendid illustrations

With beautiful illustrations from the lives of these women, as well as their portraits, the book is a visual art. I love the bright and bombastic cover which is a foreshadowing of the power that will be emanating from the pages once we open the book. The author has also diversified the group, including women are various different fields of work and as such, revelations were made in this book. I for instance never knew about the presence of women priests! Likewise, there were many surprising stories.

Click here to check out my review on Unstoppable!

Inspiring and phenomenal!

How can I express the awe-inspiring feeling that I got as I read the book? Or the goosebumps that I got so often? Or how frequently my eyes would well up, learning about the triumphs and sheer determination of these women? They are a source of inspiration! And if these snippets could inspire m, imagine how much sway they could have over the impressionable minds of young girls. 

My verdict

I rate this book a solid 5/5 stars and recommend you all to read them yourselves and then gift them to the young girls in your lives.

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A Ticklish Affair

A Ticklish Affair is a short story collection that revolves around quite a few different themes and is quite ticklish to read!

A Ticklish Affair is a short story collection that revolves around quite a few different themes and is quite ticklish to read!

About A Ticklish Affair

A man is blackmailed for a past he never had, and an unrequited love story binds two lovers.
A man waits for his lover, only to be killed at her hands, and a girl takes back her life from her tormentor.
From the bestselling authors of The Peacock Feather comes another delightful offering, A Ticklish Affair, and Other Stories. This collection of short stories has all the ingredients of an unputdownable book. Taken from the daily rigmarole of ordinary life, the stories are given extraordinary twists and turns, leading to fascinating climaxes. The dark undertone of ‘Blackmail’, the power of belief in ‘Spark of the Divine’, the forbidden romance in ‘Ticklish Affair’ or the eternal power of love in ‘Rickshaw Faridabadi’, this collection of stories is sure to move readers to tears of sadness and joy at the same time.

A fabulous read!

A collection of ten short stories, A Ticklish Affair was quite an interesting read. I loved it for the variety it gave to me as a reader. All the various stories covered different themes and as such gave important life lessons through them. Despite the vibe that the title of the book gives it, that of a collection of love stories, the stories are all focusing on different main plots. However, what binds them all together is the conglomeration of basic and universal human emotions like love, faith, hope, self-respect, hatred, the thirst for revenge, etc.

The language was simple and yet very beautiful, and as such, it was easy to read. Moreover, the imagery present was realistic as well. The narrative style used by the author is great and the stories easily suck you in. I really enjoyed these stories and would definitely recommend you pick up this book.

A Ticklish Affair gets 4/5 stars from me!

Disclaimer: I received a review copy from the publishers in return for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Some other reviews you might like: Mr. Eashwar’s Daughter, The Broken Amoretti, The Printed Letter Bookshop etc.

They Go to Sleep, by Saugata Chakraborty, 2018

Title: They Go to Sleep

Author: Saugata Chakraborty

Publisher: Notion Press

Genre: Short Stories

Format: Paperback

Language: English

No. of pages: 102

Synopsis:

A young widow of a drug overdose victim disappears from Goa. Three years later, a British National claims to know her whereabouts minutes before departing for London Heathrow. The Police of two states is pressed into a joint manhunt. ‘They Go to Sleep’ is a racy thriller on police procedure and criminal psychology.

In the year 2043, when nobody sends a letter anymore, an unlikely candidate decides to write about his springtime memories that are soon going to be erased. When his identity gets revealed, the impact on several individuals and the society at large assumes epic proportions. ‘A Man of Letters’ is a science fiction with humane emotions at its core.

A promising poet meets his muse on board a train. They share a captivating conversation but forget to ask each other’s name. Will they be able to meet again in an Indian metro? ‘What’s In a Name?’ is a humorous look at everything Bengali: gossip, fish, cutlets and the Kolkata Book Fair.

These three stories are joined by nine equally exhilarating tales of ordinary people and the choices that they make under extraordinary circumstances. The compilation will surely compel the readers to keep their midnight lamps burning.

My review:

I got the book as a part of the review program in Outset. (https://rakhijayashankar.blogspot.in) Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

The cover of this book is a really intriguing one and with its dark colour scheme, it really goes well with the stories inside. Before reading the story, I was sure this was entirely something suspenseful and such, but it turns out, it was really a different kind of suspenseful and yet, I loved it. the title is actually from one of the various stories within the book and that specific story in itself is totally mindblowing.

Of all the 12 stories included within the collection (Thy go to sleep; Six days, seven lives; Blowing in the wind; A man of letters; P for payback; Rare; It was time; Aperture; The man who sold his gods; The other side; The short lives of Shazia Sultana; What’s in a name?) I really enjoyed reading Blowing in the wind, A man of letters, It was time, The other side and What’s in a name?

Short stories really need to b kept under a strict word limit and the author has followed that, without making the stories lose their shock or surprise inducing elements. The plotlines created by the author are made in a very planned way and once the reader reaches the end of the story, he is left wondering, ‘How the hell did I not see this coming?!’ the characters were all fleshed out and they seemed do very real, it was no wonder every reader got pulled in.

There however, needs to be a bit of editing and I think that would make the rest perfect for the readers. The language  and the writing is a bit complex however, and I am not sure of every person would understand it. Nonetheless, it is worth praising and done beautifully. The inclusion of the glossary was also a great addition that I liked. It was a very helpful thing for readers who are not very familiar with the words the author has used.

