Capturing myriad experiences of the Indian populace, Bobby Sachdeva weaves story after story that speaks volumes about our moral compass, ambition, vulnerabilities and thirst for social connection.
This volume contains 41 short stories, each no more than 2-7 pages long, featuring people from all cultural backgrounds, economic groups, and religious communities. You begin to read this book and with each passing story, you’d think that the next one couldn’t be any more apt, but it is!
From materialism to racism, sexual assault to superstitions, the author has incorporated various prevalent themes into these stories. While some of the stories could have full-fledged chapters written about them because of the gravity of the narrative, others have been written in a very succinct manner.
Instead of having 41 tales, some of which had quite similar plots, the author could have fleshed out a few of these stories that warranted more elaboration. The writing is simple and clean; well suited for a beginner. There are dialogues written in Hindi interspersed in some stories. But these are immediately followed by the translated line. So you don’t have to worry about not understanding it.
Something I greatly appreciated about this book is that each story ends with a couple of questions that the author is asking the reader. It is imperative for any society to reflect on its way of being and ponder over how it treats these socioeconomic and political topics. Only when each of our responses align with the common goal of peace can there be a better world for humankind.
A few of my favourite stories in this collection are Sharpshooter, Vastu Shastra, 56 Offerings, A Birth on the Road, and Shor. These in particular were quite refreshing and heartening.
If you require trigger warnings, keep in mind that there are repeated mentions of depression and sexual assault, neither of which is detailed, but it is better to know what you’re going to encounter.
I’d recommend this book for its ability to be thought-provoking and for the value it carries. I just wish that the author had spent more time on certain stories.
★ ★ ★