Skip to main content

Book Review: Slices of Life by Richa Gupta

Penning a short story with ingenuous settings is a Herculean task. The writer has to maintain a proportion in all aspects without any single aspect being given too much space. I have always preferred a short story collection to a novel because I can read the stories in any order. In addition, it has a variety of themes and characters.

My new encounter is ‘Slices of Life’, written by Richa Gupta. Earlier, I had read her novel ‘Skeins’. Broadly speaking, she understands and depicts women in her work. Even in 'Slices of Life', she voices the pain and views of women that we tend to ignore. She delves into the heart of the women she represents in her collection.

The collection includes 12 stories that are average to extensive in length. The first story deals with a common problem faced by urban women: finding an honest maid to do housework. The focus of 'The Young Visitor’ is well divided between Kanika and Kanta. The former belongs to an affluent family but lacks a maid to do routine chores like cleaning and cooking food for all. Somehow, Kanika manages to hire a young woman Kanta, but soon, her infant son becomes problematic for all. In the end, both ladies get into an inextricable mess. It is one of the most powerful stories in the entire collection.

The next story, ‘Future Love Story’, is all about love in a world where technology plays a major role in deciding the fate of people, even the matchmaking being done on the basis of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The collection has different types of stories with different characters and backdrops, thus keeping monotony at bay. It brings out various aspects of women, varying in intensity. For instance, the story ‘Bridal Wear’ is an engaging read about the dilemma of women when they prepare for special occasions like a wedding. I cherish how the author presented the subtle competition among women in physical appearance during a marriage or a ceremony. However, it is a casual story, so is 'Diagnosis'. Otherwise, the other stories are not only informative but also meaningful.

The pace of the stories is a bit slow but after some time they appear to be taking shape. The author introduces us to characters with their idiosyncrasies; and after some time, the reader begins moving with them in their world. From the rich to the poor to migrant labour and slums, the author depicts characters from all sections of the society to weave a wonderful collection.

Richa’s narration and language skills are simply superb. It’s a collection with depth. 4 out of 5!

Buy from Amazon

Next Read: Skeins by Richa Gupta

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Poem Summary: Where The Mind Is Without Fear by Rabindranath Tagore

Poem by Rabindranath Tagore: Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high Where knowledge is free Where the world has not been broken up into fragments By narrow domestic walls Where words come out from the depth of truth Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit Where the mind is led forward by thee Into ever-widening thought and action Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake. Short Summary: This poem is written by Rabindranath Tagore during pre-independence days, when India was a colony of the British. The underlying theme of the poem is absolute freedom; the poet wants the citizens of his country to be living in a free state. According to the poem, we see that the poet is expressing his views there should be a country, like where people live without any sort of fear and with pure dignity…they should

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Among all Ruskin Bond books, The Blue Umbrella has, so far, gathered immense applaud from readers and critics alike.  This is a short novel, but the kind of moral lessons it teaches to us are simply overwhelming. This is a story of Binya, a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a 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 well-groomed and rich. 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 fo

Character Sketch of Binya from ‘The Blue Umbrella’ by Ruskin Bond

The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond is a popular children’s story. It features Binya as the main character, though there are other important characters as well, but the story revolves around Binya and her little beautiful umbrella. The story is widely popular among children, thus it has also been included in the schools’ syllabus all across the country. Since it is often taught in the school, thus the character sketch of Binya is often demanded by students from year to year. Character Sketch of Binya from The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond Binya is the main character of the novel ‘The Blue Umbrella’ by Ruskin Bond. Her full name is Binyadevi. As in the hills or anywhere in India it is a kind of trend to call children with their short nicknames. Binya’s elder brother’s name is Bijju, whereas his real name is Vijay. Binya aged eleven is a hilly girl. She lives with her small family in the hills of Garhwal. Her father died when she was two years of age. For sustenance, the