Verdict:

This was an enjoyable read and I rate it 4/5 stars.

About the reviewer:

Nayanika Saikia, is one of the foremost book reviewers from the North-east and Assam, and is also an admin for the official India bookstagram page on Instagram. She publishes her own reviews and recommendations for poetry, fiction, non-fiction etc. on her bookstagram account @pretty_little_bibliophile which won the NorthEast Creator Awards 2018, as well as in daily newspapers, online magazines etc.  She can be contacted at nayanikasaikia98@gmail.com .

Shadows of the Night, by Priyanka Lal, 2019

Title: Shadows of the Night

Author: Priyanka Lal

Publisher: Redgrab Books & Anybook

Genre: Short stories

Format: Paperback

Language:  English

No. of pages: 160

Recommended for: YA and above

My review:

Shadows of the Night is a collection of short stories by Priyanka Lal, all of which has been inspired by someone or the other in the author’s life.

The stories are:

  1. Love at Sixteen
  2. The Goan Chase
  3. Twist of Fate
  4. Shadows of the Night
  5. Two can Play
  6. Things…. That Happen by Chance
  7. Celebration of Loss
  8. Language of Love
  9. Wishes and Sighs
  10. Life is to Live
  11. Death do us Part
  12. The Last Wish and a New Beginning
  13. Does Love Last Forever

The stories are a wild collection of horror, romance, first-love, new beginnings, human resilience etc. I really enjoyed reading them all but the first one was definitely my favourite.

The language used is very simple so even beginners can read it. The narration was easy-going as well. I could not put the book down once I started reading honestly.

However, the editing can be worked on. As well as the book cover, for I do not think this cover did the book justice.

Verdict:

It was an enjoyable overall read. I rate it a 3/5 stars.

About the reviewer:

Nayanika Saikia, is one of the foremost book reviewers from the North-east and Assam, and is also an admin for the official India bookstagram page on Instagram. She publishes her own reviews and recommendations for poetry, fiction, non-fiction etc. on her bookstagram account @pretty_little_bibliophile which won the NorthEast Creator Awards 2018, as well as in daily newspapers, online magazines etc.  She can be contacted at nayanikasaikia98@gmail.com .

Life is the Flower, Love is the Honey, Surabhi Sharma, 2018

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Title: Life is the Flower, Love is the Honey
Author: Surabhi Sharma
Publisher: Self published
Format: EBook
Language: English
Synopsis:
‘You are so much more than what you think you are. You are infinite. You have the power to achieve bigger things.’
This is a story of a dream; a story of every dreamer.
Shubh is a dreamer. He wishes to become a nature photographer but submits to his parents’ wishes who want a secure future for him. He fears he will disappoint his parents and gives up on his dreams.
Monica is a dreamer. She is a painter who paints the canvas with the inspirational colors of life. She let go of her fears and inhibitions one day when someone helped give her paintings a purpose.
What happens when fate brings these two dreamers together?
A unique tale of love and life in the form of tiny tales about the dreams and challenges we face.
My review:
The concept that the author has used to go about the entire narrative is quite interesting. We have one or two chapters, followed by a sort of monologue or just some thought by the author. While reading the story, I think it really helps the reader think and introspect about themselves as well as the characters. I also think that using this formula of short chapters is really beneficial.
The characters are also well formed. Monica and Shubh are two very real and thus relatable individuals. We find so many such people in our everyday life, and so many of us will be able to find some of our own values and qualities in them. The other minor characters also reflect some very modern and individualistic traits.
The themes explored are mostly on human dreams and desires, hard work and love as well as friendship.
One thing that I think could have been more developed was the literary style. I found it very simple for my liking and would have preferred something of a more sophisticated and advanced style. The editing, I feel, was rushed through, as I came across quite a few grammatical errors.  There is a scope for improvement for the author, considering it is a debut book.
Recommendations:
This book was a really short and inspiring book. I recommend it to those looking for romance as well as inspiration. I rate the content a 3/5 stars!

You Cannot Have All The Answers and other stories, Deepa Agarwal, 2018

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Publishers: Niyogi Books
Synopsis:
Some stories begin at the beginning and some at the end. And in some, it’s hard to say where the beginning is and where the end.’ You Cannot Have All the Answers, a collection of fifteen short stories, offers a glimpse into the conflicting emotions that define the human condition, and portrays characters who attempt to seek answers to a variety of existential questions. Including The Asian Age short-story competition winner, Cradle Song, these narratives deal with issues like trauma, sexuality, prejudice, family relations, and the recklessness of youth.

My Review:
You Cannot Have All The Answers came as a beautiful surprise to me. It is a collection of 15 short stories- set in India, mostly during the late 20th century, and it powerfully describes certain incidents in the protagonists’ lives.
Foraying into the areas of societal pressures and expectations, hidden desires, sexuality, love etc., this book makes the reader inevitably introspect about similar incidents in their lives and in this, one finds the realistic element twined with the intangible, almost illusionary thoughts. And like the title of the highlighted story, there are many questions that are still left unanswered in our minds. This book was a beautiful journey for me- one that I shall recommend other people on too!
Verdict:
I rate this book a solid 5/5 stars. Really loved it.