The best thing about a short story collection is that it can be unconventional in nature yet interesting to read. Like a novel or non-fiction, it doesn’t impose an order of reading; one can read from any side. This can be fully exploited when the collection is not interconnected. Recently, I read ‘Glint of Broken Lights’ by Deepak Muniraju – falling under the similar lines – this book of short story collection was way riveting and engaging to its genre.
The stories it offers are purely built on sheer imagination backed by historical and cultural and contemporary research. It is an amazing collection to read and savour: it is unique and blends various genres into one. There is something X factor about the stories. The author first delves deep and then writes stories so meticulously and expertly that the range of predictability is never seen in the book.
Initial stories are lengthy and engaging. To start the collection, the author lays strong emphasis on the power of love and underlying value of art and music in first two stories – Sammudha and Leher. The former story is about true love – a guy playing flute discovers the vestiges of his lost love at the cost of his life. Sammudha is a power-packed story, it has a fascinating backdrop of Ladakh, brimming with cultural insights and as the story moves on we see it is about love and sacrifice.
The second story Leher is set in ancient Greek and other countries. It is portrays that art and love overshadows war and its fake glory. It is about one artist named Kyros vs Alexandra – the great warrior. This is quite a lengthy story but worth reading. It is a work of pure historical fiction. Bardo is another powerful story filled with beliefs, traditions, and much more. As the book chugs ahead, the size and intensity of the book slows down but in between there is a story called Anokha featuring the stories of Aatma Ram. In fact, it balances the engagement factor in the book. Aatma Ram is one such universal character who doles out stories about Karma. What goes as Karma comes back as Karma. He narrates stories on pride, greed, desire, and so on.
Even the contemporary story ‘Gul’ is praiseworthy and it depicts the life and plight of abandoned children in big cities like Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi. That sounded like a real story and if you come across children begging at the traffic signals or railway station, you can exactly relate to the stories of mites like Gul, Aadhil, Shakib and Dawud. In the story, you will find contrasting difference between a dog living in the rich house and orphan children roaming about the roads.
The collection features around 10 stories – with all genres clubbed into one. Some stories are about realism, history, cultures, rites of passages of life and much more. This is an unusual collection yet worth for time and money. The author Deepak shines throughout the book, he used captivating narration and language usage is simply decent and lucid. If he could put all stories of around same length, it could have been a brilliant collection than now. It is a lovely book with variety in its veins. A highly recommended collection!
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