Author: Deepak Kaul
No. of Pages: 59
Price: 134 INR
Format: E-book (Kindle Edition)
The Times of India ran the Write India Campaign between July, 2015 and May, 2016. Eleven Indian bestselling authors provided prompts on which short stories had to be based. The stories in this collection comprise the author’s submissions for all eleven prompts
All the stories are a slice of life. We have seen, heard or experienced all of them at some point in our lives. The protagonist in each story is going through some struggle and is looking for some hope of a better tomorrow,
The stories are magnificent and draws the reader towards them with all the suspense and drama and leaving a heart-warming and feel-good feeling at the end.
Dissent is about an 1-year-old girl Ila who was brought up by her father and stepmother. Her father was a cotton farmer and Ila used to help him in the fields, against the will of her stepmother and the societal norms which do not allow a female to go the mandi for the selling of the cotton. Her struggle to fight for herself and not marry a mentally retarded rich boy shows her immense strength and love for her father who has always protected her from the bad words of his second wife.
Hell’s Angel is a story about a girl who wants to become the first female Michelin star chef from India. She wanted to do something in Indian cooking. Keeping her goal in mind, she had accepted a position as sous-chef at a popular European style bistro to give herself an exposure and become adapted to the industry. She was working hard under the supervision of a harsh and hard-to-please French chef. And just when things were finally going smoothly, the State Government imposed a beef ban and she was out of her job as beef was a prerequisite in the European cuisine. Heartbroken and hopeless, she was sitting in Starbucks pondering over was it all over for her? And what was she going to do?
All in is the struggle of a scriptwriter who is trying to approach the Top Actor of the Indian movie industry whose approval would fetch him good producers, as well for his story. I fell in the love with this line from the story “Sometimes in life you have to gather all your remaining chips in both hands, push them into the center of the table and go all in.“
LCA (Lights, Camera and Action) presents the Indian Bollywood Industry where the struggling actors/actresses who struggle to reach out to the directors to launch them. Like a stock market, their career also hits the Highs and Lows. To survive, they try moving to the TV industry, exploring regional movies and giving their best in the roles which they don’t even like. The whole set-up is around the business Of TRP’s. And then there is a school of thought which says that really good actors and actresses can emote irrespective of reel/real life.
Mirage talks about the dirty politics and how often people use their powers to get things done. The protagonist is the joint Secretary to a Senior Government official and has used her looks to her advantage. When she realized what she has been doing and that people around are demons and will never bother for what she has done for them, she decides to raise her voice. She has done a great damage to her marriage and it will take a long time to heal.
Taboo revolves around the lives of Diya, Rishaan and Kiara. They all are heading to a wedding and Diya is not at all happy with the fact that Kiara is coming over. There is an element of surprise as the story ends when the reader knows why Diya is so envious of Kiara.
Void is a heartbreaking story when the protagonist meets his ex-girlfriend accidentally at the airport. After graduation, they have never met or spoken to each other and things have changed in these four years. She has moved on and she has no grudge against him or what if she is pretending.
Queens of Hearts is a story of a girl who has two hearts. She takes the reader on the journey of growing up with the two hearts and it is such a loving tale. She is undergoing a surgery and the probability is not high. The end prompts the reader to think for a minute about her and her future.
Love Jihad is a love story. Syed and Gayatri fell in love with each other and did not courage to tell their parents due to the caste issues. Syed got a job offer in Qatar and he left her, promising that he will come back to marry her. Gayatri had family pressure to get married and her hope for Syed was fading away with the distance between the two.
Karma Agni is a story of warrior who goes on a battle leaving his wife. His wife kept waiting for his return to see her carrying their first child in her womb.
How Blue is my Sapphire is a heartouching story of a fisherman and his family who are forced to leave their motherland and live a miserable life and loosing everything in the struggle to survive.
My Rating: 3.5/5
About the Author
Deepak Kaul is a chartered accountant by profession, specializing in international tax. He has over twenty years of work experience, of which twelve were spent overseas in Singapore and USA. Deepak has always been fond of reading; writing is his aspirational hobby and he hopes to pursue it as a vocation.
Note: I received a free copy of the book from Writersmelon in return for my honest review.
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