Skip to main content

Book Review: A Hundred Little Flames by Preeti Shenoy

A Hundred Little Flames by Preeti Shenoy is a modern tale about generation gap, especially, today, how a relationship between a son and a father grows up to a point of no return.


As the story opens up, readers can see that Ayan, a young man in his mid-twenties, is all about a forced soul and trying to be a fit in the midst of gritty professionals in Pune. He does not love his job because he can never be as ambitious as his father. It was his father who had put him through Mechanical Engineering and then MBA, and even into his first job. Well, things go sour all the more between his father and him when he's unintentionally spotted with escorts during a company party. The pictures of that party goes viral and he is forced to put his papers down.

Dejected and of course afraid of his father’s tirade, he is transported to a small village in Kerala to his grouchy (around seventy-year-old) grandfather in an ancestral property named as - Thekko Madom.
Ayan feels pity to see his grandfather living a lonely life, on the other hand mesmerizes to see his diaries of his early days like youth and all. Gradually, Ayan being too sophisticated by the urban grooming comes to term with life when he begins gelling with the old man. As the diaries begin unfolding, more and more narration about the father-son relationship resurfaces and of course also about love and other rite of passages obligatory in life. In a nutshell, the story shuttles between today and yesterday.

Through the diaries Ayan comes to know about the real villainous nature of his father, Jairaj. The kind of treatment his grandfather received from Jairaj in fact actuates Ayan to hate his father. His father is shown quite greedy and mean in the guise of being ambitious. Jairaj gets his comeuppance when he finds that in the will he is not included, rather it goes to Ayan and others. Other than Gopal Shankar, Rohini too is a very touching character in the novel. When the old man, Gopal Shankar passes away she says that, “When dear ones pass away, we love them more and remember them in our heart like a hundred little flames".

Prior to this novel, Preeti was widely known as a writer of romance novels. However, this time she has come up with deeper voice to touch the souls of Indian generations. Probably, she wants to relay the message about the importance of father-son relationship, which gradually deteriorates with passage of time, as such is the rite of passage of life. The story builds up gradually, and the writing style is fairly good, understandable to all.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Binya is a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a very small hilly village of Garhwal. One day while herding her two cows back home, she stumbles upon some city people enjoying the picnic in the valley. She is enthralled to see them rich and well-groomed. She craves to be one like them and among many other things of their, a blue frilly umbrella catches her attention. She begins craving for it. On the other hand, the city people get attracted by her innocent beauty and the pendant in her neck. The pendant consists of leopard’s claw – which is considered a mascot widely in the hills. Binya trades her pendant off with the blue umbrella.

The blue umbrella is so much beautiful that soon it becomes a topic of conversation for villagers and children adore her umbrella so much that every time they feel like to touch or hold it. Binya is on seventh heaven and rarely closes it because she believes it looks charming when it is opened.
Ram Bharosa runs a smal…

Book Review: The Lost Child by Mulk Raj Anand

The Lost Child is a riveting short story by Mulk Raj Anand. A little boy and his parents are on their way to a village fair on account of a spring fair. The alley leading to the fair is alive with a vivid combination of colours and people.

The boy is happy and chirpy and walking between the big limbs of his father, between the long strides. As he can see there are toys in the shops lined along the way. He is captivated by the colourful toys of different sizes and shapes but in his observation he lags behind. So he runs ahead to be with his parents. When he expresses the desire to own one of the toys hanging from the shops, a cold stare from his father breaks his heart.
Suddenly, to break his attention from the lingering toys, his mother tenderly shifts his attention to the swaying muster field, which seems to be full of golden ripples – moving to and fro. The boy enters the field and begins chasing butterflies, black bees and dragon flies. But soon he is called back.
Once they appr…

Book Review: Sparrows by K. A. Abbas – A Story about Hidden Kindness

K. A. Abbas was a master at writing short stories, presumably influenced by O. Henry. His work presents a different picture of India and is mainly based on humanity. He was the contemporary writer of that colonial India when the cinema used to run in black and white. Reading K.A. Abbas means exploring the old culture of India.
‘Sparrows’ is a brilliant short story. Once, the story ‘Sparrows’ was conscripted in the world’s best stories along with ‘The Lost Child’, written by Mulk Raj Anand.
A bit about Sparrows
Rahim Khan, the protagonist, is a stolid figure, almost devoid of emotions. He lives alone and the whole village is fearful of him because he brutally beats children and men on slightest pretexts. With time, he has grown so obtrusive and rough that streaks of humanity have left him. Why is he like that?
During the magnificence of his youth there was no one who could compete with him in the wrestling and other sports. It's his deepest desire to join Circus folk. In addition …