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Book Review: Stories of Us (The Common Man) by Bobby Sachdeva

Simple, superb, and engaging! In one word, this collection is lollapalooza. Forty one stories and each story substantial enough to stir your soul. Also, the morals the stories carry forward can never go unnoticed. ‘Stories of Us’ (The Common Man) by Bobby Sachdeva is a book needs to be savoured by the society in its raw form. High on societal grim realities, this collection provides enough fodder for perception change that you hold for common folks.

The author’s main focus has been on all the aspects of our society, the range covers issues and privations from low to medium to elite class people. There are some things like pain, suffocation, prejudice, and miserableness – it is found everywhere. Well, at times poor suffer in the devoid of facilities, and rich get it via unspoken misery.

Stories like Boarding Pass, The Bright Old Scooter, 56 Offerings, The Theft are strict on social status facade but from within a strange void troubles for peacemaking, while My Sunday Father, True Love and Suspicion, Connection, and The Other Side speak vociferously for the rectitude and sacrifice needed to keep relations intact and family get going. As humans of fast-paced societies, are we able to make truce with our demands and unbridled desires? The answer lies in the simplicity of our existence. Through the stories of value of relationship, the author has put in time-testing circumstances for the leading characters. The finest example is the story ‘Dog and Man’, where Sunita has to choose either her loyal dog or her selfish son settled in the USA. If you read, you will get to know who was selfish and who was getting trapped in the guise of a son-mother relationship.

Other than common occurring stories in our societies, there are special unspoken stories that highlight the need of compassion and humanity. For instance, Wish to be a Dog. In this story, a poor rag-picker girl is eaten alive by scavenging dogs. But how…? Maybe the system and its allied people are lenient in their duties.

Another interesting set of stories challenge the beliefs and juggernaut that bind people, but more than that they corrupt them and lead them onto the path of being astray and superstition. Stories related to horoscope, Babaji and religion are quite apt to bring them in proper light.

Published by Pan Macmillan India, this is one collection which is full of simple yet thought-provoking stories. The author has kept the wording simple; probably, he believes simplicity sells.

Each story is followed by a few questions in the end which silently asks for the solutions to the problems depicted earlier. Written in lucid way, the author has followed a specific way of narration that keeps the stories relevant and the entire anthology looks in conform to the broad idea: society. Highly recommended for literature lovers!


